Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
Reviewed On: PS4
Distributor: Apex Interactive
Release Date: 19 August 2016
F1 has always been a racing genre that has felt more or less like the same old thing during the same time of the year. Sure slowly throughout the series, it has grown with every new release, but we were still waiting for that “NBA 2K” moment, where everything felt new and polished. F1 2015 was not that moment, but F1 2016 seems to have nailed the formula down.
Instead of a typical career mode right off the bat, F1 2016 offers a quicker and easier way to get into the racing action. You will get to choose between 3 teams, enter your name and surname, pick a helmet, and you are ready to go. The intro kind of felt very similar to that of Valentino Rossi. This time in F1 2016, you really feel like part of the team you decide to go with, thanks to a lounge-like hub where you will be able to manage your career mode while you are not taking part in races.
It is in this hub where you will find everything you need to be a master racer in F1 2016. You will be able to see your team standings, and how well you weigh up against them, and all your important notifications can be accessed here too. Once you have the hang of your main hub, F1 2016 then welcomes you into a series of practice mini-games. These are well-designed, as they test out your skills and capabilities across the racing mechanics. They will teach you how to drive like a pro, and the basics of track UI in F1 2016. These mini-games even have a pretty neat scoring system that lets you see how you did by highlighting checkpoints throughout the race.
These mini-games are more like glorified tutorials, but they work. Once you have completed them, you will know everything there is to know about turning the perfect corner, road surfaces and how they degrade your tires and other helpful tips. It is here that the game’s true improved polishes shine through the most, as you will feel the difference compared to past F1 titles while racing through the tutorial. Handling is so much better than ever before, and controls in general are a blessing to experience.
This then goes post-tutorial, and really brings out the game’s finest moments. Sounds, feelings, and sights all make you feel like you are connected to the game like never before. Tweaks on your car actually feel like they make a massive difference in F1 2016. Tire pressure, transmission, brakes, and all those other car things, now have a real impact on the race. Your decision to choose a different tire will ultimately be the downfall of your race or the winning decision. Balancing it all out to create the perfect driving experience.
Even when we head into multiplayer, which lets you race against 20 other players, all these improvements and decisions come into play. The multiplayer mode in F1 2016 felt much more stable and solid than ever before, something we would go back and play anytime.
If you have ever looked in the direction of a F1 video game, then F1 2016 is the best of the best. It is truly a remarkable attempt at making something that was great, even better. The polish and sheer attention to detail made it a fantastic F1 video game experience and it was a racing game we would play again.