F1 (known as Formula 1 or Formula One) is a very popular sports in England on the whole and many other parts of the world. Why, would you ask, and the simple reason would be the sheer amount of technicality, tension and reward. So how well then has Codemasters fared in recreating the famous sport? Let’s find out.
I would kill you now if you ask me for a story. There isn’t any. The game starts simply with your garage man (that’s what I am going to call him now) introducing him and the F1 sports. He gives a list of some F1 teams who are willing to hire you as their driver for the current season, and your first season (rookie season). Choose a team and start cracking the season with nineteen races in the season. Really, it’s as simple as that.
Getting into a little in-depth, there are nineteen individual tracks too (each track for a grand prix, figures). When you select a new track, you first practice on it, then enter the qualifying session and finally race. Whether conditions also vary and some drivers have their favorite tracks on which they are particularly difficult to beat. In each track you get a qualifying objective and a race objective. If you beat the objectives you earn XP and your drivers rank progresses. Some tracks also have an R&D (Research and Development) objective in practice sessions where they require you to beat a pre-set time in order to gain upgrades for your car. New FIAA regulations are also applied and new features like KERS and DRS are also there. You also have a team-mate and if you prove yourself to be a better driver than your team-mate, your team will promote you to the number one driver in the team, meaning that you’ll get the upgrades prior to your team-mate and whatever settings you apply to your car would be set to your team-mate’s car as well. So you cram on your talent and start racing other teams and basically end the season satisfying your constructor’s objective (constructor is your team’s owner like Lotus or Mercedes, etc.). As and when you perform good, bigger teams start to become interested in you and offer you a place in their teams. You cannot however change teams while in an active season.
So about the parameters, I say that the sounds are almost genuine and the graphics are amazing, but then it’s not a wonder provided it’s from Codemasters (already known to develop and publish brilliant quality games). The tracks are surprisingly accurate, from the angle from every bend to the apex to the smaller details like bumps on a corner to unsettle a poor chassis (well I know a lot about vehicle technicality, so…), every track is almost photorealistic. Spectators are crappy (as usual in any racing game) but then most of the time you’ll not be concentrating on them. Plus the simulation of tire and brake wear, different temperatures and fuel consumption is very real. The AI is also fantastic, although it seems like the opponents are very innocent and always play good and clean, in reality though, frustration is bound to occur at some point.
I will be lying if I said anything about the multiplayer feature. I am really sorry, I didn’t try it out. I really can’t comment anything here. Although I’ve heard its great as it is.
And what are the disadvantages? The technicality I would say is a bit too steep and the game seems to a simpler bet for the ones already profound about their automotive technical know-how. While the ones with no idea what front splitters do, how rear spoiler benefits, what brake-pad size would be good, what should be the balance and on track over-steer stands better than under-steer, sorry folks, you’ll have to Google a lot if you’re planning to play on a harder difficulty. Then there are technical bugs like on some tracks, kissing the apex would result in a corner-cutting penalty, apparently, and on some corners you can happily tread the wheels on the grass to cut a corner without any penalty.
You know what? Reviewing a racing game is the devil’s own job. You never know unless you try it out yourself. The game is really great in almost every aspect and please if you are cribbing about a few minor details then know that there is no game yet that is perfect. But as far as I am concerned, I think this is really a fantastic job done by Codemasters in creating a truthful recreation of the sport. Whatever score I am giving this game, Codemasters deserves that.