With the Formula 1 2020 season in full swing, fans of the sport have been treated to the next entry in Codemasters’ gaming series: F1 2020. Codemasters have gone all out with this latest entry and have revamped many aspects of it to keep the series fresh and fun for F1 and racing fans.
To keep the series from going stale, Codemasters have made lots of changes and added lots of new content to keep the series feeling fresh. This includes the all-new My Team mode where you’ll make up the 11th team on the grid. My Team mode is a cross between a regular career mode and a manager sim game. You have to build your team, gain sponsors, take part in events, build the cars etc, but also take part in the seasons and try to claim the championship. Other features of F1 2020 include;
- All the official teams, the drivers and circuits from the 2020 Formula One World Championship™.
- Acclaimed ten-year career mode. • Formula 2™, the ultimate training ground for F1®, is also included, now with new half or full season options and 2019 and 2020* season content.
- x16 classic F1® cars from 1988-2010.
- Esports – in-game area for the online qualification events, latest news and even watch the new F1® Esports Challenger and Pro Series races.
- More ways to race: Time Trial, Grand Prix™ Mode, Championships and relive your glory with saveable automated highlights.
- Compete online in Multiplayer: Ranked and Unranked races, Leagues, Customisable Liveries and Weekly Events. *
One of the things I’ve always liked about racing games are the graphics. Most racing games look absolutely stunning, and F1 2020 is no exception. The tracks, cars, and landscape are highly detailed and look pretty realistic. The character models for the player, racers and other people such as the interviewers, team etc all look good. I am playing the game on PC, so graphics may look different on console. But with the game running at 60fps on max settings, there is nothing to complain about. I wouldn’t say its the most beautiful racing game out there, but it is definitely in the discussion. Because of this, it keeps you very immersed and makes you feel like you’re actually on Silverstone.
The gameplay is pretty much what you would expect from an F1 game. There are a variety of cars and all of the tracks that are raced on during an actual F1 season from Silverstone to Yas Marina. But what is a track without cars to race with? F1 2020 features all of the cars, teams and drivers from the 2020 Formula One World Championship as well as cars from the 2019 Formula 2 Championship and a host of classic cars from 1988-2010. The deluxe edition also comes with 4 cars used by Michael Schumacher, The Benetton B194 and B195, Jordan 191, and the Ferrari F1-2000, as well as an updated Ferrari F2004. The deluxe edition also includes Schumacher-themed multiplayer car liveries, helmets, race suits, and a podium celebration emote.
When it comes to playing the game, it is everything that I would expect. There are a host of customization options, changing every aspect of the car, both performance-wise and cosmetic. The cars handle very well, too, and everything feels incredibly responsive. And although the game definitely caters to the hardcore sim racing and Formula One fan, they haven’t forgotten about the more casual and new players, such as myself. There is a casual mode which, when switched on, will simplify menus, make off-track surfaces easier to drive over, and make available steering and reset to track assists. Whether you just like to casually watch Formula One on a weekend and fancy trying out the game or you’re a sim racing professional, this game caters to everyone.
The single player portion of the game is where you’re likely to be spending a lot of your time, and there is a lot of content to keep players busy. The career mode is one of the most thorough I have seen in a racing game. Players can create their own racer, join a team along with a team mate, create the best car possible and compete in a season up to 22 races long for the full Formula One experience. Not many racing games career mode have this level of depth and it was a surprise to see this much content into the career mode. Being able to determine every aspect of the mode is great; I can create the car I want on my favorite team and race on every track that the real life professionals race on every week.
But perhaps the greatest addition to the game is the all new My Team mode. This mode is essentially like FIFA Ultimate Team, but it’s Formula One. Players start from scratch as the new kid on the block starting their own racing team. You create your team, create your car, choose your engine supplier and team mate and become the 11th team in the Championship. There is so much depth to this mode from choosing the sponsorships for your team, researching and developing new car parts to create the best car possible while competing through the entire Formula One season up to 10 years to truly become the best Formula One driver. It is as much a manager sim as it is a racing career mode, if you’re into all of the managing aspect of racing, or are fans of gaming experiences such as Football Manager or FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode, this will definitely be something you will enjoy.
In addition to the career and My Team modes, there are the usual Grand Prix, Championship and Time Trial modes. There is always something to do in F1 2020 as new challenges become available every day to gain XP and level up your Podium Pass (we will get to that a little later).
The multiplayer aspect is as thorough as the single player. The online aspect features a variety of different modes from ranked and unranked modes to weekly events and leagues where players compete against others to become the best of the best. And then for the best of the best and the professional players, there is a F1 esports section which hosts different series’ and events.
Multiplayer isn’t my strong suit and not something I am massively interested in, especially from a casual standpoint. But for the more hardcore fans, this is definitely packed with lots of different options for competing against fellow F1 fans.
Finally, we need to talk about the micro-transactions in the game. It has become fairly standard now for games to implement their own form of an Item Shop and Season Pass where players can purchase rotating items from the Item Shop using real money as well as a Season Pass where players can unlock more rewards for leveling up and completing challenges. This is also present in F1 2020 and, in my opinion, is a huge negative against the game. While I don’t have any problem with cosmetic micro-transactions in general, I am not a fan of them when it comes to games that are full-priced AAA games, and especially when they’re yearly titles. It has never made sense to me why some people spend huge amounts of money on FIFA Ultimate Team only to abandon all that work and start again when the next iteration comes out. If it was just a single Formula One game that would be maintained and updated for many years then I wouldn’t have a problem with the micro-transactions. But I wouldn’t consider spending real money on cosmetics in the game after spending £44.99 to buy the game only to ditch them next year when F1 2021 comes out.
If you don’t mind doing this then that is your choice, but for me, it is a few points off the total score, because it isn’t a practice I agree with.
F1 2020 is the best the F1 series has been. With a complete overhaul of some aspects of the game, a big focus on accessibility, and the fantastic new My Team mode, Codemasters have gone all out to try keep the series fresh for veteran players while being very accessible for newbies to jump on and see what the F1 series of games is all about.
The game looks fantastic and plays great, and I really like the level of depth and customization in the game and overall I’m very hard pressed to pick faults with the game. If you’re an F1 or racing fan, there is no reason not to check out the game.
F1 2020 was provided to Gamezo by Codemasters to review; all opinions are our own.