F1-2018-Review F1 2018 Review

   12/09/2018 at 14:16       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 5/5
 - Racing, F1, Sim, Xbox One, PS4

Review by Rich Boulton.

 

Codemasters’ F1 series has been enjoying a steady rise in quality over the past few years, culminating in 2017’s very complete package. It offered a strong and engaging career mode, some classic content, fantastic on track racing with excellent AI, and decent online options. So where next for a franchise that needs to appear on the shelves precisely 12 months later?

The answer is, in many ways, more of the same. There is no great overhaul here, and on paper the additions sound worryingly like desperate attempts to justify the purchase to consumers. Improved tyre model, media interviews, ERS management, expanded classic lineup. You would be forgiven for feeling underwhelmed and cautious heading into this year's entry.

Get out on track though, and you may immediately begin to have those worries washed away. Codies have heavily pushed the handling updates in the marketing, and the line they try to walk between sim racers and casual fans with only triggers and an analog stick is one fraught with danger. Delightfully though, it's walked with the grace of a high wire act. There are two important take aways from the rubber-on-concrete action - firstly that if you have a wheel and experience with more complex sims, you will notice a great deal more depth than last year, much improved feedback, and a far more engaging game as a result. Secondly, if that all sounds like a terrible bore and you just want to fly past a screaming red German in your Sauber without spending hours fine tuning your braking points, you can absolutely still do that too. The nature of F1 cars means that even at semi-realistic settings they stick to the ground, can brake very late, and mostly just like to go where you point them. 

Myself then, even as the guy with a wheel who can spend three hours circling one track in one car on my own just to shave three tenths off through setup improvements, F1 2018 has something to offer. It feels much deeper, but still offers the power fantasy of racing at the pinnacle of motorsport without actually having to be good enough to get there. It's undeniably a more relaxing time than a true sim, and that's a great thing in a game where the license is the draw. More than anything though, here you can experience wheel to wheel AI racing like no other game will present to you, and in a way that even the real sport can't manage regularly. Your competitors are aggressive but rarely stupidly so, certainly no more than you see in the real world. They are also, and this is the key thing, consistent both within themselves, with each other, and with the options available to the player. Here you will never see the AI taking corners at speeds physically impossible for you to match, and not often going much slower than they need to, as long as you have found a comfortable difficulty setting.

With racing this good, the rest is really a bonus. The career mode is much as it was, the ERS, extra practice programmes, altered R&D, and media interviews just adding a little more depth. The list of classic cars and circuits continues to grow and with the customised one off championships, you could easily get a full games worth of enjoyment without ever touching the standard career mode. The online has also been beefed up with safety ratings, fast becoming a welcome new standard for racing games, making it much less of a free for all.

The rest you already know - it's an F1 game from Codies. Just rest assured that it's the best one yet, by a comfortable margin, and genuinely offers something no other racing game can even beyond its license, with the best pure racing against AI you can find. If you're even slightly tempted, go ahead and do yourself a favour. Buy this game, and look forward to hours of fun.

Stars
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Better late than never, eh Ror?
 
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Enjoyed this, cheers!
 
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