When F1 2014 bypassed the next generation of consoles, many fans crossed their fingers and prayed the wait would be worth it and by god they shouldn’t be disappointed with what F1 2015 delivers.
Many saw the 2014 edition as filler – a necessary evil – while developers toiled away with a brand new game engine to power F1 into the next generation on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.
Well that new game engine and the toil, is all worth it when you start up the race mode and see what has been developed – the menus are all well laid out, the game modes are easy to find and the pre-start menu videos are brilliant at getting the scene set.
Then when you go into one of the few game modes – more on that further down – all that polish and all that work makes a game that makes you stop and think: “Wow this is just like watching a real race.” The cars have every little detail recreated perfectly, tracks have every bump, kerb and tree in the absolutely correct place.
As well as the cars and tracks being on point, the drivers have also been excellently digitised. Many games – especially FIFA – have faces that look like waxworks at a Madame Tussauds on a very hot day, but F1 2015 has put the work in and made sure that the drivers actually look like human beings. That quality extends to the crowds as well – while not very detailed they do look human and that added atmosphere adds an extra dimension to gameplay.
However, you can add as much digital polish and atmosphere as you like but take away key game modes and it all becomes wasted time. The biggest loss this edition is Campaign Mode, in older games there was something joyous about taking your racer from second driver at a team like Manor to world champion at Mercedes/Red Bull/Ferrari etc.
This being removed makes the game lose some of that personal connection by not being able to guide your creation to stardom and what really rubs salt into the wound is the mode that replaced it, Pro Season Mode, is not a perfect replacement – only running over just one season you get a real feeling of ‘back to square one’ when the season finishes and you start all over again.
The single season mode that has been a feature of near enough all iterations of the game now has seemingly less meaning now Pro Season has been introduced, it’s almost a diet version of its former self now.
Granted the racing is fantastic and the changeable weather are superb, giving that extra level of tactical awareness many of its rival games don’t offer. However, that tactical awareness does have its draw backs and that is in the name of fuel saving. Sticking religiously to the F1 style 100KGs of fuel is all well and good but it seems to have been interpreted pretty vaguely in the game – needing to save fuel or when you can turn and burn is almost made at random with fuel saved and fuel lost at almost the flip of the coin.
The racing generally though is good, the AI can on occasion be reckless in its overtaking but it isn’t anything that would eventually drive you crazy. One minor issue with the AI is how it deals with the flag signals, yellows and greens are generally thrown correctly but the AI won’t respect the yellows on occasion and they generally don’t respect blue flags either – or if they do their movement is erratic so you’ll find you’ll get your nose smashed off on more than one occasion.
However, this really is just nitpicking and any Formula One fan – even just a general motor sport fan – would be more than happy with playing what is a near perfect gem of a game with just a few blemishes stopping it hitting 100%.
- Game Title: F1 2015
- Availabile on: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One
- Reviewed on: Xbox One
- Category: Racing
- Modes: Single Player, Multi Player
- Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
- Publisher: Codemasters
- Official URL: http://www.formula1-game.com/