The racing video game scene shows a path towards specialization, especially since that change from the Arcade style (which is never synonymous with easy, it must be specified) to simulation, trying to appeal to the greatest number of possible details and realistic physicals that sometimes surprise and others leave some doubts because they seem not to decide between the two styles. Within this scene, Codemasters, an English company, has sought to position itself as an option that seeks to provide games of both styles in a world dominated by Forza and Gran Turismo and one of its biggest bets lies in its agreement with Formula 1, the highest category of the motorsport, which in its 2020 edition seems to reach a level that promises for the years to come.
F1 2020: the chance to get close-up
Although it may not seem like it, since Formula 1 games have rarely reached the forefront in terms of popularity, they have accompanied the industry and players since 1976 with F-1 in Atari until today. In recent times and after having a period of exclusivity with Sony and PlayStation, Codemasters took the rights to the circuit in 2010 and from there has carved a simulation story, although it has been a short step, it must be said. This path has reached a new scale with F1 2020, a title that since the pre-debut had given reason to speak for its focus on the renewed career mode, because this time the strategy would be essential to leave with victory and climb the podium, as well as a proposal that can be enjoyed by the most exacerbated fan of the circuit or by a casual player who only seeks to live a simulation experience without breaking his head.
The highest category of motorsports at your fingertips
Being an officially licensed simulator, F1 2020 has all the details in terms of presentation that every Formula 1 fan can expect, obviously updated to this year’s competition in terms of Grand Prix, teams, drivers and manufacturers of motor. Likewise, this installment has television-type presentation elements with detailed descriptions, anecdotes and a timely follow-up of what happens before, during and after each race.
In terms of presentation of these details, F1 2020 meets what can be expected of a game that is officially licensed by a competition and more today, however, it cannot be overlooked that in visual terms the result is limited and accounts for the cap that Codemasters has reached for this generation and the cap itself in console.
F1 2020 meets visually, but nothing extraordinary
Yes, the cars are very well detailed, the cockpit view has even the last button, the circuits are a faithful representation of its real version, the additional content, although generic, has decent modeling, but there is really nothing that you leave you speechless in this section.
« Despite the proper presentation of F1 2020, Codemasters remains below the great exponents of the genre »
For this review, I had access to the PlayStation 4 version on a Slim model, but reviewing results obtained on PC with equipment capable of displaying the best graphics, the indication was the same and ultimately F1 2020 is a game that meets and is done. However, and after having played other Codemasters titles recently, it is clear to me that it is an area in which the company must work if it seeks to continue to rise and at some point catch up with what a Gran Turismo, a Forza achieves. Motorsport or a Forza Horizon, as it is known that fans of this type of games pay special attention to detail and the British company follows 1 or even 2 steps below what the most important racing franchises have achieved today.
In terms of audio, F1 2020 delivers on the roar of engines and race incidents. It also has musical themes that add to the immersion in the menus, something important in the star mode of this game because you will spend a good part of your time on them.
Betting on a renewed career mode
Since F1 2020 was officially announced, Codemasters made it clear that the protagonist in this edition was its renewed career mode, however there are options for all kinds of audiences and that is one of the great successes of the development team, since at the beginning, both In modes such as in terms of gameplay, this installment can be enjoyed by inexperienced players or by those who love racing titles.
The 2020 edition has the traditional Grand Prix mode, where you get directly to the simulation of this year’s championship and it will be enough for you to select the team and driver of your choice to start the season. In the same way, the game offers free races against the clock that will serve you to know each of the circuits, their curves, their straights and the possibilities of getting the most out of them, something very important because the difference between getting on the podium or looking at it from below It may take a few seconds.
The start of a great story in Formula 1
Unfortunately, and in favor of its new career mode, F1 2020 had to do without the depth of the Professional Career mode, the one that was so praised in last year’s installment thanks to its immersion and details in a story that started in Formula 2 to go up to the glory of the maximum circuit. This time, this mode is still in force and allows you to start as a stranger in search of success, but the removal of many details that took place between periods between races, as well as management, end up delivering a diluted version, although it is not Unplayable and if you can ignore this it is well worth giving it a try.
If F1 2020 maintained the level of previous deliveries and dared to dilute its recognized career mode last year, it was because of the bet on the new career mode and we can say that they got away with it because it is one of the best achieved in terms simulators and even chairs any sports game on how to do things, especially on how to make the impact of decisions reflected in the game.
« Unfortunately, and in favor of its new career mode, F1 2020 had to do without the depth of the Professional Career mode »
The F1 2020 career mode puts us in the role of owner of a team and driver of it, which means that we have absolute control of this « new » Formula 1 team. From the beginning, we will have to create a character, put a name to our team and select a design and color combination that represents us. Although there are not thousands of combinations, this section is enough to give personality to this eleventh team of the maximum circuit. In the same way, you will have to choose a partner from among several candidates with different abilities, some with greater aggressiveness, and others with the ability to burst the rival to give you the victory.
Start from scratch and grow your team
From there the strategy will begin as you have an initial budget granted by a sponsor to select, which you must choose carefully after carefully reading its requirements and determining if you have the ability to meet them. Here it is important not to get carried away by the siren song and to ensure that the money flows stably as you will need it to grow your team. In turn, in addition to money, each advance will give you an increase in experience that will help you improve as a pilot and access other items necessary to improve.
Subsequently, you will have to select an engine manufacturer and from there everything will be an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of each department that has to do with the parts of your vehicle because although they are cohesive in a single project, they can grow in a independent according to your decisions, results and investments. Previously, I told you that you would spend a lot of time on the menus and boy is it true since the pre-race is highly demanding and requires you to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your vehicle in order to find the balance and improvements that make you win those seconds necessary to aspire to the first places.
Something impressive about the F1 2020 career mode, and quite motivating by the way, is that if things go well you can see your team headquarters grow, going from a simple center to a complex with the most high-tech simulators that allow Measure vehicle configurations in real time to establish a pre-Grand Prix strategy.
« F1 2020 makes you feel a responsibility to plan each Grand Prix »
There is no doubt that Codemasters scored an unprecedented success with this game mode, because it really catches you to know and be aware of your entire team and the decisions you must make to continue moving forward. The realism is such that a bad decision made in the run-up to a Grand Prix can cost you defeat, and it is so vast that it highlights the importance of the activities to be carried out as the race weekend arrives, that you meet your sponsor and have happy and motivated members of each group. In the same way, you will have to deal with the media and know when to praise and when to criticize those responsible for each area, which will have an impact on their spirit and therefore on the work they do, which is why it stands out again The strategy because if you spend it congratulating and investing with those responsible for the engine, the other departments will not deliver the expected results and that can become a nightmare during.
Another of the great successes of the F1 2020 career mode is its immersion potential because it really makes you feel a responsibility to plan each Grand Prix, analyzing the state of your team, what you need to fight in the next race and the possibility of submit part of your strategy to the trial and error method during the 2 days prior to qualifying, where you will have an open track to get to know the circuit and adapt some details so that on qualifying day you get a time that ensures a good place in the Grille output.
Finally, it highlights how well the progression system of the F1 2020 career mode is, because it is not something that results immediately and makes you a star overnight. No, success will come little by little and will require you to comply with good strategic decisions and your talent as a driver on the track, your car will not give more than what has resulted from your plan and this will lead you to rectify in those areas in which you have failed, polish those that have given medium results and continue with what was successful.
The tension, the adrenaline and the strategy on the track
I had previously referred to F1 2020 as a game that wisely provides enough options to reach all kinds of players and this is evident in the gameplay. This installment has a menu full of options to personalize your experience and adapt it to your abilities. Do you want absolute realism and that everything goes to hell with a badly taken turn or with an impact? You can do it. Do you want to worry only about taking the curves well and making the most of the straights? It’s possible. From start to finish, as well as in each game mode, F1 2020 gives you the opportunity to enjoy yourself as a casual player or to test your skills as a pilot or measure the experience you accumulate.
The tension and adrenaline are felt at all times
The control response is excellent and a great detail to take into account is that regardless of the driving style you use and the experience you have, the tension is always present in each race and thus you have driving aids or the traditional line that marks acceleration in green and braking in red, you know that a bad movement, however insignificant at the time, can ruin everything and although there is a flashback to go back in time and correct, the best, personally, is get out there and start again, because even in its easy mode, F1 2020 is demanding and asks you to analyze each circuit and memorize its parts.
While a random race or season in Pilot or Grand Prix mode is satisfying, the great success of F1 2020 comes with the integration of the strategy, progression system and gameplay of career mode. As you will know if you are a fan of the maximum motorsport circuit, this is not about accelerating, stopping taking a curve well and going out accelerating, it is much more complex than that and you will realize when having access to the different interfaces during the race, same as They will allow you to adjust the strategy if you want it to be conservative or aggressive, in addition to controlling your teammate’s actions there.
« The great success of F1 2020 comes with the integration of the strategy, the progression system and the gameplay of the career mode »
In the same way, you will have access to the state of the engine and each part of the vehicle to be aware of its level of wear, possible damage, damage or failure that will have to be addressed in the pits. Precisely, a greater wear on the tires, the engine or the low use of certain sections of the track will make you wonder what happened and more when you were on the hunt for Lewis Hamilton and his first place. Well, the answer is that perhaps the decisions you made prior to the race were not adequate.
The feeling of speed, the tension of the race, the strategic thinking before and during, as well as the response of the control come together in one of the best simulation experiences in the sports games sector and ultimately position F1 2020 as the best Formula 1 simulator to date.
The AI of this game deserves a special mention, something that made me say « finally » and it is that although it is not perfect, the reaction of the other competitors to your presence, whether ahead or behind them, is something that is appreciated and that makes you think about the great things that are on the way for the franchise. Until now, racing games suffer a lot in that area, with illogical movements of the rivals and although its function in terms of design is to hinder, the reality is that it is far from being well executed. This is where F1 2020 comes out on top and presents one of the best AIs in the genre, something that is reflected with the ferocity with which each position is fought and the defensive and even aggressive postures of the other competitors to the degree of being rim with rim with a division of simple centimeters, opening the possibility of a spectacular passing, a closing with authority or a crash that will end up removing both of the race.
« In short, they position F1 2020 as the best Formula 1 simulator to date »
Even when it is far in terms of details of the greatest exponents of vehicle racing, F1 2020 has everything you need to be one of the best simulators out there today. The bet for the career mode was successful and what was done in this section by Codemasters shows the correct way in which a strategy and progression system can be integrated with the gameplay, as well as the impact it has on the gaming experience. Seen in comparison, F1 2020 and said systems make those of other sports games look like simple fillers to waste time. Also, the gameplay is another example to follow, especially for all the customization options and the way they are reflected in the gaming experience. Although it is not perfect, F1 2020 is the best Formula 1 game so far and it is definitely a must if you are a fan of the maximum motorsport circuit or if you just like racing games.
The glory of first place