People are always skeptical about annualized licensed video games. They don’t often turn out to be as good and developers are known for reusing the same assets and gameplay design over and over. In such cases, there are a couple of ways to make sure that developers have delivered a quality product.
One is to compare it to last year’s iteration and compare the improvements while the second is to see how realistic it is. In the case of F1 2017, Codemasters have done a tremendous job of making sure they not only deliver a quality product but one that is as realistic as it can be right now.
They say the real-world formula is too complicated – managing tires, saving fuel, pit stop strategizing. However, the new F1 game from Codemasters doesn’t care what the critics say, it does not try to downplay these elements and instead uses them as highlighted features.
F1 2017 Review
Codemasters managed to turn every granular detail into an enjoyable element of F1 2017. You not only enjoy the experience but it actually challenges you to pay attention to different aspects. For instance, driving is a tremendous experience… speeding, changing gears, feeling the rubber burn. However, at the same time, you need to make sure you keep an eye on the information readouts on the HUD.
Similar to last year’s game, you can check to see how much fuel you are using second-to-second. Also, projected laps remaining are being shown to two decimal places. You can plan your run in a way that you are left with enough all out boost for the remaining laps.
The fuel meter holds sway over pretty much every single aspect of your driving. And keeping it under control, manipulating it until it does your bidding is an incredibly satisfying mini-game on its own. But there are crucial other factors to keep in mind than just fuel.
Reliability of your vehicle and keeping it in top notch shape is no easy task as you are limited to a set number of power units throughout the season. Pushing your car too much could result in untimely engine changes affecting your run. It would also result in a grid penalty.
It may get a little overwhelming for newcomers but F1 2017 teaches you these conservative nuances along the way. Similar to F1 2016, there are three pre-race practice sessions where you are given scores to beat. The platform is designed to gauge your driving style and teach you how to drive on different tracks.
The ‘acclimatisation’ challenge is making a come back this year to teach you the racing line and the speed required for optimal lap times, tire management, and how to handle your car. The entire process helps you shape into a stronger driver.
What’s interesting is that the data gathered through your test runs is translated into proper strategies for the Grand Prix. Moreover, completing challenges result in Research & Development points gain to help you upgrade your car. The R&D section is where Codemasters had made some changes and improvements. There is now an RPG like Skill-Tree system in place.
Close to 120 upgrades are available for R&D points, the system is fairly simple and easy to understand. You gradually move through the ranks and get more upgrades for your car. Keep in mind that there are chances that development for a certain component could go south which is something you can keep in check by spending early points on improving the odds of a successful development.
This is another element that demands attention and adds depth to the overall experience.
But all of this combined makes life hard for newcomers and casual players. There are too much information and gameplay elements of understanding. This year’s iteration is clearly geared toward hardcore F1 fans. The entire game is built around the career mode. But there is a Championship mode for the novice, allowing them to sidestep the R&D structure.
In short, F1 2017 is for the hardcore Formula One fan who already understands the technicalities and strategies of this sport. The competitive element at the heart of this game is incredible and always gives you something to go after. There is a rivalry system in place that adds repercussions to the results of each race. Then there are downloadable scenarios for those who like to push up the leaderboards.
But not everything is rosy!
Classic content is making a comeback this year with driveable classic cars if you get the special edition. Unfortunatly, classic drivers are missing this time around which kills the overall appeal of this title for hardcore F1 fans. There are also no classic helmets as well.
Still, these minor issues don’t change the fact that F1 2017 is a phenomenal Formula One experience.