The Codemasters have done a great job by bringing the Formula One on new gen consoles with a thrilling driving experience-but that has come at a cost of many other things. For starters, there is no career mode! Are they serious?
Codemasters’ latest version of the Formula One game seems like going back many ages in the field of racing. F1 2015, more than in any previous year, does an excellent job of translating the feel of an F1 race. However, that’s just that!
Really! There is nothing much outside of the race itself. With a dearth of content that has plagued the previous versions, plus some niggling bugs that just stop the game midway, it’s a disappointing debut for F1 on the new-gen consoles. With each new F1 game, it seems that stuff keeps getting lesser and lesser. Split-Screen, Classic Content, Driver Interviews, A Functional Safety Car, Career Mode, Create-A-Driver, Rivals, Changing Teams and Season Challenges have all gone for a toss. The first thing you’ll notice in F1 2015 is the distinct lack of much of anything. Championship Season, Pro Season, Quick Race, Multiplayer and Time Trial-those are the only ways you’ll be racing F1 cars here.
But all is not lost here, folks. The big talking point of the game is the visuals and the driving experience. The cars nicely reflect the lights of the track as well as the side walls as they fly around the colourful circuits, which even in real life can look devoid of atmosphere. Codemasters has done a good job of injecting some much needed vibrancy to the tracks. But the weather effects are only at their best in their extremes. In the pouring rain the game looks excellent. Night racing is also fun. The circuit lights in the Singapore Grand Prix are a delight. The game developers have done so much detailing in the gameplay that even the minutest of details have a bigger effect in the races. The sense of speed has also been upped and being able to throw the car into the corners and exiting it gives a sublime feeling. The difference between a Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to a Romain Grosjean’s Lotus has been kept in mind. Codemasters have created a wonderful disparity among the cars and drivers on the grid.
Another nice feature that has come in is the live feed of other racers during the qualifying, which allows you to sneak on drivers and learn braking zones and apply to your own race to save a second. Off the track, it’s all presented like TV coverage, with detailed commentary, which very much makes the atmosphere. Pro mode is where the real challenge is but it’s still the same driving model underneath, even when it’s forcing you to use manual gears and turn of all the driving assists. In fact it’s extremely demanding in terms of more than just difficulty, as it insists all races go the whole distance and you participate in all three practice sessions. But that is, of course, exactly what you’d want from a more serious simulation, and the sense of realism is boosted accordingly.
Despite all the fun on the track, there are things that you can’t ignore. There are bugs that can ruin races. Like once, I made an error while coming out of the pit lane after a tyre change and decided to rewind and start from the pit lane again. But after hitting the resume button, my car wasn’t in the pit lane! It was on the track, stationary and the lacking the fresh tyres I had just received at the pit stop. Race over. Team mad. And I... furious!
Overall, F1 2015 represents the best driving game in the Codemasters’ series to date, but F1 2015 feels like half a game. It’s an enjoyable racing game, which serves as a foundation for future reference. However, it just fails to cross the chequered flag by a distant margin.