F1 2019 – Review

Devon Butler, remember that name because I’m going to humiliate him so badly that he will never want to be remembered again!

Developer: Codemasters
Players: 1
Platform: PC, Xbox One & PS4
Genre: Racing / Sports / Simulation / Driving
Price: £44.99 for Anniversary Edition £54.99 for Legends Edition

This product was received for free

Formula 1 is back and this year it’s bigger and better than ever, somehow it looks better than it ever has too. F1 2019 challenges you to defeat your rivals in the most ambitious F1 game yet. F1 2019 features all the official teams, drivers and all 21 circuits from the season. This year sees the inclusion of F2 with players able to compete in the 2018 season.

What’s it about?

If for some strange reason you don’t know about Forumla 1 it is widely considered to be the pinnacle of Motorsport with races all across the globe and F1 2019 let’s you relive every moment of the race calendar as you battle practice each and every corner over and over until you achieve perfection and those precision thousands of a second knocked off your time. As you battle for grid position taking risks that could see you out of the race but ultimately could win you the race. All the adrenaline and drama of F1 is here in the game.

I think the last F1 game I played was 2016 and since then a lot has changed in the game most notably for me has been the amount of customisation, research, and tweaking you can do to your car’s setup. I’m not normally one for getting really stuck in to that side of racing games and I prefer to just race, but it’s hard not to tweak the settings just a little bit to see how much difference they make and they really do make the difference.

One other big change for this year has been the inclusion of Formula 2 and that is where your career starts off. You will play out a few of the races from the 2018 F2 season with the results of those races and how you act when talking in press conferences apparently impacting who you can then sign with in F1. The thing is, is that once I’d completed my F2 season – which I won, I had the pick of the litter and could choose any team I wanted, so I’m not sure how much of an impact my actions actually had and I ended up joining Redbull Racing.

Look & Feel

Every year it’s tough to imagine racing games getting better visuals, but somehow they pull it off and F1 2019 is no different, every car is wonderfully recreated, each track is perfectly reconstructed and even the character models all bare a good resemblance to their real life counter parts. But the impressiveness of the game doesn’t just stop at how it looks, it runs super smooth on PC (I’m running a GTX1060) with high and stable framerates across every race no matter if you’re on your own or stuck in them middle of the pack surrounded by other cars. I’ve also not encountered a single bug, nothing, not even a slight little issue which is mighty impressive.

Racing games are all about how the game feels though, how the cornering of the cars feel, whether the changes you make to your car actually do anything to the handling or braking or accelerating out of corners and as I’ve said, there is a really good amount of deep to the games customisation that feels like it has an impact on your car come race day.

The handling of the cars in the game feels really great too, I’m playing using an Xbox One controller and it feels great, you can accurately attack corners which I think is a hugely important thing especially if you’re playing on the higher difficulties (which I’m not) where every second counts. There is also a noticable difference between other cars, the tyre compounds and how much they’ve worn away. It’s all really impressive stuff.

Drama

I’m not sure if this was in last years F1 game, but there is a rivalry system in this years iteration and it starts back in F2 where you have an on-going season rivalry with Devon Butler, he’s the typical sports jock guy who thinks he’s better than everyone else and when he looses it’s never his fault. It hate him, but not because he’s a character who you grow to hate and build this rivalry with, more because he’s very two dimensional and really isn’t much of a rival, I wiped the floor with him when we moved to F1 and he wasn’t even finishing in the top 5 sometimes. It felt like a really odd rivalry to squeeze in to the game. But I understand why it doesn’t work because unless the game is fixed then how do you build a proper rivalry and story around it? For me I just don’t think it needs to be in the game, I don’t think it really added much.

Customisation

F1 2019 features an immense amount of customisation, where you can tinker with your cars setup for practice, qualifying and the race to your hearts content. But it doesn’t end there, you also have access to full research and development trees with loads of options to sink your credits in to. In order to earn credits you can complete team objectives and objectives when running practice sessions like tyre wear tests, fuel efficiency tests etc… What I liked about these tests is that to me they didn’t just feel like padding, a lot of them actually made me drive better and get better use out of my car, it made me understand the cornering for tracks, when and where to accelerate and basically how to get the best out of my car.

Lots to research

The vast customisation extends beyond the gameplay and this is something that I really valued. You can choose to run full practice and qualifying sessions, you can choose to skip them, you can choose one shot qualifying where you just do one hot lap. You can also change how long you want races to, everything from 5 laps to a full race. The difficulty scaling works on a points system where you can incrementally increase or decrease the challenge to suit what you like best.

What this achieves is something really important, for those who want to spend hours getting fully immersed in the F1 experience they can, but if you’re someone who think “I’ve only got an hour every now and then” You can still get change the settings so that you can get through a race ‘weekend’ in an hour or less. It caters to almost every kind of player I feel and that’s a really impressive and great attribute to have in the game.

F1 2019 is an excellent game, I don’t think there’s much else to say about it. If you like F1, if you like racing games I don’t see how you can’t enjoy this game.

-Will

One thought on “F1 2019 – Review

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