We take the upcoming F1 2018 videogame from Codemasters for a first drive and give our (very) early impressions of the new title. Stop! Before I go any further and whilst I have your attention... please, do me a favour and subscribe to the RaceDepartment YouTube channel. It would make me nice and happy, so give us a subscription if you haven't already please Ok, back on topic... Codemasters have been in possession of the official FIA Formula One licence since the 2010 racing season, and in that time the British developers have doggedly worked away at the yearly franchise to bring the spirit and feel of Grand Prix racing to home computers. Sometimes the games have been sublime, and sometimes it has felt like too much has been missing in order to classify the releases as a genuine contender for the hearts and minds of the gaming public. Last year Codemasters made what I consider to be a considerable step forward with the F1 series, and early indications are that the developers have raised the bar once again for this upcoming new release. If I'm perfectly honest I've never really been into the Formula One game series, although I've always ended up reaching into my wallet in the hope that the latest game stands up to the admittedly high expectations I held prior to taking it out for a drive. Well I think I can be reasonably safe in saying that for the new game, F1 2018, Codemasters have got the closest yet to matching those high expectations. Still several days away from a public release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, RaceDepartment managed to get our hands on a early access copy of F1 2018 to review and share our opinions, and if I'm being perfectly frank with you, what I've seen so far has impressed me a great deal. The new game feels like it has been improved in almost every aspect over previous titles. Obvious things like the inclusion of ERS and yet more classic content strike you from the moment you turn on the PC, but it's the little things that really make the difference. Presentation is slick as usual, however the way the developers have incorporated the new corporate image of F1 into the game is praiseworthy indeed, with nice and flowing introduction scenes right the way through to the way the drivers have been modelled to look like their real life counterparts. But it's out on the track where the game really picks up and shines in my opinion. I'll admit I've not spent much time with it yet (that will change over the next few days), but from what I've seen and felt so far, the game provides a very nice and robust feel, with much improved handling and a very solid FFB right from the get go, without the need to spend hours tweaking my Fanatec CSW V2 to get the finest level of detail - as I say, pretty impressive. First impressions of F1 2018 for me are overwhelmingly positive. I'm a sim racer through and through, so normally I'd be reluctant to spend much time in anything that I consider to not be the closest the developers can get to real world physics, however somehow it feels like F1 2018 manages to bridge the gap between the needs of people like me, and the desires of those looking for a more accessible experience impressively well. I'm going to be spending more time with the title in the next few days, and of course will be making more videos as I go along, and at this moment in time I'm pretty excited to see what I uncover, not something I was expecting to say after the first day of running the game. If I was a betting man, I might just have to say Codemasters have hit gold with F1 2018 after nine years of trying, and the results are pretty darn good. 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 Twitter Facebook Youtube Twitch Do you like the look of F1 2018 so far? Are you interesting in trying it when it releases later this month? Let us know in the comments section below!