The second half of the Formula 1 season of 2017 is about to come to a conclusion. And while the teams are in America to start the Grand Prix on the Austin circuit, Codemasters brings a new edition of their Formula 1 game into the stores. With F1 2016, the developer already delivered a great racing game and therefore it's no surprise that they used that game as the base for the 2017 edition. Fortunately, this time F1 2017 changed and added enough to review it thoroughly, so full throttle to the review!
For the casual gamer
The beauty of F1 2017 is that it's a racing game that is accessible for every racing enthusiast. For example, the more casual gamer, who wants to drive a Grand Prix without too much hassle, can start a race and start racing within a few seconds. The Grand Prix's can be fully flavored. From just a short race to a full race weekend including training sessions, extensive qualification and warm-up. At the same time, driving aids like steering assist and brake assist can be enabled or disabled. As a beginner, it is absolutely advisable to turn it on, because otherwise your F1-car will be on three wheels next to the track in a matter of time. And if it all goes wrong then there's always the flashback option that puts you back on the track a few seconds before it went wrong. The result is an easy-to-play game, with the potential to satisfy a large audience.
For the harcore gamer
But to say F1 2017 is a racing game for the casual gamer, no. The serious (racing) gamer can also embrace his or her racing skills. Not only by turning off all the driving aids and driving full Grand Prix weekends, but especially by all the options you get to drive the car and control the team. This all happens in career mode, in which you earn development points by racing and completing assignments. These points can then be used to perform upgrades to your car.
There are more than 100 parts to improve on your car, allowing you to decide whether, for example, the speed of the car or just grip is required. In the career mode, I sometimes got the idea that I did not only play the role of driver, but also team manager and technician. This was once overwhelming, precisely because I want to focus on racing myself and to use my Formula 1 car as best as possible. Fortunately, Codemasters has built in several shortcuts, for example, the game allows you to make a suggestion about which part of your car you should upgrade.
Piece of history
Also new in F1 2017 are the historic race cars that you may drive. Think of iconic Ferrari and McLaren's who have thrown high eyes in Formula 1 over the past few decades. You get the chance to crawl behind the steering wheel of these classic racers and experience how to control them. It turned out that this is generally not so bad at all, and sometimes even easier to control than the cars of this season.
In addition, this year, a challenge mode has been added, in which Codemasters will always add new events that are available for a limited time. This will put you in a scenario in which you try to execute a specific assignment. The challenge that was active during the review period put me in Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull. At the time the challenge starts, you drive in fourth place with only a few laps to go and the task is to get the finish line first. This mode, like the addition of classic cars, is not the reason to get F1 2017, but it offers a nice change over the standard races.
Although I'm really excited about F1 2017, there are still a few drawbacks that I do not want to leave unexposed. I encountered some bugs during the game. Some were just annoying, like dropping the racing noise during a qualifying round. Other bugs made me really unable to play. For example, in the event mode, I was given the task of making a pit stop, but a bug made it impossible to drive into the pit street, so I could not complete the event. Hopefully, Codemasters will soon release a patch to fix these mistakes. Graphically, the game looks pretty good, but personally, I actually expect more from a racing game.
F1 2017 is not a perfect racing game, but one that I can recommend to every racing fan. Whether you're an F1 fan who almost never plays a game or just a racegame lover who knows almost nothing about Formula 1. With F1 2017 you will definitely have fun. The game is particularly extensive with many modes, settings and possibilities, so you can play the game exactly as you like. If Verstappen's Red Bull would fail again at a Grand Prix, then F1 2017 is a great way to show what Verstappen could achieve with a working car.