Another year brings another new season of the most prestigious motorsport competition on earth, for the Formula One world championship. Already this year has been full of upsets and excitement, as the formerly dominant Mercedes have found themselves floundering in the early stages with development issues as a newly resurgent Ferrari, headed up by the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, is challenging defending world champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull. This year marks a new era in the sport, with all new cars built from the ground up to promote closer racing. As such F1 fans will be eagerly making use of the free bet offers provided by comparison platforms such as oddschecker to back their favorites as the development race heats up in what could easily shape up to be a three way battle. In addition to charting the course of the drivers and constructors championships, petrolhead gamers are also avidly counting down the days until the release of F1 22 in late June.
Codemasters x EA
F1 22 is but the latest is a long line of officially licensed F1 games produced by the English studio Codemasters, who were recently reacquired as a subsidiary of EA in 2021. It marks the second major release to be developed in collaboration with EA, and fans have many questions about how the industry-leading publisher may influence the franchise going forward. Yet hopes remain high that in spite of EA’s best efforts to push features like microtransactions and story modes, the core physics and handling experience of Codemasters’ now legendary racing franchise should remain intact.
The Fast and The Curious
F1 21 already saw the inclusion of several new features under EA’s purview, such as a lackluster story mode titled Braking Point, which was poorly received by critics. Fortunately, this was scrapped for ‘22, though its director has ominously stated that the mode will return in future editions. Perhaps the most significant example of EA’s influence on F1 22 can be found in the inclusion of super cars for the first time in the franchises’ history.
In a bid to draw in car fans from outside the core F1 fold, this decision makes sense, yet it has been met with bemusement by purists who question why this is necessary in a simulation-adjacent sports game. Previous titles, such as F1 2020, included a range of classic F1 cars from through-out the sport’s history, and it is supposed that F1 22’s supercars will function in much the same way as “exhibition” vehicles to be driven during bonus rounds of the career mode.
F1 Life Mode
Fans feeling as if they had dodged a bullet in hearing of the exclusion of story mode may be none too happy to learn of another new feature rolled out for F1 22 known as “F1 Life”. In the words of EA, F1 Life is a new space for you to show off and unlock clothing, supercars and accessories for all the world to see. The saving grace here, if previous entries in the series are anything to go by, is that these elements will be largely compartmentalized across the game, letting fans wanting a pure driving experience to largely ignore them.
With all of this, you may be forgiven for thinking that F1 22 looks doomed to drown under bloatware and clunky sub-games, but this has much to do with the out-sized impact that seemingly bad news exerts. Codemasters have been studiously building the F1 games incrementally for over a decade, with developments from F1 2020 onwards taking a leap forward following working closely with real F1 drivers to hone the physics. F1 22 will feature new and updated tracks, all present teams and cars, and the return of the popular My Team custom career mode. Elsewhere, overhauled tire damage and handling physics, and improvement to AI, all look set to continue building on the high octane racing people have come to expect from a Codemasters title.