F1 2018 Headline Edition Review27/08/2018
The new instalment to the franchise is being promoted as the best racing sim on the market which is a massive change from their roots as an arcade styled racer. You get to race alongside legends from the sport in the new cars and old which is an excellent experience for any F1 fan. With an updated tracklist, you get to travel around the calendar at the beautiful circuits of this sport.
This game offers a variety of game modes including multiplayer, time trials, events, championships and a career mode. The game modes are self-explanatory, but I will focus on the career mode as this was the game’s most significant selling point for me.
You get to choose a face and helmet, and while the faces are all generic the helmet allows a bit freedom, and you can get some that look great.
If you have the time for that stuff because I know the hours I put into my Fallout character. When choosing a team, your given information about want the team what from you. For example, a sportsman or someone who is right in front of the camera.
This led me to sign with Renault due to their driver preference and because I like the challenge as well.
A big part of the game now is the media influence on contracts and reputation. After each race or qualifying session, you will speak to the media and can do things like praising the mechanics or slur the other teams.
There are a lot of options here, and it allows you to build up the type of driver you want to be. Which is good if you have the time to read your responses. With four options to choose from all a couple of lines of text and with Claire the journalist talking you have 10 seconds to decide on an answer. This is a way too short of a time and makes something that could be fun and enjoyable just unnecessarily stressful.
Practice is now a significant part and not just for qualifying and the race. You have tasks to do and the objectives you have to complete. These include a lap where you have to manage your fuel and another one where you have to look after your tyres. These two are pretty unrealistic and tedious to do for the points, but the tutorial advice is helpful and piratical when racing. There are more useful ones such as a practice qualifying lap, a task called Track Acclimation which teaches you the track and racing lines. My personal favourite is Race Strategy which records all of your data such as breaking points, fuel management, tyre wear, track position and aggression.
Career mode continued
This is very useful as it helps you improve your race and on race day allows you to use a ‘customised’ strategy based on the results of this test.
This allows for a more predictable and reliable race which is a great addition.
My only issue is you are forced to complete the tasks to collect R&D points. These allow you to upgrade: Powertrain, Durability, Chassis, and Aerodynamics.
While I like this addition, it is laid out very well for you. To compete against rival teams. Collecting the points through tasks such as fuel-saving objectives is annoying every time you do a practice session. If you don’t upgrade, then you are left severely handicapped, so it is an essential part of the game.
Career mode part 2
The most vital component to any racer does the cars handle well (Dramatic pause to build tension) yes!.
In 2017 and all the games before it, the vehicles, when pushed to their limit, would spin unrealistically, and this was just annoying. While it does feel that it’s still kind of there it’s a vast improvement. Also, the cars are more significant this year, and when driving, you do feel it in your movements when trying to position the car on the track. This goes some way to making the game feel more like a sim and highlights the attention to detail of where the vehicles are concerned. Also, the set up of the car which is highly customisable affects its performance and handling so play around with what works best for you.
As to much dismay, the halo has been confirmed to be in the game. While it saves lives on track, as Charles Leclerc found out this weekend at Spa it isn’t the prettiest thing. From a POV perspective, it blocks some of your vision because unlike real life you view it in 2D, not 3D so you can’t see through it to some extent. However, because of this Codemasters has given us the option to remove the middle of the halo which offers improved vision while still keeping the ring.
This is good and shows care to the community. From other perspectives, the halo is not a big issue and doesn’t distract or obscure any views.
The ERS unit with its five modes highlights the hybrid engines of these current cars; This device allows you to get the most out of your car turning what would be wasted energy into an extra boost.
While it adds to the realism and is a fun new component the way you use it, especially on a controller is very poor. Here’s a hypothetical. Say you are Vettel chasing down Hamilton. You press B move down to the ERS option at the very bottom. You then have to change the setting say to 4. Then you hit some corners and while turning you have to change the mode down to say two all while trying to get the best line. Then you run the straight and turn it to 5 and pass Hamilton. While striving position the car and defend into the next few corners you also have to adjust the ERS which takes about five different button presses every time. While there is an auto option for anyone wanting to use it.
The poor design around a critical component of the game is, well, quite frankly a pain in the ass.
AI on a racer is tricky and while its pretty good there is room for improvement. If you want a challenge and turn up the difficulty of the AI. The AI will dive deep into every corner and hit you.
This can be quite annoying something that needs to be addressed, but overall the AI works well.
Career mode part 3
There is a rival system as well in the game, and while I like the idea, it’s not so great in practice. You get points for each thing you do are compared against your rival. My issue is you get 1 point for each task completed, so a podium finish equals the score given to your opponent for finishing the race or fastest lap. Again, I like the idea and how it affects your career, but the point and objective system needs some improvement.
There is also a photo mode in this game, and holy hell does it get some great shots. There are many options you get when taking the picture from the lenses of the camera.
Photo frames and you can even change your tyre or the weather to get a better shot. The camera works well. This is a well-welcomed addition to this game to capture the best parts of all the action.
The cars and circuits look incredible with high detailed finishes.
Clean livery and a beautiful environment in which to drive in. An improvement to 2017 which is expected and good allowing for a clean finish and fresh look to the game.
The only issue here is the driver’s faces.
The big names such as Vettel are looking good but going down the grid.
To the Hartley’s of the sport, they look weird and awkward. Hopefully, this won’t be a big issue for you as you’ll be ahead of them all.
The only music and sound we care about as fans of this game is the F1 theme song. Which we all said we didn’t need but now love and the sound of the engines. The intro to the competition sells it with high-quality in-game. Clips of tracks and car in action with the F1 theme song roaring through your TV.
The car engines I hear you ask from miles away… sound great! When accelerating, decelerating or holding high revs the engine always gives you a beautiful sound.
The cars are a joy to listen to when watching your race win replay.
The game has voiced well, and the radio is bright enough to understand.
Car engines are what we all care about here.
I would say there is quite a bit of replay value in this game. You can do career mode or try to win the championship. In the best or worst cars to test your skill in the game.
The time trails are addictive. The best time is to compare to the rest of the F1 community. You see yourself climbing the ranks with every lap. Also, the events are entertaining. There is a lot of Old F1 cars, which is a lot of fun.
Overall/ Final thoughts
The game does have its issues I will say, but they are mainly comfort problems. However, if you are a fan of the sport or enjoyed F1 2017.
It is defiantly worth your money because it’s an advantageous game. A race win feels like a chicken dinner, and you feel like your voice matters when you give an interview.
The upgrades are all preference based alongside car set up, so it’s very customisable. While it still isn’t entirely a sim, in my opinion, the game runs well and looks good. Pitching you against big names on the best tracks. I like the options on the road and career progression within the game.
Which grabbed me and made me want to play more. But what keeps me here? Definitely the F1 theme song every time you start the game up!