F1 2016 is the latest game in the franchise from Codemasters. The official game of the FIA Formula One World Championship brings you all 21 tracks, 22 drivers and 11 teams from the 2016 season. So is the latest F1 game worthy of the top spot on the podium? Read our review below to find out..
F1 2016 comes with a variety of game modes, which include Career mode, Time trial, Quick race, Championship season and of course Multiplayer. Now I’ll be honest here, I haven’t played an F1 game for quite a few years, so I can’t relate to how F1 2016 is any better (or worse) than it’s predecessor. Anyway I’ll start with the game’s controls, which I have to say are pretty spot on, there’s plenty of options that can change how the game plays such as driving assists, so you can make the game as hardcore or as newbie friendly as you want. Making it great for all ages and abilities to get to grips with.
The main game mode as you would expect is career, here you can choose between either a ‘standard’ career or ‘pro’ career. You then go on to creating your own driver, choosing their name and avatar and custom helmet, finally picking the team you want to join. You then meet your agent and new team. You’ll be given objectives that you must meet to keep your team happy, this will include things like finishing above a certain position and beating whoever your rival is etc.
Each race meeting can be customised to your liking too. With options to change the length of your practice sessions, Qualifying sessions and race distance so you can mix and match how you please, making it either short and sweet, or go for a full authentic race weekend. There’s even options to have the weather exactly how you want, or dynamic, so it can change over the course of the weekend, making for some interesting racing.
Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll soon realise that the practice sessions are where you will need to be spending some time. There will be team objectives to complete each race meeting, which include, Track acclimatisation, here you will have to go through a series of ‘gates’ set around the track, hitting them at the correct speed etc to score maximum points. Tyre management, where you will have to set a decent pace around the circuit while keeping the ‘tyre health bar’ as far into the purple as possible. Qualifying pace, is where you have a 3 lap dash to practice for your qualifying session.
Completing these in turn will give you points that can be spent in the R&D section when you are back at your desk, these are upgrades that you can make to your car and include things such as, better aerodynamics and fuel consumption etc. Back to the racing, and it is worth noting that F1 2016 also includes voice support so you can ‘talk’ to your engineer throughout the race by pressing LB and saying one of the many phrases, where you can ask a multitude of questions or request pit stops if needed. this works quite well and only goes wrong if you’re trying to ask questions that aren’t available in session that are in another. (such as tyre status in practice, as I found out in the video above). If you don’t have the use of a headset then you can simply use the D-pad to select which phrase you want and press right to confirm.
All in all though The Career mode is very in depth, with lots of stuff going on to keep you occupied making the game feel really involved, and a lot less of a monotonous grind, which is what I was expecting so I was really surprised and quite enjoyed playing.
Quick race and Time trial are pretty self explanatory, and include the same customising options as above. Multiplayer while not overly populated pre-release, was a great experience with no lag, even with the odd person leaving and join throughout the race. so no complaints there. For the first time too there’s an online championship mode available where up to 22 people can get involved, a great concept and I can see it being popular with both small groups of friends and some of the racing leagues out there. There’s also standard quick races available too, with 3 pre-set settings so you can search for a race that suits you, Rookie is set to 3 laps, no qualifying, collisions off. Sprint is set to 5 laps, no qualifying, collisions on. Finally Endurance is set to 25% race distance, one-shot qualifying, collisions on and dynamic weather. You can also set up private matches should you so wish.
Visually the game is great, shown off more so when it is pouring down with rain and you can see the spray and rain running down the ‘camera’ The cars are highly detailed too, and is just overall pleasing to look at. As for audio, there’s background music at every possible screen, with plenty of voice acting to make the experience more immersive, the cars sound pretty bang on too.