Reviews// F1 2015

Posted 24 Jul 2015 17:31 by
I feel a bit sorry for the developers of F1 2015.

It canít be the most inspiring job. The sport is what it is. They race similar looking cars around the same track every year and although for fans, the excitement is still very much alive, those that find F1 dull are hard to reach out to.

Thatís not to say they donít put the effort in. F1 2015 feels great to play and it's more accessible than ever. Iíve always had problems with these games. I could never handle the speed of cars and often find myself sliding off the track. I couldnít grasp the reasons I was getting penalised and ultimately gave up and stuck Burnout back on.

As a fan of racing games Iíve always found my style of racing to conflict with F1. Iím aggressive. I make split-second decisions to cut up my opponents and if I leave them with a ding to fix as I pass, then so be it.

This is totally at odds with F1 racing and instead of this game chucking penalties at me without the hint of explanation F1 2015 lets you know exactly where youíre going wrong via the pit-crew.

I took the hint and worked on my racing, fighting against years of conditioning and trying to glide around the track instead of entering a mosh pit at every corner. This is where things clicked for me and not only did I start getting into the spirit of the game it made me appreciate the motorsport more.

F1 2015 caters for all sorts of racing players. The game can be tweaked to the game you want to play, which has its advantages but destroys the need to hone your skills unless youíre extremely committed. And if youíre after a less intense driving sim, then there are already plenty of games on the market that do a better job.

And thatís the biggest issue F1 2015 faces. For fans who take their driving seriously they have the options of Driveclub, Forza and Project Cars. Three games that do what they do excellently. With F1 being extremely serious on the track, thatís the competition. After putting hours into this, itís clear that it falls way short of that bar.

The racing is fun enough. Opponent AI is excellent and makes races more interesting as youíre forced to battle for your place on the podium and, due to the strict nature of Formula 1 racing, you need to pick and choose your moments.

It looks good too. Well, as good as it can considering the source material. I mean the cars and tracks are spot on but without being able to stray away from the realism of a visually dull sport, itíll never wow you.

The 60 frames per second is nice and actually feels beneficial in a game of this speed but when it does drop on the very rare occasion, it really irritates.

The racing isnít the problem here, itís the lack of options. With the move onto the PS4 and Xbox One the series has left a lot behind and this yearís entry is severely lacking.

In terms of play options you have Championship Mode, an extreme version of that mode that only insane people will play called Pro Career, Online Multiplayer, Single Races and Time Trial. Thatís it.

One of the things I really want to do in these games is live the fantasy. In FIFA I want to be a manager, controlling my club from transfers to formation. In tennis games I create myself and try and serve the ball as hard as I can into Andy Murrayís face. This level of immersion isnít an option in F1 2015.

In career mode you must step into the shoes of an unlikeable millionaire, making cutting up Hamilton (the king of the bellends) all the less personal. The disconnect is even more evident†when no one in your pit crew refers to you as your chosen driver. You could be anyone, but never feel like Alonso or yourself.

Time Trials feel like nothing more than qualifying in Championship mode and although the Multiplayer works well when youíre in a game, Itís extremely hard to find one full of drivers on your level, if it's possible at all.

All of this leaves you wanting more. Sport and Driving games have really stepped up recently. To avoid the fatigue of yearly releases theyíre packed with new ways to play and offer huge packages of entertainment. F1 2015 is nowhere near that level and will fail to keep anyone but extreme fans entertained until the next iteration.

Itís such a shame. The racing holds up and the presentation is slick but thereís simply not enough to the game to justify taking your attention away from better racing games out there. If you want a stone cold serious racing game, Project Cars will see you right. If you want something a little more relaxed then Forza and Driveclub have you covered.

But this is a decent foundation to build on. Not much needs tweaking on the track and the series is pointing towards a brighter future. Right now though this is hard to recommend over the competition, especially at full price.

Pros:
+ Excellent driving AI
+ Good visuals
+ Slick presentation

Cons:
+ Lack of options
+ No create a driver
+ Short-lived

SPOnG Score: 6/10
Companies:
Games: F1 2015

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