When you look at modern games, the best graphical benchmarks often come from racers with F1 top of the pile.
F1 2019 is an absolutely stunning game. Everything has been recreated faithfully, from the exterior of the cars to the dense foliage, even the crew that lurk around the pit.
This year, however, F1 2019 offers more than just looks. For me, it’s the best career mode Codies have put together yet.
Of course, it starts by selecting your team and choosing your avatar, making sure you look and sound the part. Then, of course, it’s right into the action.
As you might expect, F1 2019 plays with a narrative that sees your character entangled in a rivalry with another driver, while also considering the needs of other drivers in your team to try and win the championship.
It’s a tangled web you weave, for sure, all supplemented by making sure you play by the rules and keep your tires on the track at all times, else the penalties be severe.
The sense of realism is as prevalent as ever. No racer plays like an F1 game, because it requires a level of precision, patience, and skill the likes of which you can’t find in a Forza or Crash Team Racing.
Any bump into another racer or cutting of corners results in a penalty. Not only that but you’ll have to watch the wear and tear of your car and time your pit stops efficiently to try and win the race or risk losing your position altogether.
It’s tough, oftentimes exhausting, but the strategic undertone of a race is unmatched. And added with some multi-choice interviews, drama off the circuit, and unique scenarios, the campaign mode is surprisingly compelling and manages to stay varied enough for a sustained period.
And the main campaign is fluid in that you’ll see drivers change allegiance and team throughout the campaign, creating some unlikely and unexpected partnerships with legends of the sport as well as the best of the modern-day.
But Codies have aimed higher and this is a bigger F1 than ever before, with the long-awaited addition of the Formula 2 Championship. Where F1 cars are modded and souped up for all occasions, conditions, and purposes, the F2 cars are notoriously tougher to drive with their similar structure and engine.
The difference in play is immediately apparent and represents an exciting new challenge for those who’ve been waiting for something just a little bit different. Currently just using the 2018 roster, with 2019 to follow, the move from F2 to F1 also feels like the step up in quality it should. The challenge feels different, the style of racing is refreshing.
F1 2019 is great and an absolutely essential tour de force for Formula fans. The cars react as they should, the courses look as you’d expect. It’s everything you’d hope for and more. This is the best Formula 1 game to date and with F2, it builds some exciting foundations for the future.
F1 2019 is out now on Xbox One, PC, and PS4.
Review code kindly provided by the publisher
Tested on Xbox One