Most racing games these days have a pretty straightforward single-player experience, asking players to jump online if they want realistic racing and more on-track action.
From Gran Turismo 7 to iRacing and Assetto Corsa, racing against the AI can be a bit bland and simple. That is not usually the case with the Formula 1 series.
Usually, Codemasters' F1 games give you a great race against AI, be it in one-off races or career mode. Until F1 22 that is.
A major issue that has been plaguing F1 22 since launch is the speed AI cars can reach on straights.
This was not apparent in review builds, where the AI felt similar to previous years, but since release players have been watching the AI simply fly away from them on straights.
It's not immediately noticeable on some tracks, but ones with an especially slow corner that opens onto a long straight like Miami and Baku it is a PROBLEM.
We were losing around 0.8s a lap against AI on the main straight in Azerbaijan, making the race a frustrating and pointless exercise.
Even F1 Esports champion Jarno Opmeer has been losing time into straights against the AI.
Codemasters are aware of this issue and seemingly working on a fix, but the game has been out for nearly a month now and there has only been one post-launch patch.
What is even more worrying is that it's not the only issue with the AI drivers this year.
It's not just the hyperdrive of AI cars that is a problem. There is an element of wild and dangerous driving creeping into the AI in F1 22.
Reddit user u/freshlemon58 posted this clip of Daniel Ricciardo losing it in bizarre fashion at the Miami hairpin, while u/pcutta112 was left getting T-boned by a Red Bull in Brazil.
These incidents are more reminiscent of arcade racers, not a simcade like F1.
They are also things that we rarely saw in previous games. AI mistakes have been around for a while, but they would usually have a reasonable degree of self-preservation. Not diving into a corner on a line that was obviously going to end with them in the wall.
In F1 22 it seems like they are easier to spook into lockups, more readily going for lunges, and generally racing like it is an open lobby with damage off.
The above is from our race in Bahrain where Sebastian Vettel went for a mad lunge into turn 10 and overshot the apex like he was playing Mario Kart.
The whole thing has left single-player, the thing the F1 franchise did the best out of anyone in racing, completely unplayable.
While online races are well populated as it is early in the game's cycle, the majority of players put their effort into my team and Career Mode. Hunting to become F1 Champion is an allure no other racing game can offer. But if it isn't fun to race the AI, players will just drift away.
When will it be fixed?
We know Codemasters is working on the next patch, and we hope AI improvements will be in it.
The hope was that it would arrive at the start of this week, but nothing materialised.
The problem is so bad that they had to quote tweet their own community issues thread underneath their accolades trailer on Monday as players were irate.
We hope the issue will be fixed quickly, and without any further problems with the AI arrising. F1 22 is great fun to drive, with the new cars asking a lot of drivers and forcing an adaptation in setups, style, and even line occasionally.
But with the AI in the state it is currently, the joy has gone out of the game. We hope Codies can bring it back.
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