Title: F1 2016
Version Tested: Xbox One
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
Official Site: http://www.formula1-game.com/us/home
Release Date: August 19th, 2016
Where to Buy: Xbox Store, PSN, Steam, Local Retailers
Let me ask a question… What makes a racing game? Is it the numerous cars that are offered, is it just the title or the picture on the cover box? No. What makes a racing game is the feel of it. A racing game for me needs to feel authentic. The idea isn’t just to go as fast as possible and bump and slam your way around every turn. Everything should matter – fuel, weather conditions, tire choice, setup of the car, damage and the tracks themselves. That’s what makes a racing game… a racing game. Let me tell… you F1 2016 IS a racing game.
If this is your type of genre, remember Evolution Studios? They’re the ones that brought you MotorStorm and DriveClub. When Sony closed them down, the entire team went over to Codemasters. You can read that article here.
F1 2016 is the official video game of the FIA Formula One World Championship and plays as such. This is about a close as you’re going to get to being in an Indy car race outside of being in one. For added effect, I recommend a high-speed fan placed in front of you and a friend that can shake your chair violently if you crash. As someone who does not typically play racing games, I was amazed at the strategy it takes to win a race. I often play First-Person shooters but over time, I was able to apply the mindset from that genre to this genre. Once I did, I began to have a white knuckled, palm sweating blast playing through F1 2016.
When I first loaded F1 2016 up, I just started a “Quick Match” to get an idea of how the game played. Remember how I talked about bumping and rubbing your way through the race? Well, that’s what I tried to do and I quickly found myself out of the race. Do this in a season on the most realistic settings and you’ll quickly find yourself drop on the overall leader board. On a positive note, there are “flashbacks.” If you find yourself in a wreck, you’ll be able to flashback to a time before you wrecked and avoid that destruction. This is definitely helpful to those just learning the game.
The career mode is certainly a highlight of F1 2016 and brings an in-depth look at the Formula One world. Again... this is not just any racing game. F1 2016 will require strategy, patience and focus if you want to come out on top. The race rules themselves are incredibly strict. Do you think you’re going to quickly cut the grass at a corner to jump in front of your opponent? No, you’re not. Well, you can, but chances are you’ll be forced to give up that position or get awarded a drive through penalty. If you don’t abide, then you are disqualified. During your career, you’ll also have to learn to set your car based on your play style. I typically drive the car very hard and opt for lower durability tires. In turn, that means I’ll be making more pit stops where I can lose precious time.
F1 2016 also allows you to use your headset to communicate with your pit crew. I highly recommend using this feature because the process is much easier. You can use the controller to communicate with the pit crew but that would distract you from the race. The pit crew will also reach out to you with very useful information, including weather updates. If the rain hits, trust me when I say you’ll want to pit and switch your tires. Your crew will also inform you when DRS (Drag Reduction System) is available. This is especially useful for getting in front of opponents on straightaways. You can also find out the time gap between the cars in both the front and rear as well as your teammate‘s position.
A multiplayer option is also available where you will find yourself competing with real life drivers over a season. In one session I played, the rules were a bit more forgiving. Damage was turned off but collisions were still on. Essentially your car wouldn’t break apart to where you’d fail but you could easily get spun out and find yourself in last place. For the shorter races, these settings do make sense. Getting into first can be an extensive process given the rules and car set up. While I did enjoy the multiplayer, I spent the majority of my time in the career mode and championship mode.
If you want to just pick a Formula One driver and avoid starting your own, you can do that too. I picked Daniel Ricardo from the Red Bull racing team as the man I was going to forge my way to the top with. When I was just breaking into the game, things can be a little confusing but F1 2016 has got you covered. You’ll be able to view tutorial videos that explain key functions of the game and help further your knowledge on the Indy Car world. Various game assists are also available at your discretion to toggle on and off. If you need that turn assist for the first season, then you’re free to keep it on. If you want to keep the damage light until you can handle the realistic experience, then go for it. How you want to tailor the experience is at your discretion.
Unfortunately, I did not play the previous F1 installment by Codemasters so I cannot speak to it. This one, however, was a racing experience that I loved from start to finish. They did an amazing job with F1 2016 and I can’t wait to see what they bring in the future. If racing is your thing, then I highly recommend F1 2016. Again, keep in mind this is not your “bump into everything and hope for the best“ racing game.
When it comes to other racing games, check out this second look at The Crew.
Gameplay: White knuckle, faced paced and calculated.
Graphics: Character models are a little shoddy but on the track, everything looks amazing.
Sound: Have you ever been to a Formula One race? Well…it sounds like that.
Presentation: Official video game of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
- Authentic Sound
- Personalized Career Mode
- Realistic Racing
- Not for everyone
Former professional wrestler, father of entirely too many kids but a gamer forever. I live just south of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. I went to school for Game Development and have been following my passion for gaming in top gear recently.
–Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever