Review: F1 2019 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: F1 2019
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (36 GB)
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Codemasters
Original MSRP: $59.99 (US) £54.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI Rating: 3
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

With a yearly release cycle, most developers don’t change or add a significant amount with each iteration. This can lead to some people skipping a year or even two as they wait for a noteworthy difference. It can be a tough call for fans with limited funds.

Gameplay:
F1 2019 features several improvements and new features, the most noticeable being Formula 2. I found it quite easy coming from the main game and soon nudged up the difficulty. I enjoyed the different rules that were explained to me before I got into a virtual car. I could quite happily spend many more hours playing this if I had the time.

Again, Codemasters didn’t mess around with what works and I quickly got into my old habits of controlling the fuel levels and telling Jeff, my digital pit crew chief, what to do. Although he did seem to ignore me for around ten laps when I ignored his request to box the lap. It was probably just because I wasn’t doing anything to warrant a remark. Although, I would say lapping every car before the midpoint of the race is worthy of a comment.

The career mode has been improved and starts off with some rivalries between drivers, both on and off the track. It doesn’t compare to Ron Howard’s Rush but is definitely off to a good start.

The F2 cars aren’t confined to their mode and even creep into the early part of the career along with being available in the time trials on all of the tracks. I would have liked to have learned more on the history or differences of the two motorsports but alas I had to use Google.

One thing I did notice was that the default race length is longer than I expected, which allowed me to lap everyone as I mentioned earlier. The race became monotonous and my concentration lapsed causing me to veer off track, thankfully the rewind feature is still present and saved me off restarting the entire race.

Either my driving has taken a knock or the realism has increased a notch or two, as I’ve spun out once or twice after taking a turn too aggressively. The A.I. drivers don’t seem to worry about the kerbs as much as I do and are still just as reckless when I’m overtaking.

It is a little disheartening starting my career from scratch every year. Maybe the next version will allow me to carry over my save? There isn’t much else I can say about this one that I haven’t said in the last two reviews so I’ll move onto the next section, how good the game looks.

Visuals:
The graphics are as fantastic as ever in F1 2019, with several improvements over the older version that might not be very noticeable at first glance but help to deliver a stunning experience.

The detail on the tires, track-side elements, and loads look better but for some strange reason the lights along the track never turn off, even in the blistering midday sun. I could repeat all of the text from last year’s review as nothing has drastically changed.

Audio:
Nothing seems to have changed in the audio department and F1 2019 still sounds exceptional through my headphones or blasting through my TV speakers so I can hear good old Jeffrey warbling on through the DualShock 4 speakers.

The nickname selection sadly remains without my wish of Chazz creeping into the list. This time I opted for ‘Old Timer,’ which I thought would be funny to hear when the commentators run down the completion order but it got annoying really quickly. It’s times like this when I miss the It’s Quiz Time voice engine, just so I can hear my own name being spoken.

Online/Multiplayer:
This mode hasn’t changed all that much, and just like last year I couldn’t see any noticeable issues or problems. I always have a blast in this mode and each year it surprises me how well the game plays with so many other people on the track.

I love swerving past the numerous crashes and smile that I managed to come out the other side unscathed. As I near a nasty bend I press on the brakes only to find some fool has decided to not bother slowing down and I’m catapulted into the barriers and out of the race. Yeah, I think I’ll stick to collisions being off as a rule from now on.

Competition points is a new addition to the game that tempts players to the weekly events and objectives in Ranked multiplayer. These can be spent on the multiplayer suit, gloves, car, etc. You can’t spend real money on these but I did notice some premium cosmetic items for sale through the PlayStation Store, although I had no desire to reach for my wallet.

Conclusion:
Is F1 2019 worth buying considering how well last year’s version turned out to be? They are very similar and in many respects identical, however, the inclusion of F2, a better career mode, and some small graphical improvements does make this the best version, but not by much. Looking back on last year’s review, the penultimate paragraph sums up this iteration perfectly, so I’ll do some copy and pasting then just change an eight to nine and we are good to go:

The talented folks at Codemasters are still at the top of their game and F1 2019 is a testament to that. There aren’t any major changes or additions for this year so a few cash-strapped gamers could possibly hold off but I’m sure the eager racing aficionados are lapping this one up (excuse the pun).

Score:

* 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, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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