F1 22: incremental upgrades improve an already solid experience

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F1 22: incremental upgrades improve an already solid experience

Formula 1 returns once again, with Codemasters’ Ego engine remaining the powerhouse at the heart of the experience. Due to the essential nature of gaming, a cursory comparison of the new F1 22 against last year’s offering shows many similarities: just like last year, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer resolutions Native 4K with the S-series at the end. high-end with 1080p resolution, with all systems using dynamic resolution scaling to maintain performance. There’s also ray-tracing support, 120Hz functionality – basically everything you’d expect from the experience – but thankfully no porpoising, which means playing the sport avoids this year’s controversy.

For console users at least, F1 22 changes where it needs to. Obviously, the new cars, liveries and drivers are in place, while the circuits are adjusted to match their real-life counterparts, with a small improvement in detail. Similar to last year’s offering, ray-traced reflections are also part of the mix. However, once again, the ray-tracing features only engage in non-race sections on console, such as replays, which come with a 30fps drop. Interestingly, the Xbox Series consoles (even the Series S) seem to benefit from some RT reflections in the cockpit not found on PS5 or even PC – likely a bug or omission. The good news for PC users is that RT can be enabled throughout the game itself, but with a huge performance penalty.

Another win all round: ray-traced transparencies are a new feature of the F1 22, adding a reflective property to transparent materials such as glass. Most notably, this shows up in the new list of supercars – where glass windshields are included – and as such they’re easy to spot in the game’s new F1 Life showrooms in the main menu. RT transparencies are a neat extra touch that works beautifully with existing RT effects, such as highlights and shadows. It appears as an all-new toggle on PC and is included on PS5, Xbox Series X, and even Model S.

Beyond this minor variation between machines, the differences are few, except for a strange multicolored artifact under the cars in the pre-race scenes – only visible on the PS5 version. But that’s the extent of the differences next to the Series X, and most other settings look identical. When it comes to the Series S, it’s remarkable how close it is to its more powerful counterpart. By accepting that it runs at a quarter of the resolution, at 1080p, it pushes a very similar end result in cutscenes and gameplay. The only noticeable downside on the Series S is that ray-traced reflections are rendered at a lower resolution.

F1 22 compared on PS5, Xbox Series and PC – plus comparisons to last year’s series entry.

On the surface, then, there are gains on the console for this year’s installment – albeit small. Perhaps the biggest additions this year are on PC with VR support making a difference. F1 22 is now compatible with a range of PC-based VR headsets, perfectly suited to the cockpit view. This is a PC-exclusive feature for now, with Codemasters telling us there are no plans for PSVR2 support yet, but hopefully the team will reconsider releasing the helmet. Also new on PC is support for Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology. There are also plans to add AMD’s FSR 2.0 equivalent down the road, but for now support for VR headsets, DLSS and additional ray tracing features show the PC is in a sweet spot. . And honestly, for anyone wanting to use the best settings in the game – like all ray tracing toggles – DLSS support makes a big difference in controlling performance.

The last point is the subject of performance. To cut to the chase, the PS5 and Series X are handled flawlessly, with the standard 60Hz mode providing a nearly flawless experience, which applies even during peak stress points. Heavy rain, max car count and driving on a complex track like Monaco don’t move the needle and even the S-series holds its own with a solid 60fps.

A final word on 120Hz mode – also known as performance mode. This one is just for the PS5 and Series X, and I noticed a difference here that favors the PS5 slightly. Running the same stress points – over Monaco, max cars, wet weather – there’s barely a blip on the PS5 playback. It’s a rock-solid 120fps, usually v-synced. However, it seems the Series X has more issues retaining v-sync. While maintaining close to 120fps all the time, there are regular signs of screen tearing on the latest version, but honestly you’d be hard-pressed to catch it in full motion at 120fps anyway. The refresh is too fast and the artifact too subtle. It’s really more of a nitpick, and the frame rate is pretty much locked at 120fps. VRR should, of course, clarify this.

Overall, F1 22 feels more like another step up on console after last year’s explosion of next-gen features like ray tracing and 120Hz. This time we’re getting a suite of optimizations and fixes, and exciting new features for PC such as VR support, DLSS – plus improved RT support across all formats. On the plus side, as one of the most demanding racing games on PC, it’s impressive how smoothly the PS5, Series X and S run it at 60fps. The only sore point is that F1 22 misses last year’s Braking Point campaign – a story mode charting the rise of a young F1 driver, via CG cutscenes. There was potential in the idea, it made the show feel pretty literal, and it feels like it was thrown away. In its place we get F1 Life mode – a showroom for your cars – but hopefully we’ll see some form of story mode return to the series. Here and now at least, F1 22 doesn’t revolutionize the series, but apart from a few minor bugs, it offers everything you expect from the game.

Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/f1-2022-incremental-upgrades-improve-an-already-solid-experience

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