Name: F1 2017
Publisher: Codemasters, Koch Media
Released: 25th of August, 2017
Platforms: PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PC
Is this the year where Formula 1 proves it’s still the pinnacle of motorsport (games)? Or will it be an engine failure?
It has been massive expectations to this year’s game. And with Formula 1 having a massive regulations-change this year, the physics engine has had to be revamped, luckily Codemasters has pretty much nailed it. They’ve also added loads of stuff to do, both in and out of the car, and with a whole new game mode, this game has truly lived up to the expectations.
First thing that has to be said; this game is stunning to look at. It is by far the best looking game in the series, with blisters on the tires gradually working up, the bodywork slowly drying when you’re in the garage after a wet session, and the engine smoke coming from my McLaren-Honda looking just as it does in real life.
The gameplay feels very realistic to me, who’s an amateur I’ll admit – as I’ve obviously never driven a Formula 1 car myself, but I have driven a fan-simulator at the McLaren-museum, and have driven a fair bit of karting. It must be said that the tires feel just a tiny bit too slippery, with the new regulations supposedly making mechanical grip much better than it has been in years. Otherwise I can’t remember thinking “this feels wrong”, and that is amazing thing to know after playing the game for (almost) four days straight.
This is the first time I’ve caught myself thinking “free practice was actually useful before this race”, as it is filled with small tasks, such as learning the racing line around the track, managing tyres and fuel, and race-simulation, that all grants you R&D-points, if you are able to complete them, that is.
New of this year is the players having to deal much more with engine wear, tyre wear and gearbox issues. As I’ve been playing mostly as a McLaren-Honda driver, the parts kept breaking all the time the first season, before I invested enough R&D-points in reliability. I did not think more about it, as good ol’ Alonso have 5(?) DNF’s so far this season. However, according to Steam users this is an issue with all the cars, at least when you’re not playing 100% race length, although I have not experienced troubles with that myself, I feel this has to be mentioned.
A short note about the “live the life”-aspect of the game it feels somewhat repetitive, and very scripted, I do totally understand that the game need to tell you about how upgrades might fail and such, but it was very obvious that it was destined, at least the first time it happened. I also want to mention Jeff, your race engineer, we have a love/hate relationship, but he feels like a real person, and I keep shouting “shut up, Jeff!” (which you actually can do in-game as well) when he keeps talking while I struggle through a corner, as opposed to thinking of him as “the engineer”, he truly is Jeff.
This year’s game brings back classic cars, and that is a true joy! It’s fun, it’s fast and them appearing during the career mode was a good break from the Honda engine breaking down, I now understand why Fernando Alonso went to IndyCar for a weekend.
The “Championship” game mode is also a great addition to the game, while re-playing the career can be quite boring, this suddenly makes single-player a much better experience for a long period of time before becoming a chore.
This is the most fun I’ve had playing a racing game for as long as I can remember. It is easy to learn and to become a better driver, but difficult to master. Just as a game should be, in other words. The graphics look really good, and the career mode feels realistic and makes it worth doing every single thing Jeff asks you to do. The championship mode is the new feature you didn’t know you needed, and classic cars makes a triumphant return! It’s time to find your spot on the grid, “and it’s lights out, and away we go!”
Replay Value: 8/10
As you might notice the average score is 8.5, but since the gameplay is so much fun, and I hold that in such high regard, I end up at:
+ It’s fun
+ Looks amazing
+ Easy to improve yourself
+ Classic cars
– Some bugs are still not fixed, although none are game-breaking