Earlier in July saw the release of F1 22, the latest installment of the official Formula 1 racing game franchise. Unlike in years past, a lot has changed in the year since F1 2021: radical new technical rules mean the cars are very different from the ones we’ve seen for several decades, several tracks have been revised, new tracks have been added, and the race format now includes the occasional shorter sprint race alongside the main feature race. All of this is faithfully reflected in F1 22, and for some die-hard F1 fans, that will be sufficient to pick up a copy.
For everyone else, I’m not so sure. Some of that is down to the game itself. For the first time since EA Sports bought the Codemasters studio at the end of 2020, we can see the influence of the behemoth games publisher at work, and it’s not particularly positive. For example, the sheer frequency of exhortations to spend XP or purchase microtransactions will probably be enough for most Ars readers to dislike F1 22.
But my frustration is not just with the game itself—at its core are still wonderful physics that translate to engaging handling, whether that’s with a steering wheel or a controller. No, it’s F1’s new cars, which are larger and heavier than they’ve ever been, and, frankly, somewhat of a pig to drive.
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