Codemasters’ latest version of its F1 franchise is what the sport would call an absolute lights-to-flag winner.
The racing sim is a bumper crop stuffed with both 2015’s and 2014’s seasons – the years the new engine regulations came in – from which players take their pick from a roster of real drivers and make their way to the top. Realism is the order of the day, with the game’s incredible physics engine modelling everything from tyre wear and aerodynamics to the weight of the fuel in your tank. It even updates to adjust to the real-world performance of teams and racers, while the braver might risk Pro Season mode, so realistic there is no HUD.
The fine line between intense, demanding technical driving and the visceral rush of adrenaline is also balanced admirably. But there’s a surprising amount of character outside of the cars. As you push the machines harder, a friendly engineer chimes in to keep you up to date about how many seconds behind you the nearest racer is. Off the track, it’s all presented like TV coverage – complete with ludicrously detailed commentary – which very much makes the atmosphere. It’s a championship-winning package.
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