After dropping the F1 series for a number of years I came back for F1 2016 and had a great time with it. While F1 2017 doesn't reinvent the wheel it does make some improvements in key areas and I enjoyed my time with it.
Here's a few brief notes on what I enjoyed most about this title:
The (Xbox One) controller feedback was truly astounding. I haven't had that level pf precise feedback in any game outside of Forza Motorsport 6 and in some cases the trigger feel was even better than what I would get from a Forza title. F1 2016's was already good but the enhanced trigger feedback in 2017 was a welcome improvement. I drove with all assists off as I like to do in all racing games, and walking that tightrope where the rear tyres are just about to break traction never got old; catching slides was a lot easier too as they were more predictable.
Last year I wished for some Classic F1 cars to be added to the game to give it a sense of variety and I was happy with this year's selection. The Ferrari F2004 was a dream to drive and the Red Bull RB6 is just how I remember it from F1 2010. Although I have more of an affinity for the 2000's era of cars some of the 90s were fun too, particularly the Williams FW14B. I also appreciate the fact that they were integrated into Public Multiplayer as they can make for some good battles.
I liked the addition of the official F1 intro graphic before each session. When those streaks of light and came up combined with that buildup music I knew of from TV broadcasts I knew it was time to go racing.
There were however a few things I wasn't too pleased about; nothing game-breaking but just minor annoyances:
Some of the Achievements were a little too "grindy" this time round. I felt that last year's list got the balance just right and for the most part this year's is okay too. That being said there are some that require such long-term investment that they end up not being much fun if you've already gotten your fill of a particular game mode.
Another Lap is a particular outlier as not everyone enjoys Multiplayer enough to want to play it for 50+ hours. I think hitting Rank 25 was a reasonable target but 50 was a bit too much, just as it was in 2010.
On the Shoulders of Giants is a another where it made a game mode outstay its welcome. I understand that everybody has different tastes regarding Career length; some want to do all 10 seasons while others are happy with one. Personally 2 is enough for me, one to explore the game mode and another to go for Championship victory. This Achievement requires close to 6 seasons of play and by the end of Season 3 I was looking for ways to "blitz it" by dropping the session lengths and setting the AI to a lower level. I wasn't playing to race anymore, I was playing for points. On top of that I believe the Achievement discourages you from changing teams, as moving to a lower team would mean "wasting" research points as you could lose a whole bunch of upgrades. I think the Some Assembly Required Achievement was balanced just right.
Some of the minor details of Career don't make much sense to me from an immersion standpoint. I don;t get how the team's entire R&D focus is placed on the second driver of the team. It would have been nice if there was some element of the upgrade process where the 1st driver's opinions (if you're 2nd driver) also mattered. Maybe the 1st driver could get new parts first, or a certain upgrade would be cheaper if the 1st driver also wanted that to be upgraded etc. Also, no matter how well I drove, I was never offered a 1st driver contract at a leading rival team even if I had won multiple championships. I didn't see any real incentive to move to Mercedes or Ferrari when I had developed Red Bull to be stronger and was still 1st driver.
There were some graphical bugs that made things a little difficult at times, but your Technical Assistance forum is full of those so I don't feel the need to elaborate further.
Despite the enjoyment I got out of this game I am starting to get the feeling of "I've done all this before". That's understandable as it's an annualised licensed sports title but there were a few points where I felt I was just doing the same things as in F1 2016. Many of the Career Mode cutscenes, events and character models seem recycled from F1 2016 and the overall flow of gameplay hasn't changed much either. I may end up skipping F1 2018 because of this and coming back in 2019 when things feel fresh again.
Finally, some suggestions for F1 2018. I understand that not all of these are desired or possible but I figured I'd pop these into the virtual suggestion box anyway:
More Classic F1 cars: I'd like to see some iconic cars that aren't necessarily from the big manufacturers. The 1999 Jordan, 2009 Brawn, 2001 Sauber, 1994 Benneton etc. Maybe even some odd-balls or cars from the 70s and early 80s as well.
I'd like to see something like Formula 2 or previous seasons F1 cars added. Not only would this give us more cars to try out but could also be integrated into the Career Mode to encourage multi-season play.
Photo mode on consoles.
I think Career Mode needs something new, as being just the driver can get repetitive. Maybe have an alternate game mode where you're a manager or something.
That's about it from me, thanks for reading and for the hard work in making this year's game happen. It may not be a smash hit with everyone on this forum but I had fun, and I might stay around for some Public Multiplayer races when I'm in between other games
blatent political statement from codemasters I have noticed in this game, there is a suspiciously high amount of EU flags in the crowd which isn't realistic as a total percentage of flags displayed.
I've done some analysis and I believe that only 48% of the flags in the grandstands are of the European Union. The flags will be removed from British copies of F1 2019 following negotiations with the EU.
Controller users: Quick Fuel Mix adjustments. If you play on a controller, managing the MFD can be quite a challenge as your hands are usually taking care of throttle, steering and gearshifts all at the same time. One way to make all of this easier is to use the right analogue stick for the new MFD shortcuts options. Here is what I have set:
Lower Fuel Mix Setting: Move Right Stick to the left
Higher Fuel Mix Setting: Move Right Stick to the right
I have also adjusted my main controller configuration so that I open the MFD by moving the Right Stick up. The main benefit of all of this is that I can adjust my Fuel Mix without letting go of the steering/throttle, which is useful when needing to make changes through a tricky infield section or while driving in the rain, where full throttle/steering control is needed at all times. I lose the ability to Look Left or Look Right, but the game's proximity arrows do a good enough job to let me know where others are, and I can still Look Behind with the Right Stick (down).
T-Cam Settings for Multiple Car Types For the first time in a long time, we're playing an F1 title which features multiple distinct body shapes. This means that the T-Cam positioning for Classic F1 cars may be different to what you find on Modern F1 cars, sometimes resulting in the airbox clipping through the nearpoint of the screen, the front wheels being much closer or further than you're used to etc. Settings for each camera can be adjusted independently, which lets you use the Offset T-Cam as a "secondary T-Cam" for those cars that have an odd perspective when using normal T-Cam.
Head into a Modern F1 car of your choice (I go with the Red Bull).
Set up your T-Cam settings (offsets, FOV etc.) as you normally would.
For the Offset T-Cam, change the Horizontal Offset setting left/right so that the camera is in the exact center of the car.
Adjust your other Offset T-Cam settings as you see fit.
You will find that as the Offset T-Cam is placed in a different position to the regular T-Cam you will have a slightly different field of view and angle, even with the same settings as your normal T-Cam. For me my normal T-Cam has a viewpoint that suits what I want from a Modern F1 car, but I can use the Offset T-Cam when driving something like the Red Bull RB6 or the 90s cars to give me the extra angle I am used to with a Modern F1 car. Overall, you shouldn't need to head into the pause menu to customise your T-Cam for every different era of car you drive, as your 2 T-Cams should take care of pretty much everything.
Finding the right AI difficulty for the beginning of your Career. This year we have a far greater range of AI difficulty settings than before, 110 in total. That can be a little intimidating but thanks to the addition of Spec Racing and Classic F1 cars we can run a quick test to match our driving pace to that of the AI drivers, resulting in closer racing and more realistic results based on your car's performance level.
Head to Grand Prix mode and select Catalunya with short Qualifying.
Choose the 2010 Red Bull RB6 and change the Class setting to Spec Racing.
Do your Qualifying Session with the default setup.
As everybody's in the same car, the only difference is driver/AI skill. When I did this I kept running the Qualifying at different AI levels so that my time would match Pole Position as close as possible (I eventually settled on 65%). What I found was that when I started my Career (Red Bull) I would match the pace of my team-mate (Verstappen) in Qualifying and Races. This ultimately meant that whenever I was hitting the times of Ferrari/Mercedes I knew I was doing really well in that session, and to maintain that level I'd have to push harder on each successive lap. The battles I have had in the Career have been enjoyable so far purely because the AI feels "just right" for my pace level and the results are fair.