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Finally the new-gen instalment of Codemasters F1 series is here with F1 2015. But will it stall at the starting grid or race triumphantly past that chequered flag? Find out in our review.
Streets ahead in quality, lagging behind in variety
Short on modes, but big on racing, F1 2015 gives fans their most immersive F1 game to date. It could be stronger visually and the AI needs some work, but the first F1 to hit the next-gen consoles delivers both a thrilling drive and a strong core for future F1 games.
But then there will always be the thrill in shaving off hundredths of a second from the best lap times, and F1 2015 is remarkably effective in subtly digging its claws into you and convincing you that yes, with just a touch more practice and precision you could take that difficult corner a little better.
The game mode strip down this year by Codemasters with F1 2015 is evidently step one of many for a reboot of the popular franchise. Where modes have been taken, major improvements have been made. A whole new game engine giving advanced visuals and handling makes F1 2015 the best yet.
So, F1 2015 is not a big, fun, flashy arcade racer. It could never be. Not while its main purpose is to be a serious and realistic representation of Formula 1. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the same problem that has plagued all sports sims when they first appear on the eighth generation consoles. There is a distinct lack of content.
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.
F1 2015 doesn't have many of the features and game modes that we've seen over the years, and this feels disappointing given delays during development, but it gives a solid basis for future growth. With lush visuals, tight car handling, good racing and a sprinkling of fresh ideas, this is exactly the fresh start that Codemasters needed.
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.
While the racing action has never looked or played better, F1 2015 unfortunately disappoints in its lack of modes.