A paltry offering of game modes and online issues really overshadow the many good things about F1 2015. As expected, the game looks and plays better than its earlier iterations, but it's just not a substitute for substance and functionality.
Codemasters continues to mix thrilling driving with a distinct lack of ways to race, resulting in a disappointing new-gen debut for Formula One.
F1 2015 feels like a step backwards for the series, which is disappointing given the new EGO engine, and the current generation of hardware. The core experience, however, remains one of the most realistic racing simulators available.
The basics of F1 2015 are unquestionably solid, but the basics are pretty much all it has to offer.
So yeah, new platform equals franchise reboot that also includes new advances in the core of the game, which is what really matters. F1 2015 comes off as a peek of what is to come in the seasons ahead.
Ultimately, F1 2015 feels pretty lightweight in terms of content, and if you place it side by side with F1 2014, it's clear as day that what we have is little more than the bare-bones basics. In isolation, though, this year's instalment is still a decent game and worthy of any fan's attention. It feels like a good starting position for the series' run on current consoles, and 2016's iteration will hopefully be a little more fleshed out. For now, though, we have a very faithful recreation of the sport with superb handling and a reasonable step up in the graphics department. It's just a bit of a shame that there's not more to it.
Overall, it is clear that the new Ego game engine offers up cars that have never handled better. Equally, the circuits have been reproduced in amazing detail. Those aspects of F1 2015 are undoubtedly an improvement on the series' recent titles. As much as the car handling and environments have improved, Codemasters has taken a step back in respect of the range of game modes that are available this year in comparison to the gradual additions that have been introduced year-on-year. Given that this is the first Formula One title on the Xbox One may well prove that going back to basics on the game modes is the right thing to do in order to ensure that they get the actual driving experience right. There is certainly plenty of scope for adding new game modes in future Xbox One iterations, much like the approach taken since the series reboot back in 2010.
F1 2015 lays the foundations for the future by getting it right on the race track where it matters most. Ultimately, however, it's still in need of some bodywork to bring it fully up to speed with feature-heavy past releases.
Unless you're a die-hard fan of the sport and absolutely must play each new season's championship, then this game is probably best skipped in favour of the inevitable follow up in 2016.
What could've been a turning point for the F1 series instead feels like the same old grind. While F1 2015 has its moments, it just doesn't adapt enough to welcome new players with open arms, instead reaching out more to those who know what F1 racing is all about. Furthermore, the removal of crucial modes and meaningful multiplayer is sure to upset a few racing fans out there, especially when this game should've easily shifted into a higher gear. Maybe next year, we'll get the F1 game we truly deserve. For now, though, it's worth a rental at best.