You’ll probably never drive a race car, but that’s ok. Play ‘F1 2018’ instead.

F1 2018 strives for authenticity. In our first race, Lewis Hamilton took the first place, and Fernando Alonso had to retire halfway due to engine problems, so it seems that they nailed him! In all seriousness, this is one of the most entertaining and realistic racing simulators we've tried. It's sure to please sports fans and challenge racing game enthusiasts.

Open-wheel racing cars are combative . An excess of braking or accelerating force, a barely programmed change, or a small jolt of the steering wheel in response to a bump can easily upset the car enough to send it spinning into the runoff area. It is a high adrenaline experience that requires an almost physical connection with the car.

Perfectly capturing the danger and speed of real-life games in a simulation is an unattainable goal, but it is possible to get much closer. F1 2018 is closer to real-life F1 racing than any game we've tried and improves simulation in other aspects of a runner's career, although you can not emulate Kimi Raikkonen taking a nap under a table.

A promising but sometimes uncomfortable, career mode

Career mode is where most players will spend most of their time. It offers a sense of continuity provided by the voices of your team and management, as well as the evolution of R & D research for your car. Each race becomes important, because each one contributes to your career in general.

Unlike many games with career mode, F1 2018 allows you to adjust the difficulty not only with a setting, but also with your choice of equipment. First-tier teams like AMG Petronas or Scuderia Ferrari expect constant results on the podium, while Williams and Force India have more modest goals. It is a natural and realistic way to scale the difficulty of the game and offers a great sense of achievement. You will feel proud when you improve enough to meet the expectations of a high-level team.

For the first time, F1 2018 adds dialogue options to the race, offering a bit of lightweight RPGs. You can choose how the media and the world will know you as a driver. Will you be a gentleman thanking your team for the image of Sir Stirling Moss, or a cocky narcissist, as a determined driver whose name rhymes with "Clamilton?"

Although we love the concept and appreciate that different choices not only affect the overall relationship with your team, but also different departments within your engineering team, the options offered may be restrictive. There were a few moments when all the available dialogue options seemed a blunder, or as Codemasters tried to force a decision. Why can not the whole team be thanked for putting the driver on the podium, instead of being forced to choose a specific group? Codemasters has promised a release day patch that will "balance" the dialogue, so we hope to have some less uncomfortable moments on launch day.

We also noticed that the facial animations are not synchronized at all with the audio, and there is a discrepancy between the visual quality of the people and the cars. Codemasters has paid obsessive attention to automobiles, but people could use some work. Fortunately, you do not spend a lot of time looking at the characters, so this problem is not very annoying.

A simulation with a real sense of speed

Eccentricities of Race Mode aside, the main objective of F1 2018 is to simulate piloting one of the most impressive racing cars in the world. That is not an easy task. In the previous iteration, F1 2017, the cars felt strangely rigid and almost clinical. When you hit a pothole in a race car, especially an open-wheel car, there is a disturbing feeling of movement of the chassis, as if the car itself was a crouching kitten that has not yet decided in which direction to jump.

F1 2018 gives the feeling of Formula 1 like few racing games.

That's a difficult feeling to capture even when you play on a high-end simulation platform with wheels and racing chairs. A game needs the right combination not only of force feedback, but also audio signals and graphics to convey a sense of uncomfortable lightness at high speed. It is one of the clearest sensations when running or running, and how the driver reacts is a large part of what separates the good from the good. No lap is perfect, but the ability comes from correcting small mistakes without significant loss of speed or control. The fastest runner accelerates along a hair slower than necessary to avoid a crash.

F1 2018 gives the feeling that few racing games have had. If you are using a racing wheel, you will receive many intuitive comments, but even the standard driver provides a lot of information. When a wheel appears on the irregular edge, you know how much risk there is and how much more you can push, because you feel it.

  f1 2018 f118 screenshot 012

The game also nails the feeling of speed. When you can not feel the G forces pushing you back into your seat, and the objects around you are not life-size, it's easy to feel slow no matter how fast the game claims you're doing. F1 2018 uses a lower camera angle and the use of race-side objects to convey the sense of how ridiculously fast F1 cars are (they easily reach 200 miles per hour). We feel a real sense of danger when entering the curve at the end of a long and fast straight, and that is something that few racing games manage to inspire.

Of course, not all players have the same expectations. The hardcore driving enthusiasts want to turn off all the driver's aids to feel the full experience, but others will want to keep the aids and go to a more permissive race using a gamepad. Fundamentally, the game is still exciting no matter how you play. It feels fast and dangerous even with the controllers activated.

Codemasters worked had to make the cars look perfect, but people could use some work.

If you want to delve into the essentials of adjusting your car and your strategy, you can do that. You can choose the tires you want to use for each practice session, what fuel ratio you are burning and all the customizations, or you can leave that in the hands of your AI team and remain competitive. Digital engineers do a good job of making suggestions, and that means that if that is not the most fun part for you, there is no need to worry; you will still get what you want from the game.

Whether you're a serious simulation enthusiast who wants a new challenge, is up to date with all the current F1 regulations, or a guy who wants a more serious racing game but does not necessarily have to study the strategy and real world racing technique, you will enjoy this game.

Microtransactions? No, not here

Fortunately, microtraffices have not invaded F1 2018. Buying the game leaves you all for a fixed price. It's a refreshing change of pace, since sports games often have aggressively aggressive object stores in the game.

Our Take

F1 2018 is an excellent simulator with a fascinating career mode that can challenge both beginners and expert players. The race mode may seem uncomfortable at times, but it also has strengths, and the game offers a lot of racing excitement for your $ 60.

Is there a better alternative?

If you want a game that gives you the feeling of competing in a race Open wheel car, is this or the subscription-based iRacing much more expensive. While iRacing is extremely realistic, it does not have the game modes you expect or even the AI ​​drivers.

How long will it last?

When F1 2019 is published in a year, you will be tempted to buy, and there will undoubtedly be improvements, but F1 2018 is not going badly soon.

Should you buy it?

Yes. Running around a track in F1 2018 is fundamentally exciting, even if you do not closely follow the sport.