Featured F1 2018 Early Review + Plenty of Game Footage

Discussion in 'F1 2018 - The Game' started by Paul Jeffrey, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    8,441
    Ratings:
    +16,391

    A F1 2018 1.jpg A F1 2018 2.png A F1 2018 3.jpg A F1 2018 4.jpg A F1 2018 5.png
    So how does F1 2018 stack up from the perspective of a sim racer?

    I’ve had F1 2018 installed for approximately 48 hours now, and if I’m honest with myself the game has done much to surpass my expectations already, and I’ve only just begun to scratch away at the surface of what the new title has to offer.

    By nature, my personal preferences are firmly rooted in the “hard core” sim racing camp. In my middle 30’s and without thousands of pounds’ worth of disposable income, I am very much a frustrated racing driver without the time or resources available to go out and scratch that itch on a regular basis in rear race cars, on real circuits throughout the UK and Europe. As such, and with the blessing of my ever understanding wife, I made the conscious decision to focus my love of motorsport on sim racing, using the ever increasingly realistic racing simulations to bring me as close as possible to the thrill of driving and racing a real car.

    As sim racing has progressed over the years the level of quality of the various sim on offer has grown considerably, with many of the heavier duty titles now producing a driving and racing experience commendably close to that of the real world in which it proposes to simulate. The closer to reality the game can get, the more interesting to me it will be.

    A F1 2018 7.jpg

    So where does that leave me in relation to the Codemasters Formula One series of games? Well like many petrol heads I’ve got a soft spot for Grand Prix racing, and can clearly remember my hero’s Nigel Mansell and Aryton Senna fighting it out on the tracks of the world stage in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, closely following the sport as it develops and engrossing myself in the rich history of Formula One right the way back to the very beginnings of the automobile.

    Sadly, at least for me, the appeal of Grand Prix racing has steadily fallen away in recent seasons due to a direction the sport is travelling that does not agree with my own preferences, but a deep rooted love of the high performance open cockpit car remains, which has been in years past the strongest pull towards the F1 games franchise for me, despite what could be deemed as a more broadly appealing physics model than I would ideally be used to enjoying when on my sim racing rig.

    As such, despite repeated attempts to fall in love with the games as I do with the real series, I’ve just never quite found what I was looking for from the franchise.

    Enter F1 2018, a game that I am slowly starting to find a rather rewarding experience indeed, surprising myself in the realisation that when a developer does so many little things so very well, the overall package can produce a very satisfying experience, even to someone who has such strong preferences towards the more serious end of the sim racing spectrum.

    Now before we go further, I want to be clear that this latest release into the franchise isn’t a whole leap and bound different to F1 2017. We haven’t suddenly gone from accessible to hard core simulation, and those wanting to get a driving experience close to the real deal, or one step removed from the team simulators back at the factory will be disappointed – at its core F1 2018 still remains a game designed to broadly appeal to the widest cross section of motorsport fans and gamers as possible – but that does mean the new title is arcade, or not worthy of a serious sim racers time? far from it.

    A F1 2018 6.jpg

    To my mind, and I’ll freely admit I’m not super exposed to the last two or three F1 games, the biggest improvement over previous editions has to the handling of the cars, and the force feedback transferred to the wheel. This is an area that has improved nicely, and gives a solid and reliable feel to the driver through the force feedback wheel in their hands. Certainly not at the level of sims like AC, rF2, AMS, RaceRoom, but a step up from what has gone before.

    The wheel has a nice weight, the track surface feels like it transfers to the FFB output nicely, and to a certain extent I can feel the car underneath me more than has been the case in the past. Don’t get me wrong, putting this side by side with the official Ferrari F1 content in Assetto Corsa and it still feels comparatively numb, but for the purposes of the way the game encourages you to play, and the nature of the cars being so fast and agile, what we get from the wheel is more than good enough, and doesn’t detract from the driving experience one little bit. An improvement over previous generations of the title? Yes. Still a way to go for that final big push? Absolutely.

    As for the car handling, this is probably the best it has been since Codemasters took over the Formula One licence. The car now feels nicely lively under braking and acceleration, and the way that Codemasters have represented reduced grip on cold tyres is very well done. The player can experience a very firm difference in the behaviour of the car as the tyres reach different stages of their life expectancy, and thanks to the in car MFD (multi-function display), a wealth of information is available to review and action as the race unfolds.

    I’ve never driven a real Grand Prix car so I’m unqualified to tell you if the experience behind the wheel and behaviour of the tyres is close to real life, but I can safely say it feels believable, and when dealing with such a secretive world as Formula One, that’s probably about the best one can expect to achieve.

    At present I haven’t had enough time with the game to decide if the tyre wear and reactions are more leaning towards scripted behaviour than as a result of driving style and technique, although I would say I’m leaning more towards the latter at this stage. I’ll report back on that one at a later date…

    A F1 2018 8.jpg

    Graphically F1 2018 has been in receipt of a visual overhaul from the last release, getting some nice step improvements and a few little details like under car sparks from the plank as your rivals bottom out on the circuit dips - this is a nice immersion technique, and really does look good from inside the cockpit. For someone like me, who has been away from the franchise for a few years, the improvements are highly noticeable indeed, and I’d be minded to rank the game rather highly in the graphics department. The various tracks all feel full of life, and as usual David Croft and Anthony Davison do a sterling if not slightly wooden performance voicing over the various introductory cut scenes, all updated to match the new for 2018 F1 theme, and are all the more professionally presented because of it.

    This really is one area where F1 2018 shines, and makes it stand out and apart from its sim racing rivals. Codemasters have spent a lot of time and energy in developing F1 2018 into a cohesive game experience, really bringing together the on and off track aspects of life as a Formula One driver and bundling it all together in one package, which for us sim racers is a pretty new experience, and although personally I’m not one for cut scenes and career modes, I’ll have to admit it does a pretty good job of adding atmosphere, without being overly invasive on the important parts – like getting out on track.

    Once you do go out on track you’ll be greeted by what for me was the biggest surprise of all - a remarkably robust and intelligent AI! Even using this early access build in the video, the way the AI behaves is already very, very impressive. I’ve had the pleasure of several close wheel to wheel fights with the computer, and in almost all situations I’ve found the racing to be clean and close, without much in the way of unnecessary contact or obvious deficiencies in the way the AI recognise where you as a player are out on circuit. This is, for me, a very impressive achievement from Codemasters, and is something that instantly makes a long term investment of my time all the more realistic in the weeks ahead.

    As well as the AI in close connection with the player, it also pleases me to see that more often than not a realistic looking pecking order is achieved in the various practice / qualifying and race sessions, something that is often overlooked in other games, annoyingly placing the obviously dominant cars in unrealistically low positions, a trap that Codemasters and F1 2018 have skilfully avoided falling into, again just adding that little bit more realism to the game and massively improving the experience because of it.

    A F1 2018 9.jpg

    As I indicated at the head of this article, I have only had the pleasure of 48 hours with the game, of which equates to about 2 hours play time, but so far I’m pretty impressed, far more than I expected to be at any rate.

    So at this early stage how would I sum up my experiences in F1 2018 so far? I can’t wait to get back on track again, even without my favoured VR, and for me to want to play a race game without VR, well that’s pretty much the highest praise I can give.

    Stay tuned to RaceDepartment.com for more videos and a more detailed review and look at the game mechanics in the coming days.

    Also you can check out our 'Talk n Drive' video HERE from the very first time behind the wheel.

    Formula One 2018 is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC August 24th 2018.

    For more news and discussion around the upcoming new Formula One title, don't forget to check out the F1 2018 Sub Forum and get yourself involved in the discussion today!

    Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media!
    Instagram
    Youtube
    Twitch
     
    • Like Like x 16
    • Love Love x 7
    • Beer Beer x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

    Messages:
    940
    Ratings:
    +235
    I've always found "interesting" how F1 2017 could have pretty entertaining handling on the classic cars and awful handling on the modern ones, now it seems they corrected it which is exciting.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  3. Sun Levi

    Sun Levi
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Premium

    Messages:
    1,313
    Ratings:
    +1,189
    This, ACC and upcoming GTR 3...Great time to be a racing game fan!
     
    • Agree Agree x 14
    • Like Like x 3
  4. farjam

    farjam

    Messages:
    296
    Ratings:
    +105
    Thanks for the video
    i was watching another video of f1 2018 career , the guy was driving a Haas at the Australian gp and he got a DRS failure (DRS was stuck open, and they called him to pit) and had to pit to repair it , and i was thinking about Haas problems at Australian gp and other GPs
     
    • Love Love x 1
    • Haha Haha x 1
  5. Dovi design

    Dovi design

    Messages:
    2,075
    Ratings:
    +773
    Can I have the link, please?
    This sounds exciting
     
  6. farjam

    farjam

    Messages:
    296
    Ratings:
    +105
    Hey man, sure
    the DRS thing at 05:21:D
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Haha Haha x 1
    • Beer Beer x 1
  7. michelforest

    michelforest

    Messages:
    106
    Ratings:
    +45
    Thank you for your review, Paul. It's very informative and detailed. I played F1 2017 quite a lot since it's release, and I get the feeling that I will be pleased with this year's edition.

    Regarding your comments about the realism of the simulation, I've always felt that driving an actual F1 car - in the contexte of a real race against real drivers - is so incredibly difficult that only a microscopic percentage of the public could actually pull it off.

    Personally, I've never wanted to be a professional race car driver. I've never even wanted to drive a real race car. So all these games (R3R, AC, F1 2018, etc.) are just that to me: games. They're a great way to relax during my free time. I can understand if someone is looking for a more realistic experience, but in the end, sim racing has to be fun and the F1 franchise has been a lot of fun for the last 2 years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    • Disagree Disagree x 3
  8. Vincent.C

    Vincent.C
    Another WEC driver ! Premium

    Messages:
    334
    Ratings:
    +139
    Thx Paul for this review. Probably not an hard core simulator but looks so good. I hope multiplayer rank system will be good and punish wreckers.

    Thx for this link.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Beer Beer x 1
  9. klaasie

    klaasie

    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +1
    Looks good, but it seems more of an optimization of F1 2017.
    Also the cutscenes are not changed. Drivers are stepping out of the car like there is no halo.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Gopher04

    Gopher04
    Premium

    Messages:
    976
    Ratings:
    +437
    Could atleast make it hard core Paul and drive with the full Halo..:thumbsup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Haha Haha x 1
  11. JoelGL

    JoelGL

    Messages:
    1,212
    Ratings:
    +90
    oops, edit, sorry. just read there's no VR.
     
  12. Nestoche

    Nestoche

    Messages:
    86
    Ratings:
    +28
    I'm weak and Pre-ordered. Now to set-up my race rig with the Thrustmaster F1 Racing wheel and get back to F1 Racing again!....
     
    • Haha Haha x 1
  13. rosgillies

    rosgillies
    Premium

    Messages:
    34
    Ratings:
    +46
    No VR, no chance. Simple as!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 10
    • Disagree Disagree x 8
    • Like Like x 1
    • Haha Haha x 1
  14. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend
    test Premium

    Messages:
    1,318
    Ratings:
    +468
    Just a shame they couldn't have corrected it with a patch instead of a whole new title at full price... :rolleyes::roflmao:
     
    • Haha Haha x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

    Messages:
    940
    Ratings:
    +235
    That is "convenient".
     
    • Haha Haha x 1
  16. gamer19

    gamer19

    Messages:
    1,756
    Ratings:
    +521
    I like (don't we all?) to see AI fighting each other but I think they, in a attempt to make a spectacle, overreacted this year.
    AI fighting all over the place each other, overtaking, bumping, parts flying, three wide, twelve wide,... you name it - it's there. This game looks at times like a Nascar Heat and Wreckfest give a birth of a child and name it "F1 2018".
    Not realistic.
    Like Codemasters themselves... I wish it was like that in real today's F1.
    But it's just not.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  17. Mickdrs

    Mickdrs

    Messages:
    21
    Ratings:
    +6
    Looks very like 2017, except they've turned down the contrast and added haze..the safety car has been vanished of that very glossy wet look
     
  18. Flip-Flop Driver

    Flip-Flop Driver

    Messages:
    38
    Ratings:
    +13
    I just wish we could have 2 F1 games like Fifa and PES.
    Because even in the so called hard core sims genre there is no unanimity at all.
    In the past there was the alternative of the GP games.
     
  19. F1Aussie

    F1Aussie

    Messages:
    293
    Ratings:
    +41
    Can you finally use the mouse to navigate the menus? And are the car setups still dumbed down?
    Cheers
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  20. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

    Messages:
    322
    Ratings:
    +100
    I still hope major franchises like this see the benefit of making simulation physics first, and implement aids for more casual drivers afterwards.

    That way even the more simhards would be happy to add this to their collection. If 2017 is anything to go by it's just well made simcade without extras. The historical content was just mediocre at best anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.