Codemasters returns to the track strongly and wants to show that they have the ability to overcome. They did it with F1 2016 and this year they repeat strategy. With F1 2017 we are facing a delivery that pays attention to small details so that, together, they give rise to one of the best Formula 1 video games we have seen in a long time.
They say the secret is in the details. F1 2017 understands it perfectly. The last installment was the evolution necessary to make the leap to the present generation of consoles. Codemasters went into the pits and gave us a completely refurbished title. Taking the step, the next thing was to pay attention to those little things that, together, can offer us an increasingly respectful vision about Formula 1.
There are tweaks about the management system to convey better feelings to the controls. Aerodynamics has been readjusted so that we can drive more violently, coping with curves. You enter and leave with greater speed than last year, something that has meant perfecting some paths, special mention to the circuit of Suzuka (Japan), which surprises by how vertiginous it has become.
And this is only the beginning. The British developer has worked to propose a motor damage system, a 110-level difficulty selector, a more aggressive and erratic AI … All with the aim of creating a more immersive driving experience, with a lot of fan service for Motor lovers If you know the world of F1, you will see many details that you know reflected. If you don’t have so much knowledge, the title will help you win them, and even be more interested in this demanding car discipline. It is true that this delivery is far from assuming a revolution, but it does mean an important step towards excellence.
In Search of Excellence
The most important part is still the trajectory mode. The scheme does not change much compared to other years. 10 seasons in which to prove our worth as pilots. We can select the name, helmet, face (a detail that women join) and nationality. All teams are available from the beginning, with more or less ambitious objectives depending on our selection. It is up to the user to choose to start from the bottom of the top.
There are small changes in the form, related to our team manager, the laptop to check progress and the presentation of the great prizes. However, to talk about the news we have to go to training sessions. Like the previous year, we have a series of tests (tire management, fuel savings, classification rate …) that help our team of engineers to collect data. Nor is there anything new here, except that this year we are encouraged more than ever to perform these tests to earn resource points.
It is one of the best Formula 1 video games that we have seen in a long time.
The research and development tree for single-seaters multiplies the options seen in F1 2016, with four areas to improve: engine, chassis, durability, and aerodynamics. The scheme is like an RPG, promoting those aspects of the car that can contribute to our success. The system is so elaborate and deep that you feel fully encouraged to complete the training, even if it means investing a little more time before the dispute of each race. The novelty manages to reflect greater fidelity with respect to the world of F1, putting us in direct contact with the engineering department.
It is not stupid to say that it is one of the central elements of the F1 2017 experience, because every improvement we make is reflected in the car. We are even offered a comparative bar that shows the evolution of each team throughout the championship. Therefore, the dynamics not only fulfill the function of reflecting the reality of the competition, but it is also very addictive.
As a playable novelty, we must highlight in this analysis the presence of classic events among great prizes. From time to time, an agent will come to visit us to encourage us to face exhibitions with cars such as R26 by Fernando Alonso or McLaren MP4 / 4 by Ayrton Senna. They consist of overtaking within a time limit or comebacks that test our ability, among others. They are not as bad as an incentive and bring a touch of variety.
Classic events bring a touch of variety
This joins other elements already present in previous installments, such as the fight with our teammate to become the priority pilot or the typical offers to change teams. Of course, the Safety Car returns (both normal and virtual), now with a higher frequency of appearance. We still don’t have as many Grand Prix incidents as we would like, with careers sometimes too monotonous. AI, for its part, makes its progress, although to be fair we will say that it has a lot of room for improvement.
In any case, it all depends on the level of difficulty we choose. A few years ago we complained about the few existing degrees, but that ended … This edition includes 110 challenge levels, with which each user will find a level according to their skill. Besides, we have the typical options to move between the arcade or the simulation, with the activation/deactivation of the dynamic layout, the braking assistance, the traction control, and a long etcetera.
You cannot say that F1 2017 is 100% realistic driving because it is not your intention, but it achieves a good balance, which is what it is all about. We like the behavior of the car and the amount of data we have in the race. The interface becomes even more complete, with data on tire status, fuel level, temperatures … One of the novelties is that each of the components that make up the engine and gearbox is considered separately. We have more control, but also more likely that something will fail.
Apart from the professional career, we have the option to play large single prizes, both modern and classic cars. Also included are 20 old car events, such as an overtaking challenge with a Williams FW18 in Britain, or a time trial uploaded to the McLaren MP4-13 in China. Another important modality is the online scenarios, which are updated every week with a test that tries to create a real driving situation, such as achieving a victory with the damaged front wing. The score obtained is compared with that of the other players.
Regarding the multiplayer, we have the possibility to compete in races of 20 online players that perform more effectively than we anticipated. It all depends on the will of the participants. In our tests, we have had everything from chaotic competitions to really satisfactory wheel-to-wheel duels. There is also the possibility of playing online championships, something that enhances the total duration of the game. Unfortunately, we have no split-screen.
In the audiovisual, again good news. The video game shows the great appearance of last year, although with minor improvements in terms of lighting. The scenes stand out for the brightness of the sun, and in rain, the show is outstanding, with drops on the camera and some really careful reflection effects. The cars sound forceful, the music of the menus is elegant and the voices of commentators or engineers are dubbed into Spanish. There is practically nothing to reproach. The facial representation of the pilots has been improved, although not so much in the rest (mechanics, hostesses, and other personnel).
All in all, F1 2017 means an acceleration in the right direction. Codemasters continues its line of developments in a circuit that increasingly dominates: that of Formula 1. Perhaps you miss more experimentation in career mode, innovative game modes or better behavior in terms of AI. Surely they are details that are polishing over the years, or at least that is what the British show us. They go for pole …
F1 2017 is not a revolution, but an evolution with respect to what we saw last year. Codemasters have understood that the secret is in the details, and that is where they focus on giving us one of the best video games on the discipline. There is room for improvement and the British should not fall asleep, but this is the speed at which the series must compete to improve its performance year after year.
- Small introductions, but together they form an improved set
- Retouched control, with stronger driving sensations
- The research and development tree brings a lot of depth
- The introduction of classic vehicles, including the recreation of their driving
- Return of the “recreations” of situations that may occur in F1
- Powerful and careful audiovisual section
- Still showing inconsistencies in rival AI
- Few career incidents
- There is no split-screen