The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
F1 follows a similar racing
template that other Codemasters titles have already employed. The cars
handle well, there is a light damage component, and you can use
flashbacks to rewind the game to before you crashed. Although the car
handling can be changed with different assists to suit your liking and
damage isn’t as disastrous as you might think, the main thing that the
game achieves in the gameplay department is the lightness of the cars
and the high acceleration that’s possible. Combined, these two elements
can be dangerous; you’ve got to learn to baby tight turns, otherwise you
are going to easily spin out. The game also layers in factors such as
how much gas you have in your tank (which means you lose grip as the
race goes on because your car becomes lighter), the heat of your tires,
and the performance of your engine. The latter two are important because
when the tires and engine are in the zone, you’ll turn out better lap
Combining ease of use both on and off the track is the key
to why this game stands out. I can’t say that either aspect of the game
is the most involved you are going to see, but simply having interviews
and team objectives is great for a season-based racing game. Couple that
with accessible racing and an eye towards realism, and Codemasters
finally delivers an F1 game everyone can enjoy.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.