The new F1 season is just around the corner, and just like every year Codemasters once again has the license for the official game. Did they add enough to this yearly franchise to make it a must buy?
Right off the bat you are given the choice of an avatar, a selection of pre-made faces are presented to you; a total of 38 male and 7 female faces, just one more than last year. After this you can select an audio tag, finally the developers have added more non-English surnames to the selection, and finally I could pick “Hussain” for the first time in ANY game! It’s novel to hear the announcer call out your name when reading out the top 3 positions. There are 4 options on the menu; a Career, Grand Prix, Multiplayer and Time Trial mode. Sadly the ‘Events’ and ‘Championships’ modes from last year has been removed. The time trial mode gives you the option to chose between classic and modern cars and set a time that will put you onto an online leader board, this will be quite addictive for many players.
The main draw for these games are the Career modes and the ability to step into the shoes of an F! driver. Thankfully it is much easier than the real thing, and with the 110 levels of AI difficulty you can tune your experience any way you want. If you enjoy thrashing the AI then set it low, but if you want to be truly challenged you can do that. From ‘Very Easy’ to ‘Ultimate’ there is something for any player.
You will then race all of the 21 grand prix stages across the world. Each is broken up into a ‘Race Weekend’. Here you have 3 separate practice stages where you are able to tweak and test out any adjustments made to the car and then move on to the qualifying and ultimately the race. All of these stages can be skipped, even the race! You can ‘Simulate’ the results, but chances are you won’t get a podium this way. You will also miss out on the ‘Resource Points’ that are earned after every event.
Most improved on last year or should I say more streamlined this year is the way you spend your points on the vehicle upgrades. The options have halved to make it easier to digest, and you also have the ‘recommended upgrade’ option to simplify things.