F1 2016 review

F1 2016 review

Conquering the world title

PlayStation 4 tested version.

Codemasters, after the much talked about debut of F1 2015 on "next gen" which took place exactly 13 months ago, amidst criticisms, disappointments and shattered expectations, especially regarding the lack of various contents (the Career mode above all), seems to have better metabolized the negative feedback received from users, returning with the new chapter of the racing game with a spirit and a diametrically different approach than in the past.

Now the British software house can no longer be wrong, 6 years after its debut, with some good ideas and some questionable decisions, she is called to the so-called 9 test F1 2016 they exist and can be seen and certainly represent the natural evolution of these “hard” years of development. Will Codemasters be able to offer a product that lives up to expectations, thus reaching maturity, or will it be yet another hole in the water?

Find out with us, in our F1 2016 review.

A career as a pilot

F1 2016 simulates the current 2016 season, which he currently sees Lewis Hamilton leading the drivers' standings with a 9-point advantage over his teammate Nico Rosberg, with the addition of the Azerbaijan route of Baku, the introduction of Hockenheim which replaces the Nurburgring for the Grand Prix in Germany, also adding the new one to the fleet Haas stable, represented by the pilots Romain Grosjean ed Esteban Gutierrez and updating the drivers to the market movements of last winter, albeit scarce (remember that Max Verstappen took the place of Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull only during the current championship).

Basically, compared to its predecessor, from a purely technical point of view, it changes very little, most of the texture have been practically "recycled" and reinserted in F1 2016, with some minor additions and some more commands, especially as regards Radio communications and on-screen management of your car. But the real strength of this chapter is represented by the mode that Codemasters has decided to include to make the gaming experience as realistic and immersive as possible.

In fact, from the main menu it is possible to choose in which way to try, from the fast race, for an escape and away, to the world championship in the role of one of your favorites, setting the level of difficulty to your liking, the presence or absence of driving aids. , the intervention of the Safety Car in the event of an accident, the Warm Up to prepare the car and tires before departure, then passing through the classic time trials (possibly unloading the rival "ghost") on one of the 21 available tracks.

The gem of this new edition of Formula 1 is represented by the return of the much loved and appreciated career mode, which, as by now known and known by fans of the genre, had been practically cut in the trunk by F1 2015, causing fierce criticism and above all a strong disappointment which in addition led to a net reduction in the longevity of the title itself, which does not foreseeing substantial changes, season after season, led the gamer to shelve it after a single championship played.

Now, however, the music has changed, the career mode allows, through your virtual alter ego, to simulate ten seasons in a row, between technical evolutions and possible team changes linked to performance in the race. Basically, this mode is playable in two distinct ways, namely: that fully customizable, in terms of difficulty level (from very simple to professional level), to driver aids (from traction control deactivated, medium or full, to assisted braking or not, to manual gearbox and other parameters that can be customized to your liking), then moving on to the progression of the race weekend, in which it is possible to decide whether or not to run 100% of the laps and also to decide on how and above all for how long to carry out free practice and qualifying.

Alternatively, there is the Elite mode, very demanding, in which it will be necessary to be real pros to achieve the best results, in which it will be necessary to carry out all seasons, with the aids deactivated and covering 100% of the laps present in each single Grand Prix. It will certainly not be easy at all, but the possibility of choosing between two distinct possible approaches is certainly a welcome thing.

The fact is that depending on what you decide to do, the game will adapt perfectly to your driving needs (surely the advice we can give you, if you decide to remove any driving aid, is that of buy a good steering wheel, as the joypad will no longer be suitable for the experience). However, in both career modes available, it will be necessary select your avatar (unfortunately select and not create) among those available, by entering your name and surname, helmet and its livery which can be customized at least in colors, nationality and in which team to start; for the happiness of those who in the past were forced to do a boring apprenticeship and then get to one of the top teams, this time no limitations were placed in the choice of the team.

However, the selection of the team will be crucial as if you went to select the most important teams which Mercedes AMG Petronas, Ferrari, Red Bull e Williams, you will be called to win the championship right away, while if, on the other hand, you are looking for a more "soft" approach you can then choose smaller teams, such as: Force India, Toro Rosso and why not Haas or Sauber to have as a reference target more years to reach the world title, which will necessarily go through developments and chats with engineers to improve their car.

L'career mode management hub it consists of the classic paddock, where various tools will be available such as: your own smartphone, which will allow us to know the objectives that the team has set for a specific race weekend, the laptop which instead will serve to manage the Research and Development section and also keep an eye on your progression as a driver and the results achieved, direct interviews with engineers and the Sports Manager, who will give us a big hand for the rest of our career.

At the base of it all is the R&D section, well implemented
a and characterized by a whole series of sections in which we can spend the resource points earned to develop the Power Unit (engine power - injection system), fuel efficiency, chassis weight, downforce and finally the aerodynamic drag of the car. There are two possible ways to do this: carry out development programs during free practice (ranging from managing the compounds in the best possible way, to touching the points of the rope during a fast lap until you get to keep the pace from qualifying) or obtain, depending on the objectives set by the team, minimum placements in qualifying and of course in the race.

Although it does not represent the true development of an F1 car, which in any case depends on how many resources (not just economic) are available to the team, it adds that something extra (in a sort of GDR evolution, albeit minimal) which in the past had only been sketched out and nothing more. Furthermore, always with a view to career progression, the agent will remind us with precision the objectives that the team will set for us from time to time, such as a minimum position on the starting grid or a placement in front of your teammate.

And that's where it comes in the rivalry with other drivers, first of all with his teammate, which represents a fundamental factor for our driver's growth, consequently influencing his placement in the market. Ultimately, the Career mode appears well structured, varied, fun and demanding enough and by itself, it represents an addition that makes F1 2016 a nice step forward compared to the last chapter.

Beware of false starts

The innovations introduced are not limited to the modalities, but also from the point of view of tender elements, gameplay it has been further enriched; primarily, the start has been completely revised (also in reference to the new rules present in the circus), as now the game will allow simulate the detachment of the clutch, that is, first gear already engaged (by holding down the x button) and foot on the gas (remembering to leave the x button), which will entail, if you start early, a nice penalty to be served in the pits or in the event that the gear does not should be inserted to see the other cars slip off. This system represents a good step forward compared to the past, as the departures were rather standardized and it was practically impossible to get them wrong.

Another addition, provided you select manual entry into the pit lane, was the introduction of the drive-through when the speed of entry into the pitlane is too high. In addition, for lovers of "perfection", there has been the great return of Safety car and adding the Virtual Safety Car, which although it does not work at its best, certainly represents a nice addition (or rather a return to the past), which makes the atmosphere and experience on the track even more real.

The strategy system has been revised, which are not limited only to the undercut (anticipating only the stop to gain an advantage on the track to obtain the position or to consolidate one's advantage over the opponents) but, everything becomes even more interesting as it will be necessary, before each race, choose between three different strategies, aggressive, balanced and conservative, in relation to sets of tires available. The addition is therefore really important, as it ensures that there is that extra bit of unpredictability, especially if you go to play 100% of the possible laps, eliminating that system of obligations and obvious situations seen in the past.

Different speech instead, as regards the damage system, which unfortunately turns out to be still far from reality, above all because the good Bernie Ecclestone does not authorize Codemasters to recreate the damage in a completely truthful way; all this is limited to some small damage on the side bellies, to the classic breakage of the front wing, which will negatively affect the overall performance of the car forcing us to a stop force in the pits, some suspension damaged but in most cases without any detachment of the tire .

Although overall the system works, it must be said that it is still a bit "old" but this does not depend on the British software house but as mentioned by issues related to FOM, which tries to avoid that in the game there can be significant damage and consequently dramatic accidents that could question the safety of the cars. Undoubtedly it represents a nice limit to the potential of such a title, but unfortunately the guys of the British software house, as much as they have improved everything, they cannot do much about it.

Codemasters can therefore only be praised for the simple fact of having listened to the requests of fans, adding modes and making improvements here and there, which certainly do not upset the overall gaming experience and which on balance represent the right mix between past and present. Even the driving model has remained almost unchanged, not that it is bad, indeed but perhaps you could have dared a little more, especially with regard to any errors in dosing the acceleration when exiting a curve or in the wet, which should represent situations in which your car can spin and which, on the other hand, only happen infrequently.

A finally improved Multiplayer sector

The multiplayer has practically remained unchanged, it is possible to choose between a plurality of sessions that will naturally allow the user to select the degree of difficulty, the length of the race, the driving aids available and many other things that will ensure that the player can immerse himself. best in the gaming experience (remember that the most significant addition is represented by the multiplayer support for up to 22 drivers, which allows players to form a complete grid across the 21 circuits of the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP).

The matchmaking system has improved significantly since F1 2015, and the frustrating uploads seen in the past now seem to be more contained. Unfortunately, there is still a persistent flaw, if collisions are enabled, the experience will turn into a game of clashes and accidents that will lead the player to abandon it immediately. Surely it is much better to try your hand in the cooperative championship which will be very fun and rewarding or in the online championship mode for up to 22 players.

EGO Engine 3.0 optimized to the best

Il graphic engine
used is the same as last year, or theEGO Engine 3.0, of course optimized, but starting to feel the weight of age; let's be clear, the visual impact is truly extraordinary (at times it will seem like watching the race on TV) and represents a slight step forward compared to its predecessor but compared to other titles, such as Project Cars it is certainly inferior at least graphically speaking. The anti-aliasing filter used is really good, although last year's defect continues to persist, namely texture problems and frame rate drops in the mirrors.

The game also runs on 60 frames to the second and to 1080p, without particular slowdowns except in some small situations. The surrounding elements, compared to what was seen last year, like the public in the stands and the buildings, are finally well reproduced, as well as the paddock and the weather effects, the latter now well done by F1 2012; less cared for are the polygonal models of the pilots, engineers and mechanics who now appear to be the same for at least 3 years, but who ultimately, although turning up their noses a bit, turn out to be acceptable.

THEArtificial intelligence of the opposing pilots, as well as the overall management during the race, have been improved and not a little; of course it depends a lot on the chosen difficulty level, but overall the CPU performance is very solid and not very uncertain. Passed, if not with full marks, also the penalty system if you go to cut a corner repeatedly or damage has been caused to an opposing car.

We close by talking about the comment, which in F1 2015 was something unthinkable and which instead this year succeeded perfectly thanks to the combo of official SKY commentators, Carlo Vanzini and Luca Filippi, who prove to be at ease even in the Codemasters racing game.

Final comment

F1 2016 - After getting back on track with Dirt Rally, Codemasters, also thanks to the heavy criticisms received last year, managed to get back on track, offering a really solid and well-made Formula 1 game. The addition of the career mode and a whole series of tricks (some purely aesthetic, such as the Safety Car and the Virtual Safety Car), make the player feel an integral part of the "circus". For all lovers of the genre it is a must buy without even thinking about it, while for those who do not particularly appreciate Formula 1 but still try their hand at driving games, the advice is to turn attention to other racing games on the market.

For Cons 
- Well structured and engaging career mode - Adapts to any racing game lover - Different modes to try your hand at - The EGO Engine 3.0 starts to feel the weight of age - Safety Car and Virtual Safety car do not work at their best - Damage to cars still unrealistic
  Overall rating: 86 
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