Name: F1 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
I am very much a fan of Formula 1. Which calls itself “The Pinnacle of Motorsport” – which is very much true when it comes to performance speed and technical cars. When it comes to entertainment things haven’t been looking too good since the hybrid era begun. The F1 games, on the other hand, have constantly improved a bit each year – but could they keep up the streak with this year’s edition F1 2019?
New for this year is a story mode that actually can change quite a bit between playthroughs. Now you start as a young talent in the 2018 season of Formula 2 (the “division” below F1) fighting your way to the (potential) championship in some actions segments scattered across the season. In addition, you now have a rival in Devon Butler (think Gary from Pokémon), and a teammate in Lukas Weber, which follows your career into the F1 circus. And honestly, beating them (mainly Devon…) became almost an obsession for me when entering F1.
Another pleasant evolvement for this edition is the fact real drivers can now change teams between seasons. Say that Mercedes has taken a fall and that Renault is now the top-dog – then Lewis Hamilton might not be so close to the German squad anymore. Or maybe Max Verstappen has been surpassed by in the score sheet by Alexander Albon – then Red Bull might change up their drivers for the next season coming.
The sum of these things allows for not only several playthroughs, but also a tense play through each and every time. Of course, your own career is the most important, but following another talent like George Russell’s development is certainly entertaining as well!
Move over Project Cars 2 – there’s a new best-looking racing game in play. I thought the trailers were lying, but on even on the PlayStation 4 Pro I have never seen anything like this, even on a good PC. The lighting, the physics, the menus. It all looks so good that I am close to speechless (which is why I’ve been writing this segment over three days). In addition, I haven’t found a single graphical glitch after the latest update (1.04). Which is quite impressive.
Another thing I’ve been annoyed within earlier years’ F1 games is “Bahrain-edition” of the Williams livery. Although I have understood why, with alcohol laws across the world (they were sponsored by Martini), it was always an annoyance since I am a fan of the Williams team (albeit their slow pace). This year, all cars have their proper livery, with a number of details I haven’t seen in a game before.
Finally, I’d love to talk about the different tracks. Although I have yet to be at a Grand Prix (it’s on my “must-do list”, I just need to get rich), I know all the tracks on the calendar by heart after watching every race the last eight seasons. Once again, Codemasters have made each track to perfection and the feel I get when going around Rascasse in Monaco or 130R on Suzuka is above any feeling I’ve ever gotten in racing before.
Now for the gameplay section. Long story short – it’s really good. There’s a career mode, time trial mode, online mode, as well as classic events and happenings. The focus for the happenings this year has been the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. In other words, one of the greatest rivalries ever to happen in motorsport. The online mode still needs some work, but it’s the best it’s ever been.
I focused mostly on single-player though, as I am way too bad at racing to join the online leagues (yet, anyhow). The grip on the cars is even more realistic and feels safer than before, which allows for better racing. The AI is more difficult but in a good way. The R&D department in career mode is more realistic and the interviews you do seem to have more consequences if you scold the team. The one thing that still needs work in single player is the level of aggression the AI has. Time and again, I got crashed into – I stuck to my racing line, so I will not take any responsibility, Max… Without the AI getting punished. Every single time I was at fault, which happened, I’ll admit, I got massive penalties from the stewards. Still, a tweak in this setting and the gameplay would be absolutely perfect. It’s still so very close though, and the best I’ve ever experienced, so I end up with the highest score.
The button layout is pretty standard, and most of the buttons will be known by racing gamers. R2 for acceleration, L2 for braking and so on. You also, as in previous F1 games, have an “MFD” button (Multi-Function Display) to adjust front wing, pit-strategies and so forth. You also have a button to chat with your engineer (“Shut up, Jeff”), but more on him later. What I do enjoy the most though is the customizability on how to control the car. Every single thing can be adjusted, be it steering sensitivity, braking sensitivity, acceleration, button layout or whatever.
Back to Jeff, although he is a bit annoying I have discovered one great thing that I haven’t found in the previous games. The fact you can now ACTUALLY TALK to him. Obviously, you need to use a headset, but my mind has been blown. He’s far from Google Assistant or even Siri, but the fact that he can hear me shout out questions and pit strategies is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced in a game. No question.
As I mentioned in the “story” section, every playthrough of a career will be quite different. Already now it’s quite obvious that the replay value will be high. Then comes the reason I love the F1 games from Codemasters in general. The time trials! Call me a nerd, but I love perfecting each and every corner, finding the absolute latest braking point across each and every track. Certainly, I can say that this is the racing game I’ll be playing for at least the next 365 days.
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Replay Value 10
The world might be ending, and it’s all because of me and F1 2019. Personally, I never thought this day would come. And I’m pretty sure my colleagues in Ulvespill agree. I am giving a game 10/10!!! I know that my review might give the impression of the game having lots of flaws, but there’s actually very few, and they’re all minor. It is, by far, the best racing game I’ve ever played. And I honestly don’t see how anything can surpass this in the foreseeable future.
User Review( votes)
- The pinnacle of racing games
- Probably the best-looking motorsport game I’ve ever played
- Lots of replay value
- The AI still needs some work