Reviews

F1 2018 review -Spoilers Everywhere

F1 2018 sees Codemasters successful return to the driving simulator genre and secures their path to redemption following a rough few years behind the wheel. With a release date timed within the current F1 mid season break, this gives F1 fanatics a perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in the most accurate F1 experience to date.

In the current racing genre scene, the driving simulator space is becoming a little over saturated and quite frankly dull. Which is a real shame in this reviewer’s opinion, F1 2018 builds on the franchises solid foundation to bring variation and a fresh take on the driving sim genre. The R&D department at Codemasters have gone to incredible extremes to provide players with an authentic F1 experience. This is covered in the promotion material in the run up to F1 2018s release, this can be found on ReggieReviews.com social media.

As with most simulation games, character models always seem a little off and void of love. F1 2018 is no exception; Featuring the many children of the Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Smeagol (Gollum), character focused parts of the game can be a little of putting at best.

Car Role Playing Game?

RPG elements are surprisingly present  in the form of press conferences and interviews. One had better explain that last sentence; Players will receive certain buffs on car parts for the way they act and talk in conferences and interviews. For example; If players decide to pick speech options that rip the teams engineers apart, drivers will find only standard parts available.

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However, if players favour the Engineers this will increase the team morale thus providing players with higher quality parts. Drivers are also gauged between Sportsmanship and Showmanship, both of these factors as well as choice words help define the players career in, well, career mode! This is the crown jewel of F1 2018, one has never had so much fun in a driving sim before!

Starting from scratch, players are forced to cut their teeth and burn rubber along the long road to the F1 finish line. This is where the aforementioned press conferences and interviews come into play. F1 2018 isn’t about being first straight off the bat, it’s about learning the various tracks, shaving seconds off your lap times and customising ones ‘whip’. This reviewer has come to realise that F1 is about being a sportsman that has the charm and ability to woo higher level teams in order to climb the ranks whilst working on performance behind the wheel.

Stop, Drop and Change Those Tyres!

F1 2018 makes a point of making sure players are looking after their rides during laps, pit stops are a must at regular intervals. Whilst this sounds like a hindrance, it’s actually quite accurate and a lot of fun managing the car itself. Especially upgrading certain parts to give that edge over the competition on that one difficult corner for example.

Career mode is not for the faint hearted, featuring full length tracks and races which can last for up to two hours. Don’t worry, although that sounds like a long time, players are able to save during the matches. Thank the maker! With all the immersion featured in F1 2018, this writer was even considering a steering wheel setup. But alas, Steering wheels doth butter no parsnips where ones bank balance is concerned!

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This reviewer was baffled when he tried to race without any driving aids switched on, suddenly the world made absolutely no sense. Within minutes the training wheels were back on! The sheer range of cars players can get their hands on however is amazing, including classic cars from 70’s and 80’s F1 series. A fine example would be Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312 T2. This model is accompanied by a series of cars that were featured in 2013’s ‘Rush’ which told the story of the bitter rivalry between drivers Hunt and Lauda.

N00B Friendly Whips

As a newcomer to the F1 series, one was surprised to find the title accommodating for fresh faces such as mine. The games ‘Event Mode’ brings an arcade aspect to the title, adding that pick up and play feature that balances out F1 2018s hardcore career mode. Codemasters have done a superb job of recreating iconic tracks, cars and more in F1 2018. Playing this title on a PlayStation 4 Pro via a 4K TV is breathtaking. F1 2018 is one of the best candidates for photo realism this year.

Even the rumble feature in the Dualshock 4 controller has been tricked out, making players feel every skid and bout of torque the tracks have to offer. Again, a brilliant way to immerse players. The sound engineering is painstakingly well thought out. Every twist, turn, clash and buckle is documented in the games encyclopedia of sound effects. This comes in a complete package full of ambience and authentic background noise.

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Verdict:

Graphics and Presentation: 4

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 4.5

Overall Score: 4.2 / 5.0

F1 2018 has actually made this reviewer take an interest in the sport. One remembers watching F1 on TV and being bewildered by the spectacle of watching cars doing laps for hours. But now  one knows the sheer skill it takes to control these beasts, the amount of engineering finesse it takes to get the best performance from them and the thrill of being an F1 driver. This is truly a brilliant homage to the craft and feel very lucky to have such a comprehensive introduction to it. But the character models are pretty shitty…

 

Platforms: PlayStation 4 Pro (Reviewed), Xbox One and Steam

Release Date: 24/08/2018

Price: £54.99 (PlayStation Store)

Publisher: Codemasters

Developer: Codemasters

Pegi Rating: 7+

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