Good occasions by no means final, and F1 22 has seen Codemasters’ run of success come to an finish with the annual System 1 launch.
This 12 months’s recreation has seemingly pale away far quicker than in earlier years, however why? F1 is larger than ever with race tracks seeing report attendance and TV viewership, particularly within the US, rising quickly.
Even the F1 Esports viewers is rising, however for some purpose F1 22 has dropped off quicker than any recreation since F1 2019 (Per Steam participant counts).
So what has occurred with F1 22? And what ought to Codemasters study from it?
Identical recreation blues
Annual sports activities titles are infamous for being the “similar recreation yearly”, however the one title that prevented that tagline was the System 1 sequence.
Codemasters normally had one thing new every year of their arsenal. Be it a revised R&D tree, revamped interfaces, F2, My Crew, or Braking Level, for the final a number of years there has all the time been one thing new within the F1 video games.
For F1 22, a minimum of in profession & My Crew modes there was nothing new. No new function or any adjustments to improvement. There was the addition of dash races and some tweaks to observe, however that was it.
The frustration from gamers was palpable. Because of Codemasters’ & EA’s huge pre-release push we knew nicely forward of time that there wasn’t something even minor altering in the way in which your rags-to-riches F1 journey would go.
Certain, the brand new vehicles have been launched with their totally different really feel and there was a brand new monitor in Miami, however as soon as the novelty of that wore off gamers have been left with the identical recreation as final 12 months, and it actually harm total curiosity within the recreation.
Content material creators have bemoaned an total lack of curiosity in F1 22, with Aarava taking to Twitter to debate how disappointing F1 22 has been.
However F1 22 did have a giant new function. It had F1 Life.
F1 Life flops
F1 Life has been an infinite, and completely predictable, flop.
The thought was to deliver gamers into the approach to life of System 1 drivers. You might create an avatar with an informal wardrobe in addition to race gear. They’d a flat to furnish and will purchase supercars to run via Pirelli Hotlap challenges.
The issue was that none of that gamers. In any respect. Individuals purchase the F1 video games to go racing in F1 vehicles, not to pick carpets or purchase Beats headphones for an avatar.
What was worse was that your F1 Life avatar was not your multiplayer avatar and also you could not race the supercars in opposition to mates.
All of it felt disjointed and indifferent from the precise expertise individuals got here for. It was made even worse that gamers have been coming to F1 22 from Gran Turismo 7, which for all its failures really delivers with regards to driving and racing supercars which F1 Life completely didn’t.
Fairly what the pondering behind F1 Life was we do not know, but it surely has been an enormous miss for Codemasters and hopefully will not be returning.
What will be performed?
The issues of F1 22 that we’ve got detailed to date, together with the same old legacy issues that come from a recreation with a number of spaghetti code after years on the identical engine, will not be mounted simply.
Codemasters has two groups that work on alternating variations. So F1 23 is already nicely into its improvement. Its large function is prone to be the subsequent step in Braking Level, not a core improve for My Crew or Profession Mode.
The odd-year workforce is the one which launched the Feeder Collection story in F1 2019 and Braking Level in F1 2021, which is why we’re assuming F1 23 will go down that line.
That is prone to obtain a equally glum reception as F1 Life, and if it does not include My Crew & Profession Mode the backlash may very well be extreme.
Like each annual sports activities recreation, there’s a assured participant base for F1 no matter function & gameplay innovation, but when Codies & EA need it to develop consistent with the general development of the game they need to maintain the general dialogue of the sport constructive. Which it is not proper now.
Whereas issues like an open livery design instrument, non-championship tracks, and in-race commentary are by no means going to be a factor irrespective of what number of Reddit threads are began, there’s some innovation that might occur.
Opening up automobile design for My Crew so gamers can decide their sidepods or entrance wing types and including in personnel hiring & firing could be nice, although may step on the toes of the F1 Supervisor license. The R&D system would profit from an entire overhaul too.
All that mentioned, Codemasters have struck an excellent stability with their video games between each simulation and accessibility and between pad and wheel. Whereas the stability of the sport has drifted extra to wheel gamers just lately, it’s nonetheless attainable to get pleasure from it and be quick on a pad.
That stability is vital to engaging new gamers in and whereas it’d disappoint these on the high of the league pyramids to not push the sport extra towards sim gameplay, what they’ve proper now works. It is simply beginning to really feel stale outdoors of that and it is a pattern they need to handle.