Codemasters have long been king when it comes to quality racing games, and while it took them a few years, the F1 series has improved consistently since joining their portfolio in 2011.
5 games later and 2017 rolls up to the starting line, with a tough act to follow, but it’s safe to say F1 2017 is in pole position.
Formula 1 games used to be quite a niche area, many would prefer street or circuit racing, while others preferred a pure arcade thrill, but last year with 2016, Codemasters seem to hit the nail on the head, implementing an in depth career mode and plenty of options, F1 became much more of a mainstream game, and this year, 2017 is more of a shining new Ferrari unveiled for the first time.
Starting with the career mode, there’s a precise balance between depth and accessibility, with practice sessions complete with integrated mini-games to help build up your knowledge of the track and car, as well as detailed tuning specifics if you really want to get your hands dirty.
But take a step back, and if you’d rather skip the details and get straight to the action, you can do without feeling like you’re missing a large slice of the game which makes F1 2017 one of the most accessible Formula 1 titles ever, while also pleasing the purists and fans in equal measure.
Codemasters deliver time and time again when there’s a racing game, and for many it’s the actual racing that’s most important. I’ve played many racing games over the last year including a little too much of F1 2016, and I have to say that F1 2017, delivers one of the finest racing experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.
Car’s feel weighty and sturdy, and react to the road exactly as you’d expect, stray too far off the racing line and you’ll literally feel the difference in the track, or add a little rain and the control just softens giving you that feeling of uncertainty on every corner.
Best of all though, the realism of the handling remains in your hands, if you drive carefully, you’re unlikely to get into much trouble, but have just as much chance of getting onto the podium, But take a few more risks, try to squeeze through that gap on the inside at high speed and while a podium finish might become a possibility, there’s also a good chance Hamilton is going to cut across you and take your front wing for a ride. Not too many years ago, car damage on F1 felt somewhat artificial, but like last year, 2017 provides a much more realistic result and damage and collisions are so accurate you can often watch back a replay and pinpoint the exact knock that caused the damage.
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of F1 or not, you’ll find plenty of options, offline and thankfully online too with various classes, and classic F1 cars as well as the entire current 2017 roster.
The Career mode is packed with gameplay anyway, but if you’d prefer a single race, event or grand prix there’s plenty to choose from as well as time trials, one-off events or full championships. Online you can take on an entire championship, single races or merely challenge the best times on leader-boards for various modes. Regardless of how you like to play, or who you wish to play with, there’s a wealth of options that showcase far more than the impressive career mode.
Graphically F1 2017 is a Showcase itself, and after seeing Xbox One X footage, It’s been widely acclaimed for the performance at both 60fps and 4k, playing on the One S, I was still impressed with the graphics, especially the TV quality replays, and any game that can still make you feel comfortable when hurtling around a corner at 120mph deserves the thumbs up.
The impressive graphics and presentation continue throughout the career mode, as you merge seamlessly from a race into the pits and menu system, it’s incredibly immersive thanks to minimal interruptions.
Thanks to some great voice acting, amazing facial likenesses of all of the top drivers and relevant branding for your chosen team,as well as realistic background ambience and even the chatter over the speaker system, it not only makes the entire experience more realistic, but also great fun and a pleasure to be part of.
F1 fans will no doubt find month of enjoyment from F1 2017, and I can happily recommend to non fans as well thanks to the career experience and the overall quality and realism throughout the game.
Bottom Line :
F1 2017 is quite simply the most balanced, well presented and high quality Formula 1 game we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, with enough modes and attention to detail to keep everyone happy, and superb quality across the board, F1 2017 has to go down as one of the best racing games available.
Gameplay : 9
Graphics : 9
Sound : 9
Story : 9
Value : 9
Overall : 9 / 10