It's the second year of F1 release under the new management, and unlike the last year, this year's Formula One release will feature a lot of changes.
When EA took over Codemasters last year, a lot of people were skeptical about how the game will shape up in the hands of the company notoriously known for cosmetic changes and microtransactions. As the purchase was complete in late February, nothing out of the ordinary was released with the F1 22, as the game was in its final stage.
Combining that with the decision made by the EA earlier this year to pull older Formula One games off the stores as they didn't want to pay for licensing anymore, EA had big shoes to fill with this year's release.
And from the looks of it, they didn't disappoint. A lot of requests to make the race weekends all the more immersive have been announced and will premiere with F1 22.
Formula One Sprints were added to F1 with the season 2021 in order to make the driving weekend more intense and packed. Although fans have not fully welcomed this new format of qualifying, the Sprints will be added to F1 22.
Players will be able to choose Sprint on any track they want. Players who don't like the format will have the option of regular weekends even on tracks that will have Sprints this year as a part of qualifying in real life.
Players who like the authenticity can choose the Authentic option which will add Sprints only to tracks that will have Sprint this year. As for as the career goes, it is still unknown whether the options for Sprints will be set before the season or before each weekend.
Full formation lap
Previous F1 releases featured formation laps as well, but just before the last section of the track, A.I. would take over the steering and position the car to the spot on the grid. But in this year's edition, players will get full control all the way to the end grid where they'll have the opportunity to position the car to the spot.
It might seem like a minor change, but it could make the immersive all that better, as we saw very tense formation laps last year in a Championship between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
Players will have to position the car perfectly, otherwise, the A.I. will autocorrect the position, with no penalty to the player. We have not tested this feature personally, but other reviewers are saying it's a challenging task at first.
Manual pit stops
Manual pit stops are making a return to F1 22 on a small door, as we get a glimpse this year of different and user-action-based pitstops.
This is not the first time manual pit stops were included in the game, as the F1 2006 game had fully manual pitstops where players were required to slow down and press different buttons for every tire and fuel change. This was later scrapped from the game and the actual tire change was automatic since then.
This year the players will have an option of automatic pitstop like in previous games, or a semi-manual where players will have to turn to their spot at exactly the right time. Turning close to the mark will reward players with a shorter stop while pressing a button too early or too late will be punished by adding some time to the pitstop.
Although VR was possible in previous versions of the game with additional tools, mods, and patches, this year we get official support for Virtual Reality for PC users. And from the looks of it, it looks pretty damn good. The VR puts you in a cockpit replacing the cockpit camera and adds another layer of immersion.
To run VR you'll of course need a very powerful PC, but players who spent thousands already on Fanatec sim sets will no doubt find more depth in their wallet for the full experience F1 22 has to offer.
As for Playstation VR support, EA has not excluded the possibility, but nothing solid has been announced for now.
Different commentaries available
Full race commentary was rumored to be coming this year, but those expectations were not fulfilled as there is nothing on the horizon, for now.
But the F1 will offer players the possibility of choosing different commentators for pre-race and post-race commentary and cinematics.
For now, the options to choose from are famous Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft and Channel 4 commentator Alex Jacques. Anthony Davidson will remain in the analyst role in most races, and some will feature Natalie Pinkham instead.
New track Miami International Autodrome
Last year when the Saudi Arabi Grand Prix was first held, the Codemasters added the Jeddah track a week before the game, which not only hyped the fans for the race but was also a pleasant goodbye gift from the earlier bosses, as the real-life track was literally finished weeks before the race, so there was no pressure to at the track to the last year's edition.
Players wondered will the same happen this year with the Miami track, which was a new addition to the F1 2022 calendar, and EA didn't deliver as the game's new edition is within two months of release and they focused all their capabilities on F1 22.
The good news is that the track will be featured in the new release, and EA has released a hot lap video around the Miami International Autodrome.
No more Jeff
Race engineer Jeff is finally getting replaced in this year's edition of F1. Jeff has been a part of F1 since F1 2015 and it was about time to hear some fresh new voice in the headset. He will be replaced by Marc Priestley, who used to be a Chief Engineer for McLaren.
The bad news is that the lines have mostly remained the same, and the same is to be expected for the strategies. A fresh new voice is welcome but will possibly become old as the players will be hearing the same lines repeated from earlier games.
We will probably get a bigger dialog overhaul in the next year's edition.
No story mode
The Braking point story, which premiered with the F1 2019 is taking a break this season. (pun intended).
The story mode will not be completely scraped from the series and was announced for the next year's release, as the creators want to make bigger story changes,
That in itself is not a bad thing as most players would rather enjoy a good story every two years instead of the mediocre recycled story every year.
If you have friends playing F1 on different platforms, you'll finally be able to play together. The cross-platform play was officially confirmed for this year's release, although it will not come with the game's release, but later during the day, with the exact date still unspecified.
This is possibly the longest awaited feature, as there was no reason not to have cross-play in the game as no platform benefits from input device as you have with shooter games.
That brings us to the last addition, and probably the most controversial one among the players, the announcement of supercars coming to F1 22.
Not only do most players see this addition as unnecessary, but they are also angered that they are replacing classic F1 cars which will not be featured this year.
Checkpoint challenges, time attacks, and pursuit events will remain in the game but will be done with supercars this year.
The standard edition of the game will be released on July 1, 2022, for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S platforms. The Champions Edition will release three days earlier, on June 28, 2022.[