The F1 franchise has always been an authentic representation of the sport, however last years measly offering – that didn’t even offer a career mode – left a sour taste in the mouth but fast forward 12 months and it is surprising the number of features that have been added (or returned) for 2016.
The afterglow of the neon lights in Abu Dahbi, the lights that make up the nighttime skyline in Singapore and the sun setting over the desert in Bahrain are the best examples of how much the circuits come to life in F1 2016. From the details in the tarmac and gravel to the weather and effects it has on the tracks, you’ll be hard pushed to find a racing game that creates an environment like F1 2016.
The same cannot be said for the cut scenes and face to face interactions with your team. Put bluntly, if the character you are talking to isn’t a “known” racing face such as a Lewis Hamilton or a Jenson Button then they look, move and feel considerably last gen. However if you want a game that is about interactions with lifelike human beings, go buy Heavy Rain, Until Dawn or The Order. F1 2016 is all about the racing……and the qualifying….and the practicing.
During the practice sessions your team will give you objectives to fulfill, going easy on your tyres, full fuel load timing and similar type mini-missions which reward you with resource points which are then allocated to your research & development team who will create upgrades for your car – a necessity if you are not a glory hound and started with a minor team such as Sauber rather than a giant like Ferrari or McLaren.
After three practice sessions, it’s off to qualifying to determine your start position on the grid and then it’s race day, where all your previous hard work is rewarded with a great finishing position or painfully destroyed with a spin out on the last corner.
The actual race cannot be closer to its real life counterpart with formation laps, the intricate flag system, the safety car, constant discussions with your pit crew to determine an ever changing strategy. Individually they are minor enhancements, combined together and you have the game that Codemasters have ALMOST made for the last five years.
This year’s iteration has some minor niggles during the race; The A.I. can be a little off at times, tuning the game to your personal perfect level can be harder than all of the races combined and the frustration of receiving a warning for an incident you had no part in causing will annoy a few people, more so with the fact they have been the same minor niggles for the last few years.
Complex, full to the brim with features and action married together with a love and adoration for a sport that Codemasters clearly love; F1 2016 is an unmissable title this year for anyone that is a fan of F1 or of simulation racing games. If you are a fan of things going as fast as possible then you will probably enjoy it too.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 8/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / Xbox One / PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a digital copy of F1 2016 for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of an eternity. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.