After the Ferrari half disappointment at the Miami GP, it’s time to get your hands on the official F1 video game: this is how the first test went.
When Codemasters first acquired the Formula 1 license in 2009, it had this slogan for F1 2010, its cross-platform debut: “Be the drive. Live the life “. Be the pilot, live the life. And, for the time, he kept that premise to the best of his ability: he attended press conferences and meetings, looking in general the world of Formula 1 in first person. But, after the run was over and you were done fiddling with the menus, the lights went out.
The series has gone through all sorts of variations on the theme since then, from classic cars to R&D and team management. It followed the quasi-cinematic story of a young driver making his way from F2 up to the premier class, in a series of playable sequences strung between one cutscene and another. But, this year, the British developer has returned to the original premise: F1 22 wants you to live the life of a superstar driver, on and off the circuit.
As far as we’ve seen so far, this doesn’t include problematic Instagram posts, walking alongside other pilots and screaming while being interviewed or opening vegan restaurant chains. On the contrary, F1 22 introduces several new components that will give you a break from the exhaustion of the adrenaline-pumping Formula 1 races.
F1 Life –
F1 Life is the most significant of these. It is a new hub area, similar to the NBA 2K Neighborhood at first glance, where players can customize everything they find around them, hang out with other pilots and exhibit their luxury items. And pilots at these levels don’t have too many problems when it comes to spending: when it comes to luxury items, they must be truly luxury. Like a supercar.
Which brings up the other major major area of innovation for the series, the introduction of drivable road vehicles. Inspired by the Pirelli Hot Lap events on real F1 race weekends, in which drivers take journalists and celebrities to the track for some of the most gastrointestinal minutes they will experience in their lives, the new chapter adds vehicle-driving challenges. such as McLaren 720s, Mercedes AMG GT Black Edition and Aston Martin Vantage.
Safety Car yes, Braking Point no –
The last two, of course, are the official safety cars of the 2022 season and, while that doesn’t mean that it will be possible to drive a real safety car in a race scenario, you can at least take the same vehicles to the track and enjoy a few laps on board, far away. from delta times and porpoising of modern Formula 1 racing. While the developers have not made it completely clear, the implication is that these vehicles, such as the furnishings visible in the F1 Life scenes and the clothing of their driver, will be available for purchase with in-game currency, which in previous iterations was obtained by completing in-game objectives or paying real money.
What will not be included is another cinematic journey like Braking Point, this year. Senior Creative Director Lee Mather reveals that the development time required to create these stories is a two-year cycle. You will hardly see anyone take to the streets and protest this removal, but the explanation in this regard is certainly out of the ordinary. The FIFA Journey and the various episodes of NBA 2K’s career have both brought new stories on an annual basis, albeit with significantly different budgets and development teams. Milestone has just introduced an innovative playable documentary, Nine: Season 2009, in MotoGP 22 with the help of documentary maker Mark Neale. One might suspect that, under EA’s guidance and sizable budget, the F1 series could have released a narrative mode again this year – if it really wanted to.
How to drive in F1 22 –
Instead, the focus was on a reinterpretation of the driving model. This is partly due to the dramatic change of regulations in 2022, which introduced heavier, radically different-looking cars, and shook up the hierarchy among the stables. You’ll feel that extra weight when cornering thanks to force feedback in your wheel or vibration in the controllers, explains Mather. Historically, the F1 series has done a great job on this, delivering even the finest details with just two vibration motors, so you can believe it won’t be a mere hyperbole.
This first preview provided by Codemasters also gave access to a handful of circuits in the new chapter, including the Miami GP. After spending so many laps on it, it is clear that the characteristic subtlety of force feedback has been retained, and that there are some notable differences in the car’s behavior, particularly at the start of races, where everyone is moving at a very fast pace. slower and with low traction, which produces large clouds of smoke coming from the tires. The curbs are no longer as lethal as they were until last year, disrupting the downforce on the ground much less and, as far as we have been able to experience so far, only rarely causing the copious spins of F1 2021.
Two historical problems –
Don’t expect a transformative step, though. Two long-standing problems seem to remain, regardless of how the cars look, and that’s disappointing to look at from a game that took a year off with its great story mode to focus on driving. The first is that there is something artificial about the how cars lose traction, and that’s not particularly fun to handle. Where other sim racers give a sense of where the weight of the car is and why you might lose grip (for example, the suspension touched the bottom on one side because you threw the chassis into a corner too aggressively), there is no point here. ‘is similar feedback. And, especially on a pad, trying to correct on the go is almost a feat. The sensation is especially noticeable on the high-speed corners, available in industrial quantities at the new Miami circuit.
According to: AI is still very shy about overtaking, even when it has a faster pace. This is a centuries-old problem and means that you will often end up with cars in single file behind you, ten drivers separated by about 1.5 seconds: in this way, as soon as you stop in the pits, you will lose a devastating number of positions, which makes any one arbitrary. sense of strategy in the race.
F1 22, the verdict (for now) –
These are impressions born from a build work in progress, of course, so the hope is that these concerns will be overcome by the final release, or at least made secondary in the face of the goodness of the new additions. The off-track lifestyle components seem genuinely fun, and anyone who wants to drive the safety car as a child. But, for everything else to make sense to fans, it is important that the fundamentals work as it should in F1 22.
Written by Phil Iwaniuk for GLHF
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