The F1 2020 season is finally underway and with that brings a brand new entry from Codemasters in the F1 series of games, F1 2020. While the F1 2020 season has seen many delays this year, fans can play out what might have been with the official F1 2020 video game.
Let’s take a look at what’s new in F1 2020, one of the most authentic sports racing simulations out on the market.
F1 2020 Details
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia and PC
Reviewed on: Stadia
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
Modes: Single-player and multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Create your own F1 team and driver with My Team
New to F1 2020 is My Team, a team management game mode that allows you to create and run your very own team. Along with racing against official teams with your own car, you play as one of the two drivers on your team. As a result, you manage your team both on and off the track.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into My Team. I’m more of an arcade racer fan than that of racing sim games. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Codemasters did an extraordinary job balancing out this type of gameplay mode. While you still have to manage your team, the emphasis is still on racing. It’s more in line with the EA Sports games’ Career Mode, rather than a hardcore sim title.
The game includes templates with a wide variety of colour options to design your team’s livery. And, there are four fabricated sponsors that you can choose from and add as you progress throughout the season. For your new team, you’ll have to manage things like research and development, engine suppliers, and what you will invest your financial resources in. Additionally, you’ll have to manage technical improvements, sponsor events, and scheduling of training.
Ten year Career mode
If My Team isn’t your cup of tea, Codemasters have brought back Career mode. It’s just as fun as it was in last year’s game and features more advanced player options for a F2 prologue. What I really like about Career mode is that it is very organized in that your practice and qualifying sessions are meaningful.
Instead of just mindlessly driving around courses to learn them, Codemasters has included several basic minigames to help you get familiarized. For example, if you drive through a series of gates on a track to help you learn the curves, you’ll get bonuses on race day.
Instead of being a tedious process to make your way from F2 to F1, Codemasters has done a great job in keeping the interest of people, like me, who don’t usually play racing sim games. It’s generally rewarding seeing yourself up on the podium after a race.
Detailed visuals accompanied by an incredible sense of speed on the racetrack
Codemasters has done an extremely good job of creating a sense of speed in F1 2020. Additionally, the game comes with full HDR support that makes the colours pop. It’s pretty amazing to see the amount of detail that they put into this game, meticulously recreating each car and race track.
As expected, the game’s sound design remains solid. Hearing the sound of your engine bounce off nearby walls in the street circuits is pretty cool. I find you get plenty of feedback on the controller when brakes are about to lock and the wheels are spinning.
Quality of life updates and new features
In an ongoing effort to broaden the appeal of the F1 series, Codemasters has had several new features to F1 2020 that make it more accessible. First, there is a new Casual difficulty setting. Relaxed braking and cornering requirements make it a much more enjoyable experience for those who would not otherwise be playing the game.
The reintroduction of local splitscreen multiplayer is a welcomed addition. It comes complete with an easy playlist feature that allows you to choose circuits and various options for race length. Additionally, the game’s UI has been streamlined and now makes it a whole lot easier to navigate and understand what you are seeing.
For the first time in the series, F1 2020 includes driver ratings. Scores are derived from real life data and applies to F2 drivers as well as those from F1. Drivers are rated on the following categories: racecraft, experience, awareness and pace.
Racecraft is based upon the effectiveness of your attempts at overtaking other cars. Your experience rating gives you additional resource points, which allow you to upgrade your car faster in both My Team and Career modes. Next, a higher awareness score greatly improves your ability to maintain control of your car in difficult situations. Finally, pace is rated on your to set quick lap times.
F1 2020 welcomes newcomers and challenges racing sim veterans
Without a shadow of a doubt, F1 2020 is in a league of its own when it comes to F1 racing simulation games. My Team mode is a compelling experience that allows you to experience the ins and outs of running your own team while still getting plenty of action behind the wheel.
Codemasters have managed to make F1 2020 the most accessible game in the series without sacrificing what genre fans love. Casual mode allows those who are not racing sim fans to play the game without all the technicalities and enjoy it with others. And, for sim fans, there are plenty of customizable options to keep fans happy.
+ Amazing amount of content included
+ Accessibility options allows even more gamers to enjoy the game
+ My Team mode is a compelling experience
+ Excellent car handling and opponent AI is top notch
– My Team and Career mode are very similar
– Media interaction feels forced and not interesting
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF F1 2020
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5