Summary: Create your own legend in F1™ 2016. Get ready to go deeper into the world of the most prestigious motorsport than ever before. F1 2016 is the official video game of the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ and features the full 2016 season calendar of 21 tracks, including the brand new Baku circuit in Azerbaijan, and the full roster of 22 drivers and 11 teams, including the new Haas F1 Team.
Price: £54.99 or your local equivalent.
At this point, Codemasters have become synonymous with the racing genre in video games. Their latest entry into the Formula 1 games is F1 2016. Immediately, the biggest feature that stands out to me is the fully-fledged Career mode. The immersion for racing games is usually primarily and exclusively found in the actual race itself but the Career mode present here serves to further enhance that immersion.
In F1 2016’s Career Mode, players select their character, helmet and race number that will stay with them throughout their time in Formula One. They then select which of the 11 official teams they wish to join to start their journey, as well as which member of the team will be their teammate, before taking to the track for the first race of the season. The more prestigious teams will require you to be at the top of your game to succeed.
The actual racing remains a staple but it’s the Career mode that allows you to feel that F1 2016 is providing a more realistic experience. You experience all the behind-the-scenes action; the tense strategy that goes into Formula 1 driving. The journey begins when you are introduced to your agent, the person who will advise you on team moves, contractual changes or your performance within a team.
Each team has different targets and expectations for drivers. For instance, it will be easier to exceed your team’s expectations if you choose to challenge yourself by starting further down the grid and with a less prestigious team. Alternatively, if you’re after a more rigorous challenge, you can start right off the bat with some of the best teams in the world – just be ready to make sure you live up to their expectations.
There’s no sugar-coating it; this is a realistic F1 racing game and as such it can be quite tough, especially for newcomers. Fortunately, F1 2016 features practice programmes that allow you to bolster your abilities before launching straight into the Grand Prix. The thorough and lengthy practice programmes and tutorials at hand will enable you to hone your race strategy to perfection.
Over the course of your career in F1 2016, you will be positioned to work with the Research and Development Engineer on how you want to improve and upgrade your cars. R&D points are earned via putting in the work during your practice sessions, once earned; you then decide which attributes of your vehicle you wish to strengthen.
The central appeal of F1 2016’s Career mode is allowing you to create and become your own legend. It’s the most immersive and feature-packed Formula 1 Career mode to date, spanning up to 10 seasons.
F1 2016 also packs a time-of-day editor which allows you to have some freedom in selecting the weather conditions you want to race in. Not only does this allow you to select the weather for a track of your liking, it allows you to practice in some weather that you might struggle in. Experiencing impaired vision in the night races? Go out there and practice. Give it time, and you’ll notice the changes in your ability.
Like most simulation racers today, F1 2016 also features a rewind ability so you can correct your faults on the track for the purpose of seeing where you went wrong. This might seem like a bit of a cop-out to more experienced players but for someone somewhat of a novice, this feature proved greatly beneficial in teaching me not only the track I was currently racing, the subtle differences that ensured the consistency and improvement of my driving.
Visually, the game is definitely making use of current-gen hardware. Since I reviewed this on the Xbox One, the game was running at 900p, 60fps. The most important aspect here is the 60fps performance as that ensures a stable and smooth level of gameplay. Despite the slight dip from a full 1080p image, the processing in place ensured a pleasant, crisp image that definitely deepened the immersion.
F1 2016 also boasts quite an impressive multiplayer mode; whilst still featuring the usual racing modes, you can now also engage in a 22-player online season mode and whilst I haven’t had the chance to play one of these yet, it sounds very promising. You and your friends can compete in a full season where you will be able to fill the whole grid with human players to create those great race moments and stories.
Overall, F1 2016 is a definite improvement over last year’s entry. It was Codemasters’ first F1 game on current-gen consoles and it was lacking some key features but F1 2016 makes a triumphant return to form with impressive visuals and boasting a fully-fledged campaign mode that is as multi-faceted as it is captivating. You get a lot of content with F1 2016 and any racing enthusiast should strongly consider picking this one up.
Final Score: 8/10