Game Review: F1 2019

Even a handful of years ago the content and graphics that we now see in gaming would have been inconceivable. This is especially true when you consider Codemasters’ latest offering, F1 2019.

Gameplay

When you get into the heart of your F1 career most of the mechanics remain the same as experienced in F1 2018. But there is a rather impressive change for F1 2019. Before you step into an F1 cockpit you have the choice of starting with F2. It’s not a full season of racing in the feeder series but it does include a story mode and a rather easily unlikable rival named Devon Butler. You’re exposed to two different scenarios before being unleashed, for a full race, around Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit. Here, in the season finale, you must out-score Butler to win the championship. Proper drama!

From there you’re given a choice to join a driver academy programme followed by handful of offers from F1 teams for the 2019 season. One of the biggest features in career mode is unquestionably the addition of driver transfers. In addition to the ability for AI drivers to move teams drivers’ knack and aptitude too is on a moving scale, which means that up-and-comers can give established drivers a real challenge. This isn’t only revolutionary for the franchise but will certainly keep career mode fresh and interesting for quite some time.

 Handling

As most fans of the sport would know most of suspension travel of an F1 car isn’t actually in the suspension. Instead, it’s the tyres that absorb the bumps. This travel, especially as the car makes contact with the kerbs, is especially evident in F1 2019. The reaction of the tyre is for all to behold and in minute detail too.

It is clear to that a lot of work has gone into the re-profiling of kerbs. Where previously you could’ve gotten away with clipping various kerbs that you probably shouldn’t be anywhere near there is now a genuine penalty attached if you do so. Not a five-second penalty mind you, but still it’s going to cost you precious lap-time.

Jumping into one of the front-running cars in Time Trial mode is bliss. Hanging on the Mercedes around circuit Gilles Villeneuve and attempting to put together a semi-decent lap time leaves you with very distinct and visceral feelings. One, it feels properly fast! The sense of immersion and speed is undeniably improved from last year’s title. Two, driving these cars at full-tilt is just pure pleasure. Akin to that feeling you had as a kid waking up on Christmas morning. Lucky for us Christmas came early this year.

Graphics

F1 2019 is a beaut, a visually stunning game. The cars’ bodywork work and livery are ultra-smooth and I have never seen a more accurate visual tyre model in any other racing game than this.

5

Customizing

In last year’s review I mentioned that it would’ve been a nice addition to be able to customize say your gloves and racesuit. I’d like to think that Codemasters may have read my review and thought it a good idea but the truth is this was likely an element on the their drawing board long before I mentioned it.

But not only have they allowed a more immersive experience in terms of customizing your driver but also they’ve taken it one massive step further. Now you can customize the livery of your multiplayer car and race online with a colour scheme unique to you!

 

Verdict

I had thought that I’d long ago stopped being surprised at what Codemasters could deliver. They’d set the bar high with F1 2018. But what they have produced with F1 2019 is truly masterful. And you can add to that one of the best launch and marketing campaigns seen in a long time. There is unlikely to be another racing title on the market that is as impressive as F1 2019. Go get it right now!

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