Codemasters Racing have taken their most popular racing franchise and stripped it of its most beloved features, and modes. Instead of a fully-fledged F1 title, F1 2015 is rather a step back from F1 2014. But with all this missing, the game still manages to hold its own and manages to keep you behind the wheel thanks to its great racing mechanics, and a more casual take on the F1 series.
F1 runs very well, at 1080p, 60fps the races look gorgeous and run smoothly most of the time, bar the occasional screen tear. The driving feels dumbed down a bit, but that’s not a bad thing. When you’ve managed to take hold of things and have familiarised yourself with the game’s mechanics and controllers, you will never have to revisit the control screen again.
The game’s brand new handling mechanic has been built from the ground up for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and while it’s great to experience, it doesn’t feel like an industry changer at all. Rather it disconnects you with your vehicle as the engine sounds are not up to standard, and that with the handling just leave you feeling like you are watching someone else play the game.
The racing mechanics are pretty easy to master and make the game feel like a casual walk in the park compared to a game like Project CARS. If you are used to the series and know how everything works, just racing through a few laps will familiarise yourself with the series and have you on top form in no time. Saying that, while I was racing I noticed that the penalty restrictions on cutting corners and such were next to nothing. As long as you kept one of your wheels on the right road, then you would be fine. The same goes for online where players would be more prone to cut corners due to the low penalty area involved when tracking tyres.
F1 2015 looks good, although not the best looking game in the world, it’s a definite step up from last year’s release. The cars are highly detailed, the weather effects are stunning, and the tracks are as close to the real world as it could possibly get. I don’t want to compare it to Project CARS that often, but its visuals are below the bar compared to Slight Mad Studio’s racer that released earlier this year.
The cars often feel like tanks when taking damage from bumping other racers and banisters. The amount of visible damage does not feel right and neither does it weigh into the F1 spirit of the crash. Instead of you worrying about missing an opponent, you would not mind taking a few knocks to the vehicle knowing that you would come out of the bumper-bashing unscathed.
F1 tries in many ways to make you feel like you’re part of the race, everything about it grips you in, and although the game modes are shorter this time around, the finer tweaks are what makes the game a great attempt in the series. There are some frame rate issue on the PS4 version, some questionable race design, and the loss of a few great game modes from F1 2014, but it’s what we get, and it isn’t half bad.