Friday, 22 September 2017 06:10

REVIEW: F1 2017 (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale
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If there's a racing game that is the official of all official games in motorsport its F1 right off the bat. It's the cream of the crop with realism and authenticity in any videogame based on a real racing sport. This year I was blown away after many years of not playing any F1 game and you’ll soon read why.

When it comes to Formula One on television it's a sport you’ll either love or hate, the same goes for the video games. Codemasters make fantastic games, whether it's rally or formula one, it's what they do best. It’s that much harder making an official game because they have no leeway compared to a fictional game where there are no rules. Formula One is a pristine sport where you can't let anything slide. Cut a corner you’ll pay for it, hit another driver and you can bet no one turns a blind eye. But that’s what die hard fans want, sure you're still in front of a television but that doesn't mean you can't feel as though you're in deep from following the the rules of the track and being as close to realism when driving the power of a V12 engine.

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F1 2017 is a game full of goodies, from single player to online multiplayer. There is more content for those playing alone from Time Trials, Events, Championships, Grand Prix and an in depth Career Mode. F1 2017 has 20 real life locations as seen on television, with the 20 tracks there are 4 short variants, along with 10 official 2017 teams along with many official drivers including, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel plus 10 official 2017 cars along with 12 classic cars from decades ago. You'll race in Australia to China, Britain & Abu Dhabi all to which look nothing short from the real locations. There are some game settings you can tweak, custom controls, audio, graphics, on screen display and the camera options as well as been able to turn off and on the auto save feature.

The purpose of a racing game is solely to race, and why would Formula One be any different? You’ll need to be driving at a very fast pace to stay ahead of all the other drivers. A good way of knowing the tracks is to use the racing line green for flat out acceleration, yellow to slow down and red to hit the breaks. Once you get the handling down pat you’ll only need to tap the breaks before pulling your trigger down to take off again. You can play with a controller as most of us do, but you can also play using a wheel and pedal system which would give a far more realistic driving experience. But be sure to not cut corners or run into other drivers as penalties are throw at you like there going out of fashion. You can play without being flagged for cutting corners and what not but hey, playing that way just doesn’t feel right. In the case of a big stuff up flashbacks can be used, it’ll take you back a bit and you can continue on like nothing ever happened.

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Single player is the hub of F1 2017. Ill speak of each mode in a brief way to give a small insight for everything in the game. Events, it’s here that a downloadable course of an already existing track is made available for you to try getting as high on the leaderboard as you can. You’ll have a goal or goals to complete and this will renew each week. Then we get Time Trials, here is a good way to learn tracks without worrying about other drivers, the goal is to set the fastest times, wet or dry. Championships has two parts, first is championships that you’ll unlock with stars you earn in career mode the other is invitational events, you’ll do overtaking challenges as well as checkpoint ones among others. Then we move to Grand Prix, here you can do one or up to 21 after the other, you’ll be able to change the number of laps, AI difficulty, weather and assists. The biggest part of single player is the career mode, which is 10 seasons of 20 grand prix to take part in such as practice runs, qualify and race. There is a lot that goes on between races, like upgrades and tyre allocations, some of it is complex while other parts are easier to understand. You’ll take offers from teams and have goals to attempt at doing in each grand prix. It will take many hours to complete just one season so to complete all ten would take you a fair bit of time but it’s a well planned out career mode that fans will enjoy.

F1 2017 supports HDR on both PS4 and Xbox One S. Giving it a bit of a kick with the games colours, which looks quite nice. Overall F1 2017 has top notch graphics, however there are some moments where screen tearing is highly noticeable. The amount of detail with some aspects of the game were unreal, example, depending on the camera view you use whilst driving when behind or even near another car, from the back you’ll see the fuel fumes bellowing out the exhaust and when you go off track onto grass you'll see grass sticking to your tyres until you get back onto the tarmac. Track surfaces aren't bland, they look great with a huge amount of detail and textures that shows up even more when the track is wet or when it’s raining, puddles are realistic as is the water spray back off the tyres. When it rains you’ll also get water hitting and moving around on your actual television screen. But wet conditions aren't the only thing to have you talking about the realism, even a clear sunny day can also change how the track and cars look, when approaching the sun dead on you’ll feel blinded partially.

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F1 2017 has to be one of the nicest looking games on console, at least for a racing game. Down to the driver character models everyone looks in proportion as they do in the real world. The HUD is standard, speedo, lap times and positions for yourself and drivers either ahead or behind you. Normally when I play a racing game i'm a third person driver, sure i’ll drive in the cockpit if there is an achievement requiring me to do so but other then that i'm watching from outside the vehicle. Though when I was playing F1 2017 I loved the cockpit view or even the just above the helmet view suited me, but incase you want to know the camera views there is the far chase view, near chase, wing, nose, tv pod, tv pod offset and cockpit and as always go with whatever feels most comfortable. Audio sounds good, from music on the loading screens to the roar of the V12 engines, and there is Jeff the pesky guy who talks to you over the radio whilst racing.

Multiplayer is where you can face others showing off your Formula One skills if you got the guts that is. There is a public match making option, custom game and online championships. Online can be fun, it's a mixed bag when it comes to who you’ll race against from people that are pros at the game to the n00bs you’ll put in there place. There is a chance you’ll be put with other regions around the world which can give either yourself or others a bad connection but for the most part I had no dramas. Finding a game is pretty quick, though nothing stop players backing out of a lobby.

It's been awhile since i've watched F1 on television or even playing a game of F1, but for any people still deciding whether or not to buy F1 2017 the choice is simple buy it. It’s got great visuals but gameplay is not perfect as there is always room for improvement but it works well, the realism is the cherry on top. There is many hours to play across all tracks aswell has the championship events.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Codemasters
  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Genre: Racing, Simulation