One of the most amazing racing competitions in the worldgets its yearly game update, with lots of fast and precise driving with your favourite cars and F1 drivers.
The F1 franchise has been a staple in the calendar for many years, and each year Codemasters go out of their way to make things better and better, with the realistic driving style feeling more precise than it ever has done before. F1 2020 does not does not disappoint, those little tweaks enhancing the driving really pay off, with plenty of options for beginners and veterans alike. The simplicity of the car setup means it can be so easy even for the amateur F1 fan.
As you’d expect, there are many game modes in such a late stage of a console life cycle. The most obvious being thechampionship where you can drive as an existing driver and claim the crown, to the new “My Team” mode. This allows you to create your own team (including having custom liveries and suits) and be an owner/driver, as well as racing the car, talking to the press and gaining sponsors, with every action making a difference on your team. It’s a mode with much more depth than I expected, and over the week or so I’ve had the game, I’ve yet to scratch the surface. Every action can have a positive or negative action on your team, gaining or losing respect meaning you could lose sponsorship for your team which would mean losing money. Having money for your team helps to increase research and purchase new upgrades for your car, helping to keep you as competitive as possible.
The online features this year are fantastic. Whether you want to join a league with your friends or a random league where you can compete to be the best or you choose to compete in the weekly/fortnightly F1 race following the real deal, there are tons of options available. The scheduled races have a decent amount of depth to them, making you qualify for a chance to race on the big day, and then get ready for the race on Sunday.
Additional modes include individual races, as well as time trials and other challenges that will have you coming back for more, trying to shave off hundredths of a second as you get stuck in to some classic F1 battles and earn your stripes. We were given a code for the Schumacher edition of the game, which comes with some custom liveries, suits and emotes (for when you end up on the podium), as well as having a Michael Schumacher character model to take control of in the campaign.
One thing which I find good and frustrating in equal measure is the car setup. To me it is important that you should be able to setup your car by adjusting every single little thing under the hood. I popped in a copy of F1 2015, and they got this spot on as you could adjust everything and what you adjusted really made a difference to the cars response. In F1 2020, however, even though you can adjust a lot, it has been simplified to quite a large degree. Part of the fun for me is going into race weekend and adjusting the setup of your car for each individual race, but with 2020 you can make big changes to your setup and it doesn’t feel too different when you’re out on the. As hardcore fan this is a little bit disappointing, but as a person wanting to give it a go learn the basics of F1 racing and tuning then this is a perfect starting point.
When you are out on the track though, the game feels superb. Acceleration, braking and cornering feels extremely smooth, with Codemasters really driving home (please excuse the pun) the experience that they’ve got when it comes to open wheel racing. Engines roar, tyres squeal and the wind rushes by, giving you a real sense of speed when you’re hurtling up Beau Rivage in Monaco, or down the straights in Baku.
The one other thing that I feel a little bit let down by is the graphics. Car models looks stunning, and the tracks are accurately detailed for most of the game, but everything around it just feels a bit ‘off’. It’s hard not to compare this to the likes of Forza and GT Sport, where everything looks gorgeous, but without a bit of work in the graphical department, I worry this will get left behind with the new generation of consoles.