As some of you may remember, I loved F1 2017 – and when I got the chance not only to try out F1 2018, but also chat with Lee Mather (the game director) I was head-over-heels! I do enjoy all racing games, but nothing, and I mean nothing beats a Formula 1 game. Heart pounding I met up at Deep Silver’s booth at Gamescom and eagerly took the controller.
We started out with taking a look at the career mode, now with the media back in the paddock! Since I wore my Mercedes AMG Petronas shoes to the meeting, I was told by Mr. Mather that I had no other choice than to play as them. Case closed. First let me say how stunning the new game looks, not revolutionary from last year’s edition, but a steady improvement to an already stunning game. Another thing the developers have improved since last year is the commentators. They’re now able to say your driver’s name instead of “a Mercedes driver”, if it’s on the list of the recording names.
New in this year’s career mode is the media, which you’ll need to talk to at several points during your career, and yes, your answers can have consequences – for example, Mercedes wants a driver to show sportsmanship, so a K-Mag answer won’t put you in high regards in Toto Wolff’s mind. Ferrari on the other hand wants more showmanship in their drivers, so a cheeky answer will surely make Mr. Arrivabene get his eyes up for you. There’s also the addition of rule changes between seasons, to shake up the grid a little, so that no career is the same, I didn’t get to know exactly how this would work, but it sounds very cool nonetheless.
Anyways, it was time to try out a race. For this I needed to choose a race outside the career (as Lee didn’t think practices were showing off the best sides of the game). Time to get in an Alfa Romeo Sauber – in the hands of Marcus Ericsson. Catalunya is a track I know by heart and therefore decided it would be a safe bet. Man was I wrong! I got an okay start from the back of the grid, decided to lunge on the inside, and immediately got hit by Gasly and got spun around. According to Lee this was a sign that I had played the former game too much, and that with this new and improved AI this would almost always end in disaster, as the drivers are now much more aware of Ricciardo-like lunges. In addition to them all being much smarter when it comes to defending their position. During my race I could definitely notice how much better the physics are this year. There’s more grip, as long as the tires last, and it’s generally more simulation-like than its predecessors. To sum it up; I absolutely adore F1 2018, it’s a solid improvement, and I’m sure I’ll have hours upon hours of fun – I am very much looking forward to playing it more, when I review it!
F1 2018 released onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC worldwide on Friday, 24th August 2018. The review of the final game is under work and will be published soon!
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