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F1 2019

After ten years, code masters perfects the formula…

Justin Towell

After ten years of Formula 1 games on Xbox consoles, F1 2019 has come out of the pits slicker than a hard compound tyre fresh out of its warmer.

Oh yes. The career mode is impossibly deep and nuanced, but - most impressively - well balanced and delicately woven together. And that’s no mean feat considering the complexity of what you’re doing. Completing practice sessions lets you use upgrade points to buy new parts. Delivery of these is affected by the morale of your research and development departments, which in turn are affected by your responses to media questions after each session. Some answers can only be given if your sportsmanship rating is high enough, which means you have to start trash talking with your rivals, or being a team player. Rivalries are dual-driver affairs, pitching you first against your team-mate, but then also against a rival of your choice. This may well be one of the new drivers that you started racing against in Formula 2, an all-new feature for this year’s game.

This addition is made even more interesting by having new fully-acted story scenes that play out between the three scenario events that form the F2 taster sequence at the start of the revised career mode. It’s such a shame these scenes only last until you reach F1, after which your rivals are just other drivers on the grid. It works really well and makes you notice key names around you during the race, which is pure gold from a gameplay perspective - especially when the AI drives so robustly, reluctant to concede any position and ready to go wheel to wheel through an entire sequence of corners.

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September 2019

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