F1 2017

03 Sep 2017 : 23:22  |  villan  |  Misc  |   
Formula One


There are two ways to look at annualised licensed releases like F1 2017. One is to compare it to last year’s effort and take a stock inventory of all its little iterative improvements. The other is to compare it to the real thing: everyone’s favourite waste of a Sunday afternoon, Formula One. Either one demonstrates, in F1 2017’s case, what a stellar job Codemasters have done this year.

FIFA’s developers can be pretty sure football will be the same cavalcade of tumbling millionaires when they set to work on a new FIFA, but for the ever-changing Formula One it’s a different story. The tires are wider and more durable this year, and the cars manufactured to a completely different set of regulations. As a result, 2017’s cars are significantly quicker than last season (so much so that drivers complained of neckache from all the G-force during pre-season testing), and F1 2017 benefits from that enormously. The cars are simply more fun to drive than in the last game. They suck onto the tarmac through high-speed corners and bite into apexes as you turn in. They’re faster than ever, but not skittish like the aero-heavy cars of a decade ago.

They’re also being driven by very convincing AI opponents who exploit gaps in braking zones and pounce on your mistakes, but usually leave a fair amount of space while you’re battling. This is very much part of the iterative improvement stock take, since convincing AI has long been a series stronghold, but this year the racing’s noticeably closer and less liable to have you lambasting other drivers like Screamin’ Seb Vettel. Several front wings were damaged during my season-long feud with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, for example, but the racing was always gentlemanly. Just about.

With the fundamentals in fine shape, Career Mode returns with a raft of improvements headlined by mid-season classic car events. The roster of Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and Renault championship-winning motors all feel great, not to mention frightening, but their inclusion via some faintly token mid-season track days belies the difficulty in having such a small number with which to create events that make sense. They’re best enjoyed in time trials, where their individual characteristics can be enjoyed at length and without any overarching objective.

F1 1


This news item is from Found Wanting