By James Stephenson
So the Formula 1 Season is at its halfway point, which brings us to the usual timing of Codemasters releasing their famous title F1 2018. So today I will be having the pleasure of providing a review, not just a sport that I like, but also a game that I have enjoyed playing throughout the years.
Firstly I start by saying the game is visually better in graphics, smoothness throughout the game and overall more pleasing on the eye. F1 2018 boasts the same game modes that include a new and updated Career, playing a single Grand Prix, Time Trial, Multiplayer, Online Event and the challenging Championships. So not a lot of changes in the vast content options we have. Trophies look interesting to gain and add another challenge for the eager trophy hunter.
F1 2018 includes a few small additions to firstly talk about. Firstly, the addition of two new circuits, Hockenheim (German GP), and the all-new Circuit Paul Ricard (French GP). The additions of a few new classic cars to drive that make you feel you are racing with the greats. Multiplayer has got a new licence feature to make you race against other players of your calibre. I didn’t test this game mode as the servers were not up at the time of this review.
The main addition/change to F1 2018 is the career. Firstly I have to say, it improves the game massively. I have been saying for a few years that the career in F1 game titles needed to be changed and more personal. So let me dive into the fascinating features.
From the start, there is more personalisation for your avatar, more choice from helmets, to characters, and finally, your name will get spoken during race round up and grid positions.
The career race weekend has the same format as last year with Practice 1, Practice 2, Practice 3, Qualifying and the Race. Practice sessions, beating targets and new team challenges can gain resource points for R&D. The new practice session has been included. You now can learn into the new engine mode of the Energy Recovery System (ERS). This mode was interesting to learn as the car can gain a lot of extra boosts when used correctly.
One of the new addition is you now have interviews after certain sessions throughout the season. This is a lot more interesting as the choices you make determine the outcome of your personality. This can determine many outcomes such as R&D costs & reliability, team interest, other outcomes that can develop during your career. One bad point is that there is a timer on the decision making, this is hard as a lot of the choices take time to read and you have to be quick to answer.
R&D has changed a little with prices, reliability, and different team pathways are determined from the answers you select in interviews and team needs. One plus is that each part costs nearly half of what they did in last years game. This is more of a relief if you pick a team such as Mclaren / Toro Rosso who need a lot of development.
Let me get to the actual point in the game, the RACING. Controls are similar to the last title; with the addition to ERS, you can control that from the MFD. The gameplay is smooth with very little lag; car sounds are good and can be controlled through the options menu.
The AI drivers are a lot more aggressive in this year’s title. Which is good as the AI used to seem too soft especially when driving wheel to wheel round fast corners, they seemed to always back off and lost the place to you. Be aware of your ERS during the race as I had the problem of using too much ERS during the first few laps and had to try to save some for the last few laps defending against rivals.
One addition that I thought was vital, is that the Engine car parts do not deteriorate anywhere near as quick as the previous title. This makes your season a lot more manageable. After 3 races my ICE was only 55% worn which is a lot nicer than changing the part after 2.
With all these positives there are a few negatives. Firstly curbs are the worst. As they have increased the physics of driving the car, they have also increased the realistic problems that are curbs. The fast speed chicane in the Australian GP was horrible to drive around and I lost a lot of lap time around that section.
In addition, the interview questions asked are strange. For example, I finished 3rd in a practice session for the Monaco GP with Renault, and I got questions about the car being slow and hitting walls etc. this may have been planned however it did dampen the mood after the session.
Overall this game is a massive improvement from last years game and I am sure I will look forward to racing around and developing my career as an F1 driver.
For me I give this game an 8-10