For Codemasters tenth anniversary in the Formula One franchise we may just have the most jam-packed and content-filled entry yet.
Formula One racing is racing like no other, and it is certainly unique in its driving requirements. If you're not used to racing or Formula One games in particular, then F1 2019 will be hard to get to grips with, quite literally - the steering is something of a 'practice makes perfect' type deal.
It would appear Codemasters listened to fans ongoing request of getting F2 added to this popular franchise. This has to be considered the stand-out addition to the latest entry and it is a true test of one's patience and skill to master these less endowed cars.
F2's main involvement in 2019's entry is in the career mode where it offers the experience of a brooding rivalry between two other fictional drivers. One is your team-mate whilst the other less so. Similar to how 'The Journey' works in the FIFA series, these two characters stay with you throughout; mainly as a measure of success. Gamers are given the option of skipping the F2 section straight away and dive straight into an F1 season, but why miss this long sought after addition? Especially as it makes F1 all the more glorious in contrast.
Career mode is certainly more detailed than ever, boasting 10 seasons and intricate simulation in all areas. Honestly, everything is covered, from backroom staff, to pit-stop detail to press conferences affecting your reputation. Two features that impress me the most are the contract negotiations; being affected by reputation (Sportsmanship Vs Showmanship) and value to the team (ability), as the conditions and perks of a players contract can be pivotal. Something that made the actual racing element more exciting was the voice work put in to the joy-pads, throughout each race your team are with you every step of the way; reporting damaged areas, changing tactics and giving realistic advice. It is quite possibly the most immersive feature.
It was a nice touch that Codemasters have added a selection of its 2010 Ferrari and McLaren vehicles to its existing array of classic cars - all in celebration of its anniversary of course. Speaking of additional content available, the in-game currency serves more purpose than ever before. It is a welcome addition that sees currency earned by more challenges that can be used for liveries, helmets and badges. With these changes there is much more achievement available to players, offering more longevity beyond its key modes - something perhaps previously ignored.
F1 2019 is certainly a hard game, but like most games nowadays it comes with different measures of difficulty. Recognising that F1 2019 will appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers alike, Codemasters have put in a scaled difficulty slider. This large scale of difficulty makes the game more appealing to a wider and perhaps less patience audience. All this and the control of the vehicle's assist options, such as brake assist, aids in finding the perfect balance for every player. It's the care and consideration like this that go along way in a gaming community - well played Codemasters.
From an online point of view, F1 2019 offers slightly more than its predecessors. Firstly, its ranking system allows players to generate a safety rating based on their performance, allowing players to be matched up against others of equal driving etiquette.
For those not wishing to take on ranked matches or indulge in the Esports series, Codemasters have added a 'Leagues' section which allows players to create or join existing leagues of equal ability.
Like every sequel of any game in any franchise, it is practically a given that we will see visual improvements. F1 2019 is no different, already boasting fantastic graphics in previous entries, it was going to be challenge to further that success but they pulled it off here. The scenery is even more stunning, at times it genuinely looks real, and the wet weather environment is so beautifully done.
This version has been released two months earlier than its predecessor which makes it all the more impressive to see so much content and improvements. F1 2019 offers enough frustration, fun, competitiveness and achievement to last longer than 'Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps'.
- Playstation 4
- Xbox One