F1 2021 review – old dog, new tricks • Eurogamer.net

F1 2021 review - old dog, new tricks • Eurogamer.net

The headlines, really, that’s what hasn’t changed. Having grown over the years until it became, for my money, one of the most complete racing game packages, the most striking thing about this year’s F1 game is that EA Sports logo when you start it up, Codemasters having sold up to the mega-corporation earlier this year.

F1 2021 Review Developer: Codemasters Publisher: EAP Platform: Played on PS5 Availability: Released July 16 on PC, PS4 / 5 and Xbox One / Series S / X

Which is, of course, too recent to have a real impact on F1 2021 (not that Codemasters needed help with the most nefarious plans people typically associate with new EA Overlords – the podium pass and various bonuses from pre-orders from previous years are present and correct here, and again thankfully are completely ignorable). Indeed, the moving target of an F1 circus that is still weaving its way around the pandemic sees three tracks – Imola, Portimao and the brand new Jeddah Street Circuit – coming as free DLC after launch. What’s here, then, is familiar stuff.

Then you have to take into account that this is a year of transition, both for the sport itself as it introduces the budget cap and prepares for the radical new cars of 2022, and for the series as it debuts on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X. Given all of this, it’s remarkable that Codemasters have managed to release the game as the season remains balanced; even more remarkable that they did it while adding one of the nicest new features of recent years.

The Braking Point story mode leads the way when it comes to new F1 2021 features, and after some early reluctance and a few small bumps along the way, it ends up landing pretty well. This isn’t the series’ first attempt at story mode (or Codemasters, as those old enough to remember Race Driver Grid know), although after F1 2019 introduced a few of the key characters. such as the dastardly Devon Butler in what looked like a throwaway effort it’s a much more complete affair. Spanning two seasons, its many story beats told in beautiful CGI cutscenes interspersed with cameos of familiar faces and voices, that’s almost enough to justify the price of admission on its own.

What makes it work so well? To dive into too much detail would spoil it – and the fact that there is a story that I think is worth living on your own should probably tell you something – but in the broadest terms possible. , which starts out as a hokey tale of a brilliant upstart works well for upsetting expectations, and it’s helped by the fact that this is a story grounded in gossip and paddock politics. The end result is more believable than Netflix’s increasingly overrated Drive to Survive series, and I hope the slowly brewing follow-up comes to fruition.

There’s a gulf between the quality of the character models in the game and the lush CG of the story mode, but let’s not get caught up in that and instead appreciate how luscious Braking Point’s production values ​​are.

There are limits, of course, and your agency is strictly limited. You choose which team you want to start young Aiden Jackson with, so it’s just a matter of hitting goals – finishing in the top five to help the team get a better place in the constructors’ championship, or beating some. person by a certain turn – before starting the next cutscene. For all that you are a passenger for that particular ride, you have a guided tour of the various features of the F1 series through the scenarios – having to read the sky for incoming weather conditions to judge which tires to fit, handle radio chatter. of your engineer as he walks in and manages one of the many complex systems of the modern F1 car, or the simple thrill of going wheel to wheel with sports superstars with an experience increasingly hard to distinguish from reality. diffusion of life.

If this is the agency you are looking for, you are more than amply served by the My Team mode of the career, back after its debut last season with some welcome tweaks and tips. These are minor tweaks, in mind – a bit more busy work when managing your team’s schedule, the ability to earn development points without having to go through all the training programs yourself – but enough. to make sure I was pulled through another full season at the helm of my own Team Lotus, weaving my own compelling narrative as I juggled spreadsheets, sponsors, and dense development trees, as well than with the more serious business of dragging a very fast racing car.

There are issues here and there. Another novelty allows you to win this year’s championship at any time – great, I thought, as I wanted to face Mercedes’ retaliation on my own and see if I could get his eighth title from Sir Lewis, but unfortunately it is simply not possible. Instead, you’re replacing a particular pilot with your own avatar, Quantum Leap-style, rather than playing the role of your hero. Oh boy indeed.

On the next generation, there is support for ray tracing in photo mode but not in action itself. The results can be quite dramatic.

Elsewhere there are some awkward bugs, some legacy features that perhaps should have been removed a few years ago (can we please remove the Telltale-esque dialogue choices at the end of each race?) , And an inconsistent approach to following the boundaries that, while true to the real-life FIA ​​craziness, makes me want to steer clear of any more serious online multiplayer. Classic cars from previous years are totally absent this year, when once again there is no VR support – a sort of oversight in a genre that lends itself so well to the medium.

As in previous years, however, I don’t feel so hectic as I find myself in the middle of yet another full career campaign, as F1 2021 isn’t where I’m going to strap myself into a sim seat during hours. It’s a couch game that I’ve always enjoyed with a controller in hand, the kind of flashy racing console we don’t see so much of these days.

It’s also a flashy thing on the new consoles – I’ve been mostly on PlayStation 5, repeatedly dodging in and out of photo mode to enjoy the ray-traced cars and admire the finer details of Codemasters work. . The DualSense does well too, with the right trigger communicating widely when you’re about to break traction when you pull it into a turn, the left trigger also lets you know when the front tires are starting to lock up.

It’s a pleasure to have such a comprehensive racing game come on the next generation of hardware. There are flaws that will be familiar to longtime fans, and indeed the question of whether the mainstays of the series will find enough new stuff here to justify the expense. So this is a modest update, but above all a successful one. It remains to be seen how exactly EA’s influence will play out in the future, but for now, let’s enjoy another reliable and brilliantly authentic official F1 game.

Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-07-12-f1-2021-review-old-dog-new-tricks


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