Every year we are treated to a new F1 experience and some years past have been kind of lacklustre in terms of how much of an improvement the game is over its predecessor. If you are releasing a game every year you need to have some sort of stand-out feature in it or an improvement somewhere along the line to keep players coming back for more. Well, F1 2017 is not only a huge improvement over last year's release, but it could
F1 2017 feels like the entire package that contains every tweak, improvement, DLC, and of course visual enhancement we have received over the past few years. You know when you order the same food at the same place, but one day somehow that food just tastes a hundred times better? Well, that was the feeling I got when playing F1 2017.
All the issues with driving, lack of accredited brands, and other hiccups are simply not present. Codemasters have even gone as far as to make sure that F1 2017 includes all the latest Formula 1 regulations. While I am not a pro with the F1 industry, I did catch wave about the changes to grip, tyre girth and other racing changes to the cars on the track.
All these are now present in the game and although it might not seem like a big deal, it is enough to appreciate the amount of detail put into it. This does not end there though as the career mode is the best of the best in the series. It only took nine years to get there, but rest assured that F1 2017 has a fantastic campaign that will see you go from struggling to make a name for yourself, to being head hunted by some of the biggest brands in the business. When you are not trying to further your career, you are doing test laps, fine tuning your car, or perhaps even racing in the many vintage throwback races that are included in the game.
While there is only a handful of new tracks to race on, the entire collection looks better than ever. According to Codemasters, F1 2017 runs in dynamic 4K on the PS4 Pro, and with the added HDR support it truly brought every track and vehicle to life. Most of all, the tracks look much more vibrant. Instead of the washed-out look and feel from past games, the saturation has been notched up quite a bit to provide a more colourful look to the game. However, the off-track content like the career mode cinematics does look a bit dated with facial animation and general models coming a cross a bit 2014. This is not a game breaker though as you are playing a racing game for the racing and F1 2017 does that very well.
Prepare to spend quite a lot of time in the career mode and especially in the Research and Development department. There is now a skill tree-like grid that kind of felt a little more detailed than the Final Fantasy series. The grid gives you all the fine adjustments you will need to invest your time in the game and most of all it actually feels like it makes a difference during the 10-season campaign.
The micromanaging does not stop there though as every part of your lifestyle as a racer is dependent on the decisions you make and the tiny things you need to do like change one specific part on your car to give you a minuscule increase in fuel consumption. It can be a bit daunting, to be honest, especially if you just race for the fun of things.
In a way, the game is giving you free reign to do what you want but also to live with the decisions you make that could cost you the race. This is a tried and tested way of putting the responsibility on the player and it works very well in F1 2017. Race too long without changing the tires and you could suffer a burnout, but that durability is increased thanks to the nodes on the skill tree. These mechanics go hand in hand and feel like a well-oiled machine.
When it comes down to the look and feel of the cars on track there is just no matching it. F1 2017 feels fantastic in every car and on every track. Sounds, sights, and even the feeling you get when racing are beyond anything accomplished in the series up to now. I could just imagine how this might have felt like playing it using a racing wheel.
Available On: PS4, PC, Xbox One | Reviewed on: PS4 Pro | Release Date: 25 August 2017 | RRP: R1,069
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