F1 2017 Review
If there’s ever a racing game you can count on to release an iteration year after year, its the F1 titles. Developer Codemasters have created the most accurate F1 title to date with F1 2017, keeping you immersed and in line with the speedy sport. But is this absolutely necessary?
This title is filled with modes with so much content, that it takes a few moments to decide where to start. And we’re not talking about the grid line-up here. No, there’s an expansive career mode with what some might call ‘RPG elements’ with skill trees and levelling up. That’s right, as you progress through the ranks to become Forumla One’s racing champion, you’ll be expected to keep your driver and vehicle happy by upgrading stats and the like by completing certain challenges given to you throughout. There is also a Car Reliability Management feature which to be honest, is probably the single most useful screen you’ll be using throughout the entirety of the career mode.
This screen shows you all the parts to your car, because yes, they will need replacing more often than you think – every facet in fact, and this is where this screen shines. You could be racing through one of the many tracks featured from the real-life F1 event and you may suddenly spin out due to one of your tires popping. Using this screen will tell you exactly which tire it is and when you come to replace that tire, it will give you an estimated ‘life-span’ of said tire, which is usually around several races depending on the part. Some parts like the engine will last longer than others, but the interesting aspect is that each part is affected by how well you drive out on the racetrack. If you’re constantly spinning out and crashing, you’ll be required to invest more money more often on specific parts, but if you look after that big metal machine of yours, that metal machine will look after your money.
The other modes to hand are of course your standard ‘pick up and play’ game mode – Quickplay, where you can quickly jump in a car, pick a track and of you go, racing against fellow AI. Or alternatively, invite a friend over to have some multiplayer racing action in a variety of races. There’s also online multiplayer, which includes all the features of local multiplayer with the addition of a levelling up system, stats and leaderboards as well as the ability to choose to play in classic cars as well as the standard ones.
There are a variety of licensed cars as you would expect from an F1 title including McLaren, Ferarri and Mercedes, with a small range of classic cars for the taking. However, if you want to race in one of these classic cars, you’re going to have to wait for an invitation to test out these cars in career mode. Test out the cars in various challenges such as Time Trials, Overtaking Challenges and some even giving you a handicap, but overcome these challenges and you’ll win the car for your garage.
As for the handling of those cars – F1 2017 has nailed it where other motorsport titles fail. If you’re approaching a corner at full speed, expect to swerve and slide around that corner, allowing you just a split second of thought in order to not go of course. If you break too early, you’ll steer out and go of course, however it can be quickly intercepted if you get the timing right. With most racing games, we find it difficult to correct errors like these, with us always steering off-track, but something seems different with F1 2017, especially with this iteration of the series. Counteract your pivotal mistake and succeed, you’ll feel extremely rewarded.
For those wondering what new track additions are included in 2017 will be severely disappointed as it looks as though there aren’t any new ones barring a few track alternates which is a first for the series however, graphically these tracks are a major improvement over its predecessor, providing gorgeous scenery and life-like animations, especially when it comes to the pit stop, which so happens to be pretty much the only time you have to stop and take in everything that’s around you. We’ve come a long way from the ‘cardboard cut-outs’ of spectators.
Codemasters have stayed true to the formula (no pun intended) with this title in the sense that every action and decision made out on the racetrack could have implications on your career. Starting out, our driver had an almost-fatal collision that was very costly to us at such an early stage in the game, which resulted in our manager letting us know the costs of medical bills and such which greatly affected our expenditure. From this point on, we had to be more careful about how we drove, reducing down on costs to repair parts. Since it was early on, we decided to start again and have a ‘do-over’, its just a shame that this can’t be done in real-life.
Whilst F1 2017 isn’t a massive improvement over last year, having already made big changes due to the abysmal affair from 2015, this title has some notable differences including the ability to choose female avatars for the first time. No new track additions is a bit of a downer, but doesn’t affect the core gameplay of this title, of which this stands out as one of the best iterations of the series, greatly improving upon from last year.
F1 2017 is available to purchase from retailers or alternatively, can be downloaded from the Xbox Store, priced at £54.99.
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