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Featured F1 2014 Game Preview

Discussion in 'F1 2014 - The Game' started by Ryan Ogurek, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek

    F1 2014 Night  racing.jpg
    This year's new F1 regulations represent some of the most radical changes to the sport since it began.

    The F1 division at Codemasters has promised to represent these substantial changes in their final installment of the series for the older consoles (Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3). They will start fresh for the new consoles with F1 2015 available only on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. So, F1 2014 aims to be more of an update to 2013 with some added features than a complete new game, as they will shift their attention towards next year.

    So does F1 2014 deliver? Or is it left languishing in the gravel like the 2014 Lotus?

    The game starts off with a bang. Powerful thundering music, excellent sounds and fly by shots of cars, as always the opening video is quite impressive. Following that, the game launches you directly into the driver evaluation test at Bahrain, which is also somewhat impressive. Between the fact that you are driving at night under the lights around the track, and the fireworks booming in the night sky it makes for a truly epic scene. Codemasters' budget allows them to implement some great features. They have rain (which also looks quite good), fully animated pit crews, a dynamic track, and all the official sponsors to make for very good visuals. When you go off track the car jumps accurately, with the sudden loud sound of the gravel. When you spin and are passed closely by other cars at high speeds, yours shakes with the draft of the passing cars.

    But once the immediate awe of the visuals subdues, other things begin to become apparent...

    The first thing I noticed was, with the sound of the fireworks, audience and random ambient noises, I could hardly hear my engine unless it was at peak rpm. Yes, the cars are quieter this year... by 11 db. They have gone from approximately 145 dB (which is only slightly quieter than a jet engine) to 134 dB which is still over the threshold of pain (130 dB). Although this is "quieter" it is still dangerously loud and can cause hearing damage quickly without hearing protection. This effect seems somewhat overdone, so much so that at lower rpm's it can be very difficult to hear the engine of your own car. Upon letting off the throttle the car became near silent, with only slight, quick noises on downshifts.

    Next, I noticed that the virtual wheel was making movements (as much as 20°) when cornering or going over bumps and kerbs, that my wheel was not making. After many tweaks to the force feedback (FFB) settings, I was not able to get rid of this effect.

    Once the driver evaluation was complete, I was recommended the most difficult setting of "Very Hard", which I chose. Hoping the FFB issues were steering assist and are related to the difficulty, I tried a single grand prix to see if it had changed. It had not.

    As someone who is a member of the "simracer" group, this was especially annoying. If it is due to bumps or kerbs, I should be feeling it in the FFB. If it is steering assist, it should be off, as it is set to "off" in the settings. However, it has been discussed many times that these games are "simcade" and not a true simulator, as they do aim to a more casual gaming audience. So with this in mind, I continued on.

    The user interface has not changed from previous years, so navigating it is no problem. Game types are primarily the same also, with Young Driver Challenge replaced by the Driver Evaluation Test and shorter career options (I was not able to test this feature). All in all, it is very familiar to those who have played F1 2013 or even 2012.

    It was apparent that they had tried to emulate the effects of reduced downforce, and more torque, requiring more precise manipulation of the throttle. Sadly, the FFB felt numb and disconnected, making this effect difficult to predict and control. Despite, the tendency to oversteer at every opportunity, it didn't seem to ever get out of control and go all the way around. This made it feel overdone yet restrained at the same time, as odd as that sounds.

    It would appear that Codemasters may have not given this game the time it was due, as it lacks a certain attention to detail. If you are a casual gamer you probably won't notice at all, and shouldn't be deterred by this. But to a full blown F1 enthusiast or fan, they can be quite obvious. One example is visible in the screenshot above. Look at the steering wheel in the Lotus, you will notice it is the same as (or very similar to) the wheel used in the Mercedes. The real car does not use this wheel, it uses the same wheel from the previous season, with a red led display, rather than the black and white lcd used in the game.

    All in all it is not a bad game. If you are a casual gamer, or F1 enthusiast, you will most likely enjoy F1 2014 thoroughly. Here at RaceDepartment however, many if not most of our readers, prefer the challenge and reality of a simulator. For those who call themselves "simracers", I'm afraid this game doesn't quite stack up. With the FFB feeling numb and lifeless, the virtual wheel making movements I'm not making, and the sounds out of proportion, it just doesn't provide the immersion we crave. In even the closest racing moments, you never get that feeling in your gut. The feeling when your pulse goes up, you start to breathe slightly heavier, and you start to sweat. The feeling you get, when it feels real.

    Join the discussion in our F1 2014 forums, and get racing in our F1 2013 clubs & leagues while you wait for October 17th! While you're at it, why not check out some awesome videos and screenshot in our F1 2014 gallery?
    If you would like to have your product or game reviewed, contact me at ryan.ogurek[at]racedepartment.com
    • Beer Beer x 9
    • Like Like x 8
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  2. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen
    I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.

    Thanks for the review! You've just saved me arount £25-£30
    • Haha Haha x 6
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  3. mystaaRS

    If you get a Quali Place, you can get a Race Pace

    @Ryan Ogurek have you played the full game yet? I think it's too early for a Review :p
  4. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek

    It was a cut down "preview" version which did not include career mode or all of the scenario modes. However, it has been stated by Codemasters that career mode will remain much the same as 2013 with the addition of the option to do shorter seasons.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
    • Beer Beer x 2
  5. 2013 had this wheel vibration over the curbs (there's one for outside the racing line also) as well, it's a visual effect only i believe, doesn't affect you inputs at all...
    I guess Codemasters thought it was "cool" instead of immersion breaking
  6. Chris

    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium

    Personally I don't plan on buying the game, but I'm a little shocked that they got the data read out on the steering wheel of the Lotus E22 wrong. I mean, they've had all year to look at it in real life and see that Lotus clearly aren't using the big new LCD read outs.

    I know it's only a small thing, but come on, these are just fundamental details that add up to the larger experience. Surely it would've been even less work to just copy and paste last years E21 wheel on to this years car? Considering Codemasters seem to be quite good at the old "Copy & Paste jobby", it's kind of amazing that the one time they could do it, they get it wrong.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  7. on to 2015!
    • Haha Haha x 4
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    • Beer Beer x 1
  8. Other years the hype train is full ahead by now. With this sort of mild reviews, it appears that the cow has been milked one too many times by now.

    (Not that I disagree with the review, mine would be much less forgiving)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. Sounds like a skip for this year, if you want good F1 racing get yourself rf2 and the FSR mod.
  10. airutonpurosuto8912


    I'll drive the dustbuster in Time Trial :laugh:
    • Haha Haha x 1
  11. We need a proper good F1 2014 mod for F1 2013 to save us some money. :cool:
    • Haha Haha x 2
  12. mystaaRS

    If you get a Quali Place, you can get a Race Pace

    There is a Mod in the F1 2013 Mods Section :D ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. I mean a proper one. All the cars, all the sounds, all the rules and all the different handling etc. ;)
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. mystaaRS

    If you get a Quali Place, you can get a Race Pace

    Yeah I wish as well, the problem is that Codemasters don't make their Games Mod-Friendly ;)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. mystaaRS

    If you get a Quali Place, you can get a Race Pace

    @Ryan Ogurek as its seems like you changed the title to simply a 'Preview' :p
    • Haha Haha x 2
  16. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek

    Yep. Don't want any misunderstandings.
    • Beer Beer x 1
  17. kelaroost

    @ Simberia @Simberia

    If you already own 2012,2013 this should be half the price there asking.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Or just get GSCE. ;)
    • Agree Agree x 4
  19. I had asked the same question on the official forum. @Hatta (@lukespringuk) community moderator has informed me that the reason for the Lotus steering wheel having the LCD display is because A. Codemasters thought they would be using this type - B. Lotus had approved the wheel therefore CM assumed it would be the wheel they would use - And C. There wasn't enough time to change the wheel to the correct one as used.

    So, there you go. I for one was very vocal on the forum and Twitter about the steering wheel issues but, having become accustomed to this fact and with the gameplay footage recently released, I have overcome my annoyance and feel the game as a whole poses some good racing...probably the best in the series!.

    ...Only time will tell
    • Beer Beer x 1
  20. I din't recall GSCE having a F1 2014 season with all the car shapes, the sounds of the turbo's, the pit stop strategy, the emails, the manager interaction, the tracks of F1 2014. etc etc. If there is such a mod, point me to it Lou.
    • Haha Haha x 3