Review: F1 2017 (PS4)

Review: F1 2017 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • Wheel Support Yes
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Title: F1 2017
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (29.9 GB)
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Codemasters
Original MSRP: $59.99 (US), €69.99 (EU), £54.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I really enjoyed F1 2016 but there were one or two issues and complaints that kept me from enjoying it fully.

Is a year enough to fix all of those things?

Gameplay:
I instantly created my character and dove into the expanded career. It now features an extensive upgrade system that seems daunting at first glance but is easy to understand and much better than the previous way.

The same people return from last year, but with more to say in the familiar surroundings that I grew accustomed to.

The developers at Codemasters are again choosing to let the player decide what options they like with regard to the difficulty by adjusting the percentage in small amounts based on those alterations.

This means I get the game style I like beyond the standard choices and I’m even tempted to nudge that difficulty up a notch or two just to get a higher experience percentage and therefore, faster upgrades.

In the past, I played these kinds of games on the easier difficulties and avoided the realism of having to worry about fuel consumption and tyre wear but now, I find it adds to the game immensely.

I was too aggressive with the gas on one occasion and ran out of the stuff yards from the finish line. Like the pitiful end to a racing movie where it isn’t all about the winning, I crawled over the line but not before several opponents hurtled by oblivious to my agonizing cries.

The ability to drive classic F1 cars during the Career mode, sadly without their drivers or old tracks, helps me to appreciate how different it was in the earlier days of the sport and how far the technology has advanced. I hope Codemasters gets to expand this nice addition and really I like that they managed to include it with special race days.

Along with the twenty official circuits, there are four additional track variants which are captured with immense detail and care. I quite like being able to jump into an instant Grand Prix race, take part in some Time Trials, and test myself in the one off downloadable events.

Just like last year, I am referred to as the team I am in and not by a nickname. It still bothers me, hearing the commentator reading through the standings or highlights and call me the team name instead. One day, maybe next year, I will get to pick a nickname.

Visuals:
I usually try to avoid getting technical in my reviews but I feel this game warrants a modicum of it. F1 2017 on the PlayStation 4 Pro runs a full 4K output (3840 x 2160). That comes with some super sexy High Dynamic Range lighting all running at a smooth as silk sixty frames per second.

According to Codemasters, it’s due in part to the way the Pro handles checkerboard rendering making the technique much more efficient. This means some of the Graphics Processing Unit’s time could be spent on other visual upgrades.

What about the people like me who cannot afford a brand new 4K television? Well my 1080p image looks stunning thanks to the PS4 Pro down-sampling the 4K render. This means everything looks super smooth and very detailed. I did experience some mild screen tearing but since a recent patch that has all but vanished as far as I can tell.

Tapping the touch pad during a race instantly pauses the game and allows you to rewind and fast forward the last section and switch between all of the views and swivel the camera on a few of them. Using this, I was able to take some stunning pictures.

This playback feature doubles as the flashback functionality, letting me rewind and continue playing from an earlier point in time, hopefully avoiding an earlier mistake or accident.

I am amazed at the realistic lighting and shadows in F1 2017. This is one of the few games that can honestly capture the majesty of a warm dusk evening in Bahrain or a cold and rainy race in Britain.

Weather and time of day effects look superb and really help to immerse you in the action. F1 2017 has some of the best rain effects I have seen and the still images do not do it justice.

Audio:
I love hearing this game through my headphones with the sounds of the cars, crowd, wind, and Jeff from the pit crew. Although turning the volume up and hearing Jeffrey warble on through the Dualshock 4 speakers is just as entertaining. Hearing stats and instantaneous information about everything from the weather to the other drivers is invaluable when planning changes to pit stops and the like.

It isn’t just a one way conversation as you can actually talk to Jeff and ask him questions or let him know about changes you want to make. It’s an improvement over the last game and works very well. I only had to repeat one thing in the entire time I’ve played.

Online/Multiplayer:
From downloading a ghost in the Time Trials to embarking on a Grand Prix with random online players, everything works as expected. Not perfect, but close. Just like the last iteration, I enjoyed playing online but it has never been my mode of choice.

It’s even easier to quickly find an online session and see a number of players, connection quality, and so on. Creating a custom session for friends is effortless should you wish to play with people you know. Hopefully they won’t drive like it’s a scene from Mad Max, as many of the random players I have encountered seem to do.

Conclusion:
It’s obvious to me that the devs at Codemasters are at the top of their game and F1 2017 is a worthy successor to last year’s title. The graphical improvements and refinements make it a stunning game to look at, especially on the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Once you get to grips with the qualifying objectives and begin upgrading, the Career mode is obsessively good. I even found it hard to pull myself away to write this review, always finding one more excuse to carry on playing. It’s going to be very difficult to top this one.

Score:
9.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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