This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 39 November 2016.
Another year another F1 racing game. OK. Not really, because the 2015 edition of the Codemasters series was but a placeholder, with F1 2016 really showing the potential the racing series has. It’s certainly not perfect, but it is possibly the best formula one racing game to date.
The first thing that strikes you with the game is that it comes complete with all the official tracks, drivers and cars for the latest season of F1 action. It’s also all shown off beautifully and in many ways you feel very much like you’re living the real-life experience as it is featured on TV.
You could choose to jump in and play a quick race, but to do so will do the game a great injustice as the revised career mode offers a hearty (read lengthy) option to sink your teeth into. With ten seasons to take your virtual driver through and with race weekends offering practice sessions, track acclimatisation, qualifying and of course the all-important race itself, this is a mode that will rival the length of any good role-playing game.
And in many ways, the career mode even offers the concept of upgrading. On choosing your team to start with, you will find yourself in the team lounge with a laptop, a set of expectations and the opportunity to upgrade and generally improve your car. Everything is tweakable, from aerodynamics to suspension, from transmission to weight distribution and a whole lot more.
However, if you – like me – prefer your cars and settings slightly handed to you by a game, you may feel a little overwhelmed by F1 2016. The game tries its best to handhold you through the more complicated elements of research and development, but ultimately, if you lack patience to work through it all, you will probably give up. I’m here to tell you to keep on going, as ultimately, the reward of tweaking your car and winning a race because of your planning is pretty unrivalled in many other games.
In F1 2016, you really do feel the rush of racing these thoroughbreds of the racing world, with the cars handling fantastically (and dare I say as close to reality as us mere mortals will ever know). The cars and tracks look fantastic, but the character models are a little, well, freaky. The commentary (which is unfortunately not by David Coulthard and Ben Edwards) and pit crew communication helps keep you immersed, as does the F1 staples of safety cars, warning flags and pitting.
I could go on about how learning the right tire for the right conditions can be a deal breaker and how racing in the wet after days of dry practice and qualifying can really throw you off the game, but those are all things you will only really discover if you’re willing to play F1 2016. And if you’re a fan of racing games, then there is no reason to take F1 2016 for a spin and discover it all for yourself.
Available for: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Distributed by: Apex Interactive and available at all retailers of games