Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot

“F1 2021”: The official Formula 1 game reviewed

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Last year’s official F1 game was easily Codemasters’ most triumphant and feature-filled edition in the 11-year history of the franchise.

With the introduction of MyTeam mode making F1 2020 the most content-rich title to date, the game earned the praise of players and even mainstream gaming media alike.

Now, Codemasters and its official F1 franchise – much like the very sport they emulate – is in a year of transition. Absorbed by gaming behemoth EA, Codemasters’ newest F1 game is not only their first under the EA Sports banner, but the first on the newest generation of consoles.

But does F1 2021 make the move onto new hardware more skilfully than F1 2015 managed to the last time the series made a similar leap?

Before diving into what’s new about this year’s game, there are some unfortunate issues which need to be addressed.

While F1 2021 naturally features all ten teams and 20 drivers competing in this year’s championship – as well as last year’s Formula 2 field – the game won’t be launching with all the circuits that the sport is currently scheduled to visit on this season’s ever-changing calendar.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
There are a few conspicuous omissions from the circuits roster
Imola, Portimao and the new Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah will all be absent on release, with Codemasters working to add them through free updates later in the year. Sadly, we won’t be able to play the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul in this year’s game, no matter whether the race itself eventually takes place this October.

The cancelled Chinese, Canadian, Singapore and Australian Grands Prix are included in the game. However the Albert Park circuit – as with Catalunya and Yas Marina – retains its pre-2021 layout and has not been updated to its revised format.

It’s easy to sympathise with Codemasters facing a constantly changing calendar under the shadow of a pandemic – especially as constructing track models is no quick task – but releasing the official F1 game of the 2021 season with several circuits missing at launch and a promise to add them later is a rather inelegant solution which will leave may players dissatisfied.

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And while the sport prepares for the debut of its new Sprint Qualifying at next weekend’s British Grand Prix, you won’t find the controversial new format emulated in the game either.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
Aidan Jackson, one of the stars of F1 2021’s ‘Braking Point’ story
A lot of supplementary content from previous games has also been removed from this newest version. If you enjoyed racing the classic cars in years by, get ready to be disappointed – that’s all gone from this new game. So too have the shorter alternative configurations of Silverstone, Suzuka, COTA and Bahrain. All the additional offline championships have gone too.

So with all this peripheral content stripped out, what does F1 2021 offer up in its place?

The answer is the series’ first ever story mode, ‘Braking Point’ – the headline new feature that sits front and centre at the heart of this year’s game.

Braking Point tells the tumultuous tale of two team mates – plucky British rookie and F2 champion Aidan Jackson and grizzled Dutch journeyman Casper Akkerman. As the player, you swap between controlling Jackson and Akkerman as the story of their fractured, hostile relationship plays out over fictionalised versions of the 2020 and 2021 F1 seasons.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
Real-world F1 influencers comment on the unfolding story
Gameplay consists of short racing scenarios that challenge you to, for example, reach a target position within a set number of laps or prevent a rival from passing you, with key story beats playing out through some admittedly impressive motion-captured cutscenes.

There’s clearly been a lot of effort put into Braking Point and it’s always good to see developers take risks and try something different to shake up what can easily become a stale annual sports game formula. But it’s hard to say whether the end result justifies the investment of time and resources that have clearly been put into Braking Point compared to other areas of the game.

As well presented as it is and as skilfully as the actors bring their characters to life, the story being told here is an entirely predictable one. While the writers have thankfully avoided the temptation for ham-fisted melodrama, the conflict between Jackson and Akkerman also never feels like it earns the magnitude of tension the game presents it as having.

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As the player, you’re meant to empathise with both Jackson and Akkerman’s perspectives by racing through their eyes. But the reality is that the event that triggers their conflict and the underlying reason behind Akkerman’s disdain for his team mate is so ludicrously unnecessary that it’s hard to be all that sympathetic towards him. Returning character Devon Butler is also back from F1 2019’s career mode to fulfil the sports movie villain cliche of being aggressively obnoxious to every person he interacts with for no discernible reason.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
The Braking Point story advances through news updates
The world is fleshed out rather effectively through sections in the drivers’ motorhomes, where you can browse news reports on the TV, listen to phone conversations between characters, or scroll through the musings of paddock dwellers in a social media feed. As enjoyable as it is to see the likes of Rosanna Tennant, David Coulthard or Jimmy Broadbent reacting to events in the story, however, it’s hard not to think how something similar would enhance the immersion of the player’s own career mode or My Team instead.

There’s also an unshakeable sense that this is a sports story set in the world of Formula 1, rather than a Formula 1 story. The fact that the original characters only seem to interact with each other – with only one real driver having a single speaking line in the mode – makes it hard to suspend your disbelief that these three are truly among the elite 20 drivers in the world.

If you’ve played the likes of FIFA’s ‘The Journey’ or Madden NFL’s ‘Longshot’, you know exactly what to expect from Braking Point. It’s a mode that’s best enjoyed over a weekend, with a day spent on each driver’s campaigns. But while there’s fun to be had here, it’s unlikely to linger long in the memory once the credits roll.

With all the focus on Braking Point, how have the other main single player modes evolved since last year?

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
My Team is largely unchanged from last year
After its debut in F1 2020, My Team returns to allow you to create and manage the 11th team on the grid. But if you were hoping for major improvements for its second outing, you’ll likely be disappointed.

Everything in My Team operates in fundamentally the same manner to last year, with only minor enhancements. The basic loop remains the same, with team activities to earn rewards, sponsor bonuses to invest towards updating facilities and R&D points to spend on building up your car. With the main menu and facilities screens all identical to last year, you’ll likely feel a sense of deja vu firing the mode up for the first time if you sank many hours into it last year.

There is a new element this year in the form of department events, occasional dilemmas that you’re presented with by your team where you have to choose between one of two solutions that each has pros and cons – such as whether to back your chassis designer’s recommended development course or the one preferred by your second driver, with the risk of affecting the morale of whoever you don’t side with. It’s relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of things and only adds a minimal amount to the immersion at best.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
Deluxe edition owners can hire ‘Legends’ to their teams
If you purchase the Digital Deluxe edition, you will unlock the unique ability to hire one of seven F1 Legends as your second My Team driver – Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Felipe Massa. You have to earn the right to hire them, with the likes of Schumacher or Senna having far loftier demands for their services than Coulthard or Massa, meaning you’ll have to spend some time building up your team’s finances and resources before you can coax them onboard.

It’s an interesting, if immersion-breaking, feature to bring to My Team that will allow many players to live out their F1 fantasies of racing alongside their heroes, but it’s a shame that the most notable addition to My Team is locked behind the premium edition of the game. The Legends are only accessible by the player, meaning you won’t see your AI rivals sign them, and you can forgo having them on the available roster entirely if you wish.

Career mode, much like My Team, remains similar to last year with all of the R&D and time management copied over from its sister mode. One interesting new option for this year is the ‘real season start’, that allows you to jump into your career mode at any point in the real 2021 F1 season and pick up with the exact championship situation of the real world series. As the actual season progresses, you’ll have the option to jump in at any point – meaning if you want to role-play yourself being a dramatic mid-season replacement for a driver you feel is underperforming, you can.

While it’s all fairly familiar, there are some welcome new details for the single-player career modes. Practice sessions in particular have been streamlined, with only three practice programmes now to complete each weekend that rotate randomly every time. You now have additional mini challenges to complete within each programme, such as staying within two metres of the racing line for a whole lap or going fastest in a particular sector, to earn extra R&D points or discounts on new parts.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
Repetitive practice session can be bypassed
If you’re thoroughly sick of doing practice programmes, you can now simulate them entirely using a new ‘quick practice’ option. You decide what runs to attempt over the course of the time allowed, with each potential reward having a different probability of success, and the game simulates your runs for you. While it’s a lot easier to maximise your R&D rewards by completing them manually, it’s a good way to speed up what is often the most time-consuming aspect of career mode, allowing you to concentrate on qualifying and racing while keeping your component wear at realistic levels.

You also have the freedom to choose how career mode works in terms of how quickly you earn money, resource points and acclaim. If you feel you were able to rise up the ranks too quickly in F1 2020, you can set your own team’s development rate to ‘decreased’ and be forced to work longer to reach the front of the grid.

This year’s game also now gives you the ability to adjust how frequently the Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car can be called, meaning the long-standing issue of the safety car failing to appear at all for many career mode players may finally have been solved. There is also the option to choose how accurate the weather forecast is during a race weekend, allowing you to know exactly how the conditions will change over the course of a race or leave a degree of mystery to proceedings.

In a highly welcome move, players can now enjoy the standard career mode with a friend with the return of two player online career mode. You and a friend can team up together or compete as rivals in career mode – with even the option to replace an unreliable friend with another player should they drop out midway through a season.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
The real-season start is a welcome addition
When it comes to the actual racing, F1 2021 is as strong as ever. Whether enjoying a quick race or locking yourself in for a two-hour marathon around Singapore, the joy of battling side-by-side against the AI or watching other cars fighting amongst themselves is one that the likes of Gran Turismo, Forza and other console racing games simply do not match.

While handling feels largely unchanged from last year, the sensation of driving using a controller is greatly enhanced on PS5 using the adaptive triggers of the DualSense. While the haptic feedback is little different to the DualShock 4, the resistance of the triggers offers a whole new level of control for throttle and especially braking. Turning off anti-lock braking assistance, you can now accurately gauge the limits of the brakes simply from the resistance offered by the L2 trigger, offering an entire new dimension of control. If you’re able to, it’s recommended you turn the resistance up to ‘strong’ – you’ll be unable to play a racing game on a controller without it again.

As far as presentation goes, if you expect F1 2021 to be a revolutionary giant leap forward for the series, it’s best to dab the brakes on that early on. This is still very much a cross-generation game in the mould of last year’s edition. On the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, it feels like an enhanced version of the game, rather than an entirely new experience – to be expected given the game remains on Codemasters’ Ego engine.

There is a definite visual upgrade, with an overall sharper look. You can even enjoy full ray-traced models of the cars on the presentation screen. And with the option to choose between ‘quality’ and ‘performance’ graphics modes, you’ll even have the ability to race at 120 hertz – if you have a compatible TV.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
Frame rates remain solid in-game, even with mirrors and rain
It’s a little disappointing to see noticeable frame rate drops and screen tearing during pre and post-race cutscenes with replays also still limited to 30 fps, but the gameplay itself is consistently smooth, even during race starts in full wet conditions. Thankfully, solid state drives in the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S mean console owners can now join PC players in benefitting from much faster load times – races and front ends appear in seconds.

There is a new cockpit camera audio profile available which attempts to more accurately simulate how it feels to be in the car with a helmet on, with muffled engine sounds and a clearer team radio. Power units also have a more notable turbo whine to them. The audio sting which plays when the FOM broadcast runs a replay is also now present when resuming from flashbacks.

Car and driver customisation has been an increasing part of the F1 series over recent years and it’s little surprise to see the Podium Pass return this year. While the Podium Pass was not active during the review period, players are likely to feel let down by the limited customisation options available at launch.

With only a handful of customisable liveries, helmets, gloves and suits available so far, the lack of options will likely be quite jarring for anyone migrating over from F1 2020. The same limited emblem designs choices are available as the launch of last year’s game. Hopefully players will not have to earn back the exact same designs they unlocked over the course of last year’s game. In a change for this year, you can customise your driver’s winning radio call and halo graphic.

Codemasters F1 2021 screenshot
You can now customise your Halo graphic
Look closely at F1 2021 and you’ll spot a few minor touches which long-time players will appreciate. Car damage modelling can now extend to the rear wing, side pods and floor. It’s now possible to actually get a good start in Formula 2 cars against the AI. You can skip through individual laps when watching back full race replays, meaning if you want to watch back an incident on lap 55 of 60, you no longer have to spend 20 minutes fast-forwarding to get there.

When EA took over Codemasters, many fans feared what they might do to the franchise. But with EA claiming that they will take a relatively hands-off approach to the series, F1 2021 seems to back that up so far.

We will have to wait until next year at the earliest to see what the weight of EA’s resources can truly do for the official game franchise. But while F1 2021 does offer the same high-quality racing action that the series is known for, it’s hard not to feel slightly underwhelmed with this first step onto a new generation of consoles. In particular, we await with interest the arrival of the three missing tracks and, hopefully, the revisions to the various reworked courses.

Perhaps it will take the bold step of leaving the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One behind to allow the developers to fully realise the potential of this franchise. But with many years of Codemasters F1 games still to come, hopefully the best days of this virtual version of the sport still lie ahead.

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F1 2021: Video review

RaceFans rating

Rating three out of five

F1 2021

Author: Codemasters
Publisher: EA Sports
Published: July 2021
Price: £49.99 (PC Steam) – £54.99 (Xbox/PlayStation)

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 36 comments on ““F1 2021”: The official Formula 1 game reviewed”

    1. I get my hands on this game either on Friday, the official release day, or Thursday. I wish CM made steering wheel displays look like they do IRL, though, as the outlook is still unauthentic and copy-paste for every car.
      I don’t mind about the classic car nor alternative track configuration absence. The cars had stayed pretty much the same with only some changes since F1 2017, so they were secondary to me, latter likewise.
      BTW, Chinese GP isn’t a cancelled one (yet). Still an option for late-season.

      1. This is another pet peeve of mine. The display looks childish and simplistic to me, which I guess is understandable for less-able players, but surely a large proportion of the audience are F1 fans who would appreciate more realism?

    2. No two ways about it, with a 2015 engine and some minor upgrades, it’s pretty sad they are selling this at full price. Not to mention they’re shipping the game unfinished, they should have released a nice DLC pack for 2020 for about 15 quid and left it at that. This one is a hard skip afaic.

      1. The handling of the cars was drastically improved for 2017 and then again for 2018, and subtly since. As Will alludes to in the review, Codies F1 can offer some superb racing, particularly in organised multiplayer (not the public lobbies). Though I agree on your point, the engine is showing is age.

        Aside from that, the ‘Braking Point’ story mode sounds completely rubbish, and If I buy it this time it’ll purely be for Coop Career.

    3. Codemasters have got to be one of the laziest devs out there. To launch without content is inexcusable; what were the modelling team doing for a year?! The cars are largely unchanged, and weren’t even available to model until early 2021, meaning Codies had a good 6 months to build Portimao, Mugello etc. The laser scans are available, their job is to produce the environmental detail, much of which is shared with other tracks. It’s a joke. What’s the rationale for removing classic cars? I wasn’t interested in them much, but I fail to see what’s gained by getting rid them.

      The biggest omission for me is deeper customisation. Codies have had this franchise for over a decade, and we’re STILL waiting for a proper helmet/livery editor. Instead, they’d prefer to hawk ugly DLC skins that very few people are buying. If you want immersion, you really have to play this on PC to have access to the mod community (which amazingly works far faster, and produces far better quality work than the actual devs).

      1. @inininin

        If you have an account on codemasters forums, and post this there, you will be attacked because codemasters have explained that it takes a lot of work on just one track. Let alone 3-4 tracks. There have been chunks of complaints and threads about the track designs being inaccurate, to the extent that some track designs have been there since F1 2015 at the worst. Of course the most prominent being the lack of the new track additions to the calendar.

        I can agree on customization though, but for me that’s an aspect I am not looking into that much. To me the physics of the game is the most important. I don’t have the game yet, but I have been playing since f1 2015, and from the looks of driving, it looks a lot more realistic. I wish I have more time to try out other simulations like Assetto corsa and Iracing, but I don’t want to spend money on them. I hope codemasters along with EA, do continue on the path of development towards simulator style of driving in all aspects.

        1. I’ll be attacked because the Codies forums are filled with apologists. We’re not talking about a little indie developer; Codemasters is a billion-dollar company with hundreds of employees. Producing 3-4 tracks using many recycled models (I’m not attacking this, it’s just a fact) within a year should not be a problem.

          Codemasters is not going to apologise for laziness. They’ll cover it up with excuses, like any company would do.

        2. Since you mention Assetto Corsa: Kunos Simulazioni, a team of less than 30 people, managed to produce 4 new tracks in about a year (Imola, Donington Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton), with a much higher degree of fidelity than the ones present in Codemaster’s F1 games. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it all depends on the objective: to present the best simulation you can, or a game that seems fairly close to reality to satisfy most buyers – and the shareholders.
          I should probable add that I do like the F1 games, even if I tend to buy them only in alternate years.
          And if you play on PC, you should definitely try Assetto Corsa Competizione (on console, maybe not).

          Reply moderated
      2. @inininin

        what were the modelling team doing for a year?!

        They were locked in their houses unable to a) even get in the studio where they would have full access to the full variety of tools they would normally have (and the known advantage of working with others in the same setting (i.e. not over the internet)), or b) undertake international travel to get any kind of data on the tracks they’re modelling. Sure they have models from PC2 of Imola and Portimao, but they were made for a completely different game engine, and themselves would likely need to be significantly reworked before they were of any use in their EGO engine. From my very, very small endeavour into games development, I do know that many game engines are completely incompatible with one another, either through design (i.e. to stop direct, illegal rips) or just by differences in coding. And the Jeddah circuit doesn’t even exist yet so I don’t know how they’re supposed to release that yet. And the works in Melbourne aren’t finished yet, although that decision not to rework has been slightly vindicated in recent weeks anyway.

        1. They can and did work from home. There’s no reason why they couldn’t. They don’t need to travel internationally. Laser scans of the tracks (other than Jeddah) are available to purchase. Game engines have nothing to do with it.

          EA thanks you for your £60.

          1. @inininin They can work from home, but studies have proven that it is less productive. Add to that the lack of ‘tea-break interactions’ (which studies have also shown is where a lot of “brainwave” ideas come from), and you start to realise why most companies are so keen on getting employees back to the office.

            Laser scans are available to purchase (subject to other conditions, such as some companies making scans exclusively for some developers), but game engines to have something to do with it. Also, laser scanning is not the magic solution to every problems that some think it is, there is still a lot of work to be done afterwards with texturing, programming AI, and other behind the scenes work. And Codemasters’ EGO engine doesn’t seem to be particularly compatible with laser scans, or they simply don’t have enough staff in this area, as only 1 previous track in the franchise (Zandvoort) uses laser scans, and even this was relatively primitive. And then they have to test everything, else you end up with a release like Cyberpunk 77’s. At least Codemasters have acknowledged that they won’t be able to get the content in there for launch and won’t try to release a completely broken, rushed version of them at launch.

            Add to that the fact that they’ve had relatively short notice for each of these tracks. They’ve had 6 months to prepare Portimao, 5 months for Imola, and less than 4 for Jeddah, in the midst of, as mentioned above, a global pandemic.

            As for me, I haven’t bought/pre-ordered the game yet. I likely will, but I was explicitly waiting for the reviews to come out before I made up my mind.

    4. Hmm, looks like it’s a “wait till it is on sale and ridiculously cheap” then. Or just skip it entirely and keep playing 2020 :P

      It IS good to hear that SC and VSC’s can be toggled and turned up a bit. In F12020 it actually feels a little weird that, apart from the odd mechanical failure, the user is the only one capable of triggering major incidents.

      The Breaking Point mode seems like a weird choice. That kind of stuff is interesting IRL but largely because it develops organically and is based on a number of intricate factors present in the sport, why they would try and force it into the game is a little mystifying.

      Solid review though, I appreciated the thoroughness. I grabbed F12020 because it was on sale and it was the first F1 game I’ve played in a long time and the My Team mode is where I’m spending all my time. Disappointed to hear that it’s largely copied and pasted in F12021. I’m also not surprised at all to hear that a lot will be added in at a later date; it’s pretty much industry standard now to release the game and patch it later. Definitely sad that there’s no classic cars :(

    5. Call me old fashioned but I like my racing games where you just, you know, race.
      Probably wouldn’t play it even if it was free.

      1. @f1-plossl I can understand that argument? Do you play many titles at the minute or have you just fallen out of love with them at the minute?

        1. Assetto Corsa with content manager is my goto game, the mods available are amazing, you can even race the pre sixties Spa with the hairpin instead of Eau Rouge along with all the versions of Le Mons with the day/night set to 24 minutes :-)
          Wreakfest is a blast and recommend it to everyone, and every now and then I have a race on GP4, the run through Stowe, Club, Abbey and Luffiield is such a buzz when you get it right, still think its a shame that section no longer exists.

          1. Yeah pretty much the same here but with Automobilista 2 added in as well. Between those 3, I have pretty much everything covered. I used to have iRacing but I never went on it enough to justify paying a monthly fee.

          2. @f1-plossl Sorry for the late reply but I agree with you there. I have AC on my potato laptop, but it just about runs and it is good fun. ACC (I have it on console) is pretty good as well if you like GT3s.

            I’ve looked at Wreckfest a couple of times and will probably pick it up when it’s on sale in the near future. For something a bit more left field, if you’re willing to just throw away all proper indications of physics, Dirt 5 is actually pretty good fun as well. As I say, there is no real ‘physics’ to talk of, but it is quite fun to just throw a car around and not need to worry about damage or anything (I’m assuming quite like Wreckfest). Again it’s something to pick up quite cheap on sale (I actually won it in the predictions championship on here, thanks Keith)

      2. Yes. This is one of the reasons I do not play this. It feels like it’s a torture to play. Influencers? Car development? Interviews? Other non-racing stuff? I do not care. Let me practice, qualify, race, show me the podium (but make it skippable) and then repeat. Evaluate my performance in the background and sack me or offer me a better team. (but make this optional)

    6. I’m still frustrated that Codemasters have stolen the WRC game license from next year as I think the WRC games from the current developer (Kylotonn/KT Racing) have been fantastic the past few years & would much rather have seen them keep the license & continue to develop what they have as they are really onto something great with what they have now.

      The Dirt games are cool & the Dirt Rally sims from Codemasters are also great but the WRC games the past 2-3 years have been better overall in terms of capturing a more authentic rally feel in terms of both the design of the stages but also the sensation of speed & ‘fear’ you get driving them at full pace. And the feeling on tarmac with a ffb wheel is miles better than what Codemasters have managed.

      I just hope that Kylotonn are able to continue developing Rally games as it would be a real shame to see what they have developed these past few years go to waste, They really have put together a great physics engine & know how to design fantastic rally stages.

      1. @roger-ayles I agree. It’s a shame that I still see a lot of people saying they don’t play the WRC games as they think they are awful because they played WRC 4/5 (Which were the first in the series developed by Kylotonn & did have many issues) yet have not played any of the more recent titles which are significantly better & as you say are a match for/in areas better than the Codies rally games.

        WRC 6/7 were steps forward but WRC 8 was a huge leap & WRC 9 was also a nice step that further improved things that were already great & it seems like WRC 10 will make some further improvements. I think probably the only negative now are that the visuals are lacking a bit in some areas when compared to the Dirt games but when your in a stage driving you tend not to notice the visuals.

        I pretty much agree with everything Jimmy says about the 2 in these videos.
        WRC 8 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KULgqhLAKU
        WRC 9 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPsSLM2WYcg

    7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      12th July 2021, 20:01

      I haven’t really played any serious racing games (unless Forza Motorsport 3 and 4 offline count). But one thing from all the pictures and videos i see of much more advanced games still misses something that has always bothered me.

      The in car view from the driver’s perspective. If it is made to be realistic, your eyes focus on what they look at – but the whole picture is crystal clear which just looks unreal if you yourselves were driving it. To me, to make things more realistic, in this view mode, there should be a toggle switch to effectively feel like you are moving your head / eyes so that when you look ahead, that is your point of focus and your steering wheel for example then becomes soft focus as it would in reality. Then you can manually use the toggle to look down – as drivers would do see it. Despite it being an extra action to take, surely it is more realistic.

      As I said, I’ve played very few games myself, so I may as well ask – has anyone come across games that have a feature like this, or do all the drivers views not look like reality? Or is this sort of thing too hard to archive and make realistic itself too?

      1. @thegianthogweed Project CARS includes a ‘helmet’ view that has a more pronounced look-to-apex and has focus blur for the steering wheel at high speed.

        The next generation of PSVR is rumoured to include eye tracking and foveated rendering, which is more about processing speeds and image quality, but may have a similar effect to what you’re describing as a byproduct.

        The potential for VR with the F1 series in particular is something a lot of us are hoping EA’s resources might enable Codemasters to explore. Anyone who has played a racing game in VR will tell you how hard it is to play ‘flat’ after you’ve experienced the benefits of the extra depth perception.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          12th July 2021, 23:29

          @willwood
          Very interesting. It does look like these things could develop further as it does look a bit clunky the way it instantly softens when you are going beyond a certain speed then becomes clear at lower speeds. As drivers will often adjust things on their wheel on straights when they go fast, so it being clear then when looking down would actually make more sense than when going round corners when drivers will probably be paying more attention to the track.

          The advantages to this view are still enough to warrant this type of view being an option in more games I’d say. The first of the two videos @stefmeister posted looked pretty good. But if you are limited to where you can look, then it probably will soon start to feel a bit unrealistic.

          Thanks for the information though!

      2. @thegianthogweed There have been games that tried that (The Project CARS titles for example) & it never really works as well as you would think it would as the ‘look to apex’ never quite feels right, It always feels unnatural somehow.

        I think maybe part of it is because it’s an effect based around the perfect racing line when your on your own so when you are racing with other cars around you or end up running a bit off the racing line the camera will often end up focussing at the wrong place.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQII5MufgPw
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXaOE5qsois

        1. @stefmeister – It’s because it’s not you turning your head – it’s just the view you have on-screen that’s changing. Add to that the fact that you can’t feel the car under you and it makes it really difficult to work out exactly where you’re placing the car.

          If you play in VR and are physically moving your head yourself, it suddenly isn’t a problem anymore and feels natural.

      3. You can adjust the FOV, angles, headshake rumble and look to apex, but you’ll soon switch most of them off as you don’t feel the bumps yourself, the cam wobbling is very distracting and the look to apex is very weird if you’re not the one moving your head.

    8. Do you even drive in this game? It doesn’t look like it from the review.

    9. I’ve lost track of how many of these I’ve bought…. 8 maybe? And I used to run a sim racing website where we had over 20 F1 201x championships on all 3 formats, and all around the entire globe. But I cannot support F1 201x anymore because I feel like this is a massively wasted license when it comes to what should be the most important in my opinion, and that is the racing itself. There is no reason an F1 title cannot appeal to both the sim racing crowd and the arcade/casual crowd at the same time via granular assist settings, but Codemasters do not do this. The physics, setups, and force feedback are in the dark ages compared to other titles like Raceroom, iRacing, rFactor, Assetto Corsa. At the very least, Formula 1 should grant the license to two different developers where one has the story mode/arcade/casual focus, etc, and the other is purely focused on the sim racing experience; the car itself, and hopefully some laser scanned tracks to go along with it. We see this two developer approach with other sports titles such as the NBA with NBA Live and NBA 2K. It works well, and competition is better for us, of course….. though in this case, there doesn’t even need to be that much competition because two developers can go in very different directions and appeal to very different consumers.

      On top of that, Codemasters refuse to add support for Virtual Reality, which many consider a must have for sim racing in 2021, and why? We have no idea because they’ve certainly shown they can do this really well with DiRT Rally. On top of that, there’s bugs that have existed for years, we still don’t have a force cockpit mode for private online leagues, and you can’t practice in single player GP modes with equal car mode enabled. Because all of that, that sim racing website I mentioned where we used to run over 20 F1 201x championships? It now runs zero, and has moved to iRacing exclusively. iRacing’s four old F1 cars are light years ahead of the Codemasters experience when it comes to the actual racing.

    10. Omissions. Ooh…as if the schedule was 20 races all along…

    11. Thanks for writing such a fine review Will Wood. Your review is much better than most gaming sites, and as an occasional gamer who also dabbles in non-sim console driving games, this is just the kind of information I want. Keep up the fine work!

    12. It’s a shame to lose all of the historic cars. It was always a bit of fun when you’d had enough of career modes. The scenario races will be no loss to me. I think I tried one of them once… good to know there’s no major difference between the ps4 and 5 versions so I won’t feel like I’m missing anything!

      1. Dont worry… you can buy them back with the heritage pack that EA will charge you $40 for lol

    13. Damn, the story mode was the only thing that could have interested me, but it sounds terrible. If it has nothing to do with real world F1 and only features made up characters then why even bother 🤦‍♂️

    14. I was planning on skipping edition of the F1 game this given the rule changes coming next season and the fact that “my team” and online racing are all I use F1 2020 for…quite glad I made that decision after reading this.

    15. I have always said, they should really have a “realistic” mode whereby the dirty air effect, slipstream and tyre wear are enhanced to similar levels to real life. In reality, when an F1 car is following another car, they can lose 10-20% of their downforce when within a second of the car ahead. In the F1 games, that is barely, the case, you maybe only lose 1-2% it seems. The fact it’s quicker to sit behind someone with slipstream + DRS than in clean air shows how fundamentally unrealistic it is. The fact slipstream acts only when within 0.8s or so of the car ahead and not from even say 4 seconds back is unrealistic. And tyre management is completely unnecessary in the game, as it’s always quicker to go flat out no matter what. Just have a separate mode with these realism options, even if you keep the base game the same to appeal to the masses.

      On another note, the track designs in the game are a joke honestly. Reprofiling some of the corners are such an easy task, they could do it quickly. Like Bahrain T2, the wide and concaved kerbs in Spa etc. are notorious ones I can recall off the top of my head

    16. The price of the game is totally insane. EA has bumped prices 3 to 5 TIMES!!! UP for poor countries. How long it takes until Wilson will choke of his money? Still not enough?

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