An image of the podium pass from F1 22, with an in-game character performing an unlocked pose.
F1 22

The Major Problem with F1 22

There may be a lot of issues with F1 22, but these ones in particular show how out of touch the developers are. This is the major problem with F1 22.

Image credit: Codemasters / EA

Whenever an F1 game is released, there’s always a huge string of issues. Whether they are with the content within the game, or basic functionality issues. We could make a list of the latter that’s longer than the Nordschleife!

It would be understandable if, instead of putting effort into fixing many elements of the game’s functionality, the developer’s efforts went into creating content that the player base loves. But is that what is happening?

So What’s The Problem with F1 22?

F1 22 saw the introduction of F1 Life, a personal hub that takes the form of an apartment. It can be personalised with decorations, and also supercars from the four major luxury automotive brands within F1.

Also introduced way back in F1 2020, was the Podium Pass. This is a tiered system with items that can be unlocked for levelling up. It is inspired by the Battle Pass systems from mainstream titles such as Call of Duty, Destiny, Fortnite and Rocket League.

In previous games, players could unlock items such as helmets, driver suits, gloves and liveries to apply to the MyTeam spec car. Then, later on, victory radio calls and podium celebration emotes were also added.

But with this new F1 Life mode, the pass is now filled with furniture, decorations, regular clothing and accessories for the hub and the player character. This begs the question; why? Or rather, who honestly cares about these things?

Is anybody really going to take one look at a sofa, or a lamp, or a table, or some headphones, sunglasses, shirts, trousers and shoes and think “yes, let’s dedicate some time to this”? This should have been foreseen by the developers after taking one look in the unranked lobbies on every game since the introduction of the spec car.

Think about it. How often has the option been turned to anything other than the normal F1 cars in unranked lobbies? Rarely does one see the spec F1 cars or the Formula 2 cars. However, we can safely say that even if it was possible to race the supercars, they wouldn’t be used in many custom lobbies.

An achievement listed on Steam called 'Getting the Hang of It', with the conditions being driving 25 laps in the Supercars on F1 22, and only 0.5% of players have completed it.
Only 0.5% of players have driven 25 laps in a supercar. Image credit: Steam

With all this in mind, are Codemasters and EA completely out of touch with what the fans want? Not entirely. To their credit, they’ve added features that many players have been requesting for years, like Virtual Reality and a career mode where a player can be an owner/driver.

But for every feature that is positively received by the community, there are several features that are inconsequential to what the core F1 game player will want. The Braking Point story-mode, the supercars, F1 Life, if they were never introduced, what difference would it have made to the typical F1 game player’s experience?

Why Are They Doing This?

It’s no secret that developers and publishers are trying to make the most money possible from their product, even post-release. EA have always been cited as a prominent example of a publisher pushing their in-game monetisation too far. Tactics like loot-boxes even pushed certain countries to ban the practice.

It would be easy to pin the blame on EA after their takeover, but Codemasters implemented the Podium Pass before EA ever got involved. Other triple-A console titles such as Gran Turismo 7 have been dragged for their pitiful pay-outs and car price inflations. But, in the case of Gran Turismo, it is necessary to play the game to make the money in order to acquire the cars.

Could Codemasters honestly get away with the Haas being the only car available to drive, locking every other car behind a paywall, only be accessed by either grinding for an in-game currency to unlock them, or by purchasing them with real world money?

The answer is no. So they have to look for other elements that they can monetise. But there aren’t any obvious alternatives. At least, not ones that are integral to the gaming experience of the typical F1 game player. So, what can be done?

What Can They do Instead?

Of course, one would think a product like the F1 game getting released every year would earn enough money. As opposed to releasing one game every few years, where it’s somewhat understandable to release extra paid content in that time to sustain interest in the game.

However, when it comes to content that could be added that F1 game players would perhaps be interested in actually getting, there’s really only one realistic solution. Adding extra tracks that are not on the current season’s schedule.

Don’t get us wrong, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to worry about paying after purchase at all. It should all be in the game to begin with. But, since it’s inevitably going to happen regardless, would we rather pay to have the likes of Mugello and Sepang added into the game? Or have those resources instead be directed into designing a special cushion for the F1 Life apartment?

Many players would love to see classic cars come back, all the ones from F1 2020 and also the 70’s and early 80’s cars from F1 2019. They’re merely a nice additional bonus to have that don’t impact the core elements of gameplay. We can safely say that, whilst some players will want to drive the McLaren MP4/4 or Ferrari F2004, pretty much all players want more tracks to drive around.

A McLaren MP4/4 in a darkened room with tabs for other brands in the Classic Car tab on F1 2019
If Classic Cars did return, the core playerbase wouldn’t always use them. Image credit: Codemasters

As for everything else, the cushions, the tables, the sofas, the podium celebration emotes, the victory radio calls, will any actually be missed? They may be nice to have but they aren’t necessary, and we can safely say nobody is grinding for XP to earn an item for something so trivial.

Overall, all of this hardly matters if the game isn’t up to an acceptable standard of quality. The developers can add as much relevant content in the world, they could even put classic cars in the final tiers of the Podium Pass, but it wouldn’t matter if the game was unplayable.

What do you believe to be the biggest issue with F1 22? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Luca
Biggest esports racing fan in the world.