Can F1 22 become the best Formula 1 game ever?

The real-life Formula 1 season is in full swing, and the annual F1 game is ready to be launched. F1 22 is going to be released next week, and we can't wait for it to come out.

There is a lot of hype ahead of F1 22 hitting shelves, but can it be the best Formula 1 game of all-time? It's certainly a big ask, but anything is possible in this new era for the sport.

Which is the best F1 game ever?

It's a cliche, but it's true. To be the best, you've got to beat the best. So, which is the best Formula 1 game in history? Well, both F1 Championship Edition and F1 2020 can stake a claim for that crown, but for us, one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Grand Prix Legends Screenshot
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Credit: RacingGames YouTube

Grand Prix Legends was released back in 1997, but is still the most realistic F1 simulator ever created. GPL replicates every race that year, including the non-championship events.

GPL's handling model is still considered to be one of the most difficult and rewarding to master out of all the racing sims. Likewise, its damage model is also one of the most realistic, as cars can retire for any number of reasons, not just collisions and engine failures.

GPL has well and truly stood the test of time, with a dedicated fan base who have modded the title to look almost as good as a game made in 2022.

What's new in 22?

In the real world, Formula 1 has gone through a revolution in 2022. The cars have gone through major aerodynamic changes thanks to a large change in regulations.

The front wings have been simplified and ground effect re-introduced to allow the cars to follow closer and aid overtaking. This has reduced the cars' overall speed, but it does make for better racing.

We're sure that will be translated into F1 22's gameplay and make it even more entertaining!

F1 22 Alpine
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Other new features include the introduction of Sprint Races, and for the first time, Supercars. These road cars are F1's effort to challenge other racing sim series like Gran Turismo and also introduce F1 Life into the series.

TV graphics exactly like those we see in the real broadcasts and a new handling model will also bring F1 22 closer to reality. Furthermore, manual pit stops (something we haven't seen since F1 2010!) Will be making a return to the series.

Finally, new AI and practice programmes also add to F1 22's appeal. So, with all these new features, why is there some concern around this game?

Concerns about the new owners

It's time to address the elephant in the room, EA. EA bought Codemasters last year in a deal worth over $1 billion. We don't need to tell you how controversial of a company EA are within the gaming world.

EA and Codemasters can revolutionise racing gaming together and EA have promised a "hands off" approach when it comes to Codies and the F1 franchise.

F1 22 Screenshot Ferrari
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However, saying it is one thing, doing it is another and EA have an awful track record when it comes to their handling of franchises of late. FIFA is as unpopular as ever and will soon be losing its official licence.

EA have also made a pigs ear of series like Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefield thanks to endemic microtransactions and an all-online focus.

So, will EA keep their word with F1? The proof will be in the pudding, we'll only know for sure when we first try the game, but there have been small examples of this creeping into the game in F1 2021.

The Verdict

If all of these new features are as good and polished as they seem in the trailer, F1 22 could be an instant classic. It would be the best F1 game made by Codemasters, and in time, possibly better than GPL.

That all hinges on whether EA will exert their influence over the series or not. If microtransactions become all-but necessary for success, it would ruin what could've been a truly great game.

We'll find out just how good F1 22 is next week, but for now, you can check out the latest F1 22 trailer. The Gameplay Features Trailer goes into what new aspects we can expect to see next week and you can check it out below:

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