F1 22 review | New Formula One game hits PC, Xbox, PS4 and PS5

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Summer is here again, meaning it’s time for Codemasters and EA to drop F1 22, the latest game in the Formula One racing game series. But how does the new entry hold up? You’ve come to the right place to find out.

This time last year, in our F1 2021 review, we dubbed the previous title in the series “a great game that cuts a few corners”. And to be honest, you could say the same thing this year, even though the corners being cut are different.

Last year, we heaped praise on the new story mode called Braking Point, which seemed tailor-made for certain sorts of players. It was single-player, it was a hammy kind of fun, it was a great introduction to the mechanics of the game, and it was packed with drama inspired by Netflix’s Drive to Survive. And this year… the fashion has been scrapped.

For hardcore racing game fans that love their competitive multiplayer above all else, this won’t be a massive loss. But for solo gamers that love Formula One because of the thrills and spills and interpersonal drama, the sudden removal of this story mode feels quite unfortunate. We would’ve loved a second part, and we’re sure some other people will feel the same.

Image of a Supercar in F1 22.

Supercars provide a new challenge in F1 22. Codemasters/EAs

Thankfully, the developers at Codemasters have brought a few new ideas to the fore to offer something different this year. One of the big new additions is the ability to drive supercars, which look great and handle very differently from Formula One cars. This is a fun way of mixing things up.

A new mode called Pirelli Hot Laps is one of the main places you’ll find yourself using these supercars. Inspired by real-life hospitality packages, this mode allows you to rip around iconic F1 22 tracks in the beefy new supercars.

Each Hot Lap has a challenge for the player to tackle (eg beating a certain time or a specified number of checkpoints), providing a nice change of pace from the main F1 racing experience. As well as being able to play this mode on its own, you’ll also find its challenges peppered throughout your Career Mode or My Team season.

Another new addition is F1 Life, a central hub for the game where you can customize your character and their house, as well as picking how to display your trophies and unlocked cars. This is a nice way to tying the whole game together, and it solves a problem that some sports games run into – thanks to this mode, your achievements won’t be forgotten. And as an extra bit of fun, you can also visit the F1 Life hubs of other players to see what they’ve earned and unlocked.

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These new additions may not entirely make up for the lack of a story mode, but they certainly provide a few extra nuggets of fun on top of the main racing experience. And of course, that central experience is what players will be most fussed about, especially those returning fans.

On that front, we’re pleased to report that racing in F1 22 feels absolutely great. The graphics on the cars, tracks and weather effects are stunningly realistic, and there’s also a sense of genuinely thrilling pace as you rush around each track. Playing the new Miami track is particularly exciting.

Following your racing line is just as important as ever, but it’s easy to get distracted when everything around you looks so real. Just like real F1, concentration is key here. But luckily for us, there’s still a rewind feature that lets you correct your mistakes.

There are a few different difficulty levels for players to choose from, too, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a level where you can compete from the off and stand a decent chance of a podium finish. No one wants a game where you’re losing every single time, right?

Once you’ve got used to the new cars and the gameplay tweaks, it shouldn’t be long before you’re cruising round each track, mastering each corner and gradually working your way up the pack. And it’ll look and feel great every inch of the way. If you’re generally a fan of F1 games, then, we’d say this one is very much worth playing.

F1 22 launches 1st July for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC. We reviewed on Xbox Series X.

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