Formula One started late this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The Austrian race began the season on the 5th of July a full 110 days later than usual. Races will all be held behind closed doors with no access for spectators. Thankfully the game is still here to get your fix and this time you are not just a driver.
As with all racing games these days, you start with a needless character creator, and this has 48 faces to choose from. Pick all the attributes you want and start. what is new this year that it goes a step further. You aren’t just creating a driver, you are creating a team to go up against the likes of Williams and HAAS etc.
You don’t just pick the team name or colours, but you opt for a certain sponsor and even an engine supplier. Using your budget wisely you can hire a team mate and as with the other games earn money to upgrade your R&D departments to ultimately improve your vehicle.
The management goes further. You are responsible for what your team do during the ‘off days’ and how best to use your time away from racing. Selecting PR events or team training days to improve different statistics of your overall team. You might think this could be overwhelming, but it can be automated for those who may get intimidated by the intricacies. Most of the tutorials are voiced and guide you through new and old features.
You still control all the races and of course you can ‘simulate’ the results if you want. Accessibility settings are still as good as they have ever been with now infamous 110 levels of AI difficulty as well as full control of customising assist options. It is up to you how challenging you want the game to be. You can even shrink the length of the season by reducing the amount of venues in the tournament from 22 down to 10.
The shine of the visuals has worn off over the years. Figuratively and literally it seems. For some reasons the cars look flat and everything looks very samey. Even down to the same end of race interviewer who appears to be in every game and doesn’t age. The weather effects are still sublime, especially the rain, this game always does good rain and this year they took it up a notch. Visibility is a few metres and water sprays everywhere. Driving at hundreds of miles an hour in these conditions is truly treacherous but at the same time thrilling, this is made worse when you are on an unfamiliar track such as the new addition of the Hanoi Street Circuit. Thankfully the rewind function is still present, however, it initiates slower than what you find in other racing games like MotoGP for instance.
A few other niggles and something the series has always struggled with are the load times. These are exacerbated by the amount of rounds you need to go through per race. Three practice rounds, a qualifier and then the race. Even skipping them takes ages. Loading the race is the worst and for the first time the game hung on a black screen for what seems like 15 seconds before every race, not good at all.
Split-screen gaming is back for the first time in the series since 2014! It can’t have comeback in a better year. You may have two people in a household that want to game but only have one console. This time they can play against each other on the same screen.
The promise of no load times for next generation consoles isn’t quite here just yet, so you might have to bear with the slow load times. You may also not care about managing an F1 team, but it could be something you didn’t realise you enjoy. F1 2020 is perfect for fans and the accessibility options make it perfect for newcomers too. I would recommend if you haven’t played this franchise in quite a while, it is a great time to jump in.
- Replay Value