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Annual games series face an uphill battle to innovate, and differentiate themselves from their predecessors, so that they’re worth buying year after year. Happily, F1 2017 continues its strong upwards trend.
The main difference this year is its staying power and its value for money. The career mode, which was pretty repetitive and ultimately grew a bit dull in 2016, has been continued, but the research and development aspect, as well as the events that occur during the races and season, have been improved drastically.
Previously, you completed the practice session objectives (which were the same every race) to earn points to upgrade your car. Now, there’s the same objectives (but more of them), but you get much more flexibility in terms of where you put the time and money into for your car’s competitiveness. It gives you a feeling that you’re actually tangibly improving your car rather than just adjusting sliders.
Making a very popular return is the classic cars, a major drawcard. Cars range from the famous late 1980 McLaren Hondas of the Ayrton Senna era, through the 1990 Williams, Ferrari and McLaren cars, and a few iconic cars from the 2000s, including the all conquering Ferrari F2004 of Michael Schumacher.
Having played a little online, these are far and away the most popular cars. You almost never end up racing the current cars. Codemasters has done a tremendous job of modelling the cars and their sounds, which makes me long for the days of the screaming V10 engines rather than the droning hybrid V8 engines we have today.
Ultimately, this is a great use of the F1 licence, as is becoming customary from Codemasters. When people think premier sports games, they tend to think exclusively of EA Sports and their dominance (aside from basketball games).
In my opinion, motorsport fans should consider this game to be on an equal standing.
For: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- by Simon Bishop