Wednesday, 29 August 2018 13:54

REVIEW: F1 2018 (Xbox One)

Written by Melekharn
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I was quite excited when offered the opportunity to review F1 2018 by the boss people at MKAU as I have recently started playing a few more racing games than normal. F1 met my expectations before solidly planting its foot on the accelerator, screamed that familiar high pitched whine and blew past them. Never have I played a more immersive and realistic game. Codemasters once again prove they are the leaders when it comes to racing games. But F1 2018 is no ordinary racing game; this is a simulator, and one that gives you the complete experience at that.

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount to comment on. The game shares similar controls to almost every other racing game on the market; the graphics are nice and crisp, as you would expect from a game boasting HDR and 4K UHD support and it offers a number of different play styles as you would come to expect. You don’t really notice anything different until you actually started your first race. F1 2018 wants you to feel as though you are actually an F1 race driver.

The main game revolves around career mode; where you take on the role of your avatar, living the life of a F1 driver. You’ll need to participate in practice laps to help tune your car, make decisions while on the track that directly affect the performance of your car and above all, you’ll be expected to race “The Gentleman’s race.”

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You will be penalised for bumping into other racers, reprimanded for overtaking an opponent when you’re not allowed to and possibly even disqualified for breaking multiple rules. The entire experience can be quite frustrating for people who don’t play too many games in the racing genre, as it you will quite often be used to using dirty and cheap tactics to gain the advantage.

For gamers returning from F1 2017; the biggest addition to the game is Claire, an in-game journalist who will follow you as your progress your career. She’ll ask you a number of questions every so often and you’ll have a short amount of time to answer as best you can – but your responses will directly affect your standing with your team, potentially costing you valuable car upgrades. In terms of game play, a few minor tweaks to vehicles performance and how it responds to player’s input and effect from the track or environment will help to make the player feel more like they are in control. For those of you who enjoy racing in first person, you’ll also find that Codemaster have followed suit with the addition of the Halo ring – a new safety device installed onto real life F1 cars designed to help reduce the risk of fatality, but at the cost of reduced field of view while driving.

Graphically, the game is beautiful. A whole lot of work was put into the cars; nice crisp lines and fantastic attention to detail, which is definitely reinforced by 4K UHD HDR support if you’re running a system that supports it. Simple details like the grass on the side of the track have been meticulously textured and animated; a detail that would quite often be overlooked, as you zip around a track at over 200km/h. Beyond the immediate track, details are generally kept to a minimum. Even characters within the game haven’t had as much attention lavished upon them, looking almost emotionless as they talk. Not a huge downside, as the focus is very heavily on the cars; making sure they look great and handle as close to real life as possible.

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F1 2018 sports a very minimal sound track. Don’t expect to be racing around the track with speakers blasting your favourite tunes. Instead you’ll be enjoying the orchestra that is 19 other extreme performance cars racing around the track; the occasional buzz of an aircraft as it flies overhead, and the cheering of the crowd. Each manufacturer’s vehicle has its own distinct engine sound, different parts of the track produce sounds so real you’ll be convinced you’re sitting right there. In between career mode races, the game has an abundance of voice acting, with almost every race being opened by what could almost be likened to watching the opening of a real world Formula 1 race, with commentators chatting away about who is in pole position; who the underdog is, and what they would expect from the race. Perhaps in my eyes; this was a little over done, but it certainly adds to the realism of the game.

Initial impressions of the game were mixed. I was both excited by the concept of the game; eagerly awaiting my first interview with Claire, but I also found the game to be quite difficult to simply pick up. Even when playing with assists switched on, the car wasn’t the easiest to control and maintaining a good racing line wasn’t the easiest thing to achieve. The smallest mistake on the thumb sticks would send me careening into a wall or another racer, quite often causing disqualification or loss of position or the car to be wrecked. Not completely understanding the rules of Formula 1 racing and no obvious tutorials made racing quite difficult when compared to other racing games I have played in the past. For a new player, unless they were heavily into Formula 1, I feel this game would be returned to where they bought it from quickly. But for those who wish to stick with the game and master it, or for those who are returning from previous titles, it is incredibly well executed. F1 2018 really gives you a sense of being in the driver’s seat and making the hard choices that will impact your team and your career within the world of Formula 1.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Codemasters
  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Genre: Racing