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F1 22 Hands-On Preview: The Life and Career Mode

F1 22 the life

F1 22

F1 22 Hands-On Preview: The Life and Career Mode

Back in May, I was lucky enough to attend the reveal presentation for the new F1 22 officially licensed game and get my hands on the beta version of the game. While it was limited in what I could access, it allowed me to test out the new tire model, improved car physics, and turn some laps at the Miami F1 course, which is a new addition to the circuit schedule this year.

F1 22 beta

Now, as we approach the release date in early July, EA and Codemasters were kind enough to send the entire game. While still considered a work in progress, every aspect of the game is now unlocked, including career mode and the all-new addition of F1 – The Life.

F1 22 Preview (Part Two)

While our focus this time for the second and last preview will be that of career and The Life, here is another quick synopsis of what is new in F1 2022.

What’s New With F1 22 (According To The Devs)?

  • New Miami circuit, plus layout changes to the likes of Australia and Abu Dhabi
  • F1 Sprint events and the new era of Formula 1 cars with overhauled rules
  • PC VR functionality via Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
  • Updated the physics to accommodate the new aero rules and reworked the tire model
  • New “immersive” and “broadcast” options
  • Adaptive AI lets less-experienced players take on the challenge, with AI racers tailored to match their skill level

What I Like

Career Mode

The career mode that drops from Codemasters in F1 is almost always setting new trends, creating new paths, and constantly pushing the envelope in ways that blur the line between gaming and real life. While the career mode in F1 22 doesn’t quite feel as “cutting edge” as the last few iterations, there is still so much to love, and the improvements this year feel more about addressing some of the mundane tasks required before streamlining the mode even more.

F1 22 career mode

As before, once I jumped into my career journey, the game gave me the option to choose between starting in F2 and grinding my way up to F1 with my track results or simply selecting a team in F1 and going for it. For the purpose of the preview, I started in F1 to have quicker access to what is in store for fans of the series once the game hits retail. The most exciting new aspects I wanted to scope out were how the adaptive AI works in career mode, and how the latest broadcast and presentation improvements will come across.

Alongside the new adaptive AI, broadcast presentation, and streamlined options, F1 22 allows you to drive into your pits and onto the grid manually. While exciting, this leaves a lot of room for user mistakes, but the immersion level reaches new heights because of these new options.

Although many of the new additions and improvements can be seen and felt outside of career mode, they have an impact inside the mode and give it a fresh underlying feel in a sea of familiarity. As far as the adaptive AI goes, although I didn’t have weeks and weeks to watch how the AI performs under the guise of “adaptive competitiveness,” I did have enough track time in career mode to see that the adaptive nature will most likely be a hit with some — and not so much with others.

The adaptive AI does work, and a sense of dramatic excitement coincides with its use. Still, for simulation fans of the sport, you will need to choose between consistently competitive or statistic-based results from the AI. We will have a lot more about adaptive AI in my final review, but for now, I can see merit in its use and why some may choose to keep that race option unchecked.

As far as the rest of the career mode goes, it will feel very familiar to those who are veterans of the series, but that is not a bad thing. The mode is improved with new options on the track, in the garage, in the broadcast booth, and the pits, but utilizing the same menu system in career mode seems to undermine the real improvements here a bit.

F1 The Life

The Life, a replacement placeholder for story mode this year, feels very much like a callback to PlayStation Home. An area in-game that is effectively a living and breathing location or home for each user to show collections of cars, furnishings, replays, and awards, and is a gathering place for both AI and other users to hang out prior to a race.

During my time in The Life, I was able to unlock and store a supercar in one of my bays, buy some new furnishings for the place, and also the had ability to view every F1 car in a virtual showroom. Right now, the choices seem pretty sparse regarding options to upgrade your location, but during the presentation the developers clarified that more is coming by launch, and more will be added post-launch.

I was never huge on PS Home, and this gave me the same feeling: maybe something that will be fun from the start, but the novelty will wear off quickly as the focus moves to career mode and online racing. Now, achievements throughout the game in all modes work in conjunction with The Life, so I could see some viability to this offering well after launch for those who enjoy having an RPG element to their titles.

Even though The Life isn’t something that will excite me for any length of time, some real production value and resources were spent on the mode, and it worked flawlessly when navigating from one area to the next.

Simply having the ability to have all your replays and achievements housed in one area along with the ability to view the supercars and F1 cars in an intimate and detailed setting provided enough interest that even if it ends up not having the addictive nature that initially was hoped for, there is enough for people to keep finding their way back.

F1 22 – What’s Next?

We will have the full review of F1 22 from EA and Codemasters towards the end of the month, and I will dive into greater detail in both career mode and The Life as that time nears, along with the rest of the improvements and additions in F1 22. F1 22 from EA and Codemasters is slated for a July 1, 2022 release and will appear on PC, Xbox Series X/S/One, and PlayStation 5/4.

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  1. The F1 Life stuff is complete garbage. I have zero interest in driving brutally slow (by comparison) McLaren road cars in time trial events. It's an F1 game. Just so stupid that they added this. What might have actually worked is to tie the feature in with classic F1 cars. That sounds much more enticing. Those classic F1 cars are incredible. Would love to display those and would love even more to drive them. Why these devs abandoned those cars from previous games mystifies me. Everyone wants them back and instead they give us couches, sneakers, and road cars. rofl

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