F1 2017—The ultimate Formula One experience
F1 2017 is here and is the successor to last year’s F1 2016, which is one of the best games in franchise history. Formula 1 World Championship as a whole has under gone some new changes this year, including new owners, and a new rule change that give us faster and more impressive cars. And, these changes have been reflected in this years game.
Codemasters ups the ante over F1 2016 by incorporating some truly great features that Formula 1 fans are going to love. Its been several years since an F1 game has had classic cars. In F1 2017, classic cars make a come back with 12 to choose from including Fernando Alonso’s 2006 championship-winning Renault R26.
Other additions to this year’s game include four alternative track layouts from existing circuits in the game, more than 20 official 2017 circuits, an even deeper and massively expanded Career mode, a completely new handling model, and numerous multiplayer enhancements.
Does F1 2017 have enough new features and content to surpass last years excellent F1 2016? Let’s find out!
An overhauled career mode
F1 2017’s career mode has been overhauled from last years’ game. For the first time in the franchise, there are female driver avatars. While this doesn’t affect gameplay, it’s nice to see the option available to those who want to choose it. This year there are more R&D options available, a total of 115 individual upgrades to be exact. That’s over four times as many compared to last years’ game!
There are four different categories that upgrades fall under: Aerodynamics, Powertrain, Chassis and Durability. More over, individual component usage needs to be managed, so if you go over your season’s allocation then grid penalties will be issued.
More accessible than ever before
To make the game more accessible to those new to the series, Codemasters added a Recommended Upgrade option that you can use if you don’t feel like getting down to the nitty gritty components of upgrading. In addition, just like in real life, upgrades now have the possibility to fail. The failure rate of your parts depend on the decisions you make in the game.
If you are looking to turn out updates as fast as possible, then you face a higher risk of your parts failing. However, if you slow your development rate down, you’ll end up with more reliable and consistent parts.
During the F1 season, you’ll be introduced to invitational events. This is where the classic cars come into play and involve pursuit events, overtake challenges, time attack challenges and checkpoints. Furthermore, the rate at which your team progresses has been slowed down in F1 2017 compared to previous years.
In turn, this makes it harder to go from zero to hero so quickly, giving you a more realistic approach. One of the most innovate features of career mode in F1 2016 was the practice programme, which gave you three minigames—track acclimatization, conserving tires and qualifying simulations—in free practice. F1 2017 expands on this by giving you race strategy and fuel saving minigames.
Even more racing modes
Outside of career mode there are Championships, Event, Grand Prix, Time Trial, and Multiplayer. The championships allow you to race in various championships with different tracks and rules. To begin with, there are a total of eight championships that you can race in. There are an additional 12 that can be unlocked by playing the championships that are available.
Event is a week long scenario that is set by Codemasters, which contains both friend and global leaderboards to see how you stack up against the competition. Grand Prix allows you to race against the AI in either a single race or a set of races. Time Trial is just what it sounds like, you race on an empty track trying to get the fastest lap time possible.
The multiplayer mode allows you to race online with a full grid of 20 cars, either the 2017 cars or the classic cars, in public or private sessions. Codemasters even included two dedicated spectator spots, for those that want to watch. Matchmaking is improved and there are new online stats and a leveling system.
Tweaked handling model
F1 2017’s handling model feels like a tweaked version of the one in last year’s game. It still has all the features that set it apart from other racing games but now is more accessible for newcomers. As mentioned before, Formula 1 World Championship implemented a new rule change this year that now allows drivers to take corner at much higher speeds.
Codemasters has implemented this change by giving the cars extra grip. This makes corners that you would have to lift for before are now flat out. However, I noticed that this new change now makes it more difficult to recover when your car’s back end comes around. Although this is a true representation of the handling characters of the real life F1 cars, it does take a bit of getting use to.
Overall, I found that the cars were a lot easier to drive than previous games. In turn, this makes it much easier if you want to use a regular controller instead of a wheel when playing. Emphasis of gameplay is on racing against your opponents and trying to get the most out of your car.
Lifelike visuals at 60fps
If you are wondering about F1 2017’s visuals, you are going to be impressed—for the most part. The PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S come with full HDR support that make the colours pop. The amount of detail put into this game to meticulously recreate each car and race track is amazing!
You have the ability to race with six different view settings that include a first person cockpit view, all the way up to an outside above the car review view. Hardcore enthusiast will notice that Codemasters took the time to include individual engine noises, so no two cars sound the same.
I reviewed F1 2017 on the Xbox One S and did notice a few minor graphical inconsistencies. During times of heavy rain, I noticed that the frame rate would dip from the normal 60fps. Additionally, there were some instances of screen tearing that would occur every so often during a race. Luckily these aren’t game breaking issues and do not detract from the overall gameplay experience in anyway.
Codemasters’ F1 2017 takes everything that made F1 2016 great and builds upon it—making it the definitive F1 experience. From the unprecedented control that you have over your vehicle management, to the impressive career mode, to the game’s stunningly realistic visuals—F1 2017 is everything that a fan could want and more.
+ Top notch handling
+ Classic cars make their return
+ The expanded career mode will bring a smile to the faces of F1 sim fans
+ Most realistic looking game in series history
– Occasional screen tearing
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5