OS Scores Explained F1 2016 Overview (PS4)
Controls are impressive, Immersion is deep, plenty of modes
Small lack of AI aggressiveness, Damage model could be improved, Lacks dynamic commentary
Bottom Line
F1 2016 is an outstanding race sim, and should be in any race fan's rotation.
out of 10
F1 2016 REVIEW

F1 2016 Review (PS4)

F1 2016 is one of the best simulation racing titles of all time. I know that’s a bold statement, but the gameplay is there to support the claim, as well as so much more. The job of simulating the sport of F1 racing for the masses is always going to be a tough one, but I firmly believe Codemasters has walked the fine line of accessibility, simulation and fun, and wrapped it all into one deep package.

While the sport is revered and beloved in other parts of the world, here in the US it is still a bit of an enigma, and while slowly gaining popularity, it has a long way to go before it matches the popularity of the American-based NASCAR series. So does that make F1 2016 a hard sell here in the US? It may for some, but those who choose to pass, they will be missing out on an exceptionally well made racing simulation that has the ability to draw in even the most casual of fan -- if given the chance.


The core success of any racing title is the proper execution of two extremely important components, driving mechanics and AI ability. Thankfully, Codemasters has finally seemed to deliver on both fronts. No matter what level of difficulty you are driving on, the overall driving mechanics feel intuitive and precise.

So the developers have delivered you the proper tools to succeed, but it is still incumbent upon the user to take the time to learn each and every track, and luckily there are some absolutely gorgeous venues to visit. There are 21 tracks in F1 2016. Many of them are unique in nature, and they require the user to learn the nuances of each track. If you plan on being successful in any mode, you will have to gain a full understanding of lift points, DRS zones, and rolling through turns and S-curves. This year’s title also implements the ability to engage clutch and manually propel yourself at the start of a race, so there is a lot going on at each track. However, the manageable chaos creates a tremendously immersive atmosphere for the user.

And before anyone adheres to the mindset that F1 is too hard to understand, and you will feel lost, just stop right there. This year’s title does a wonderful job of explaining all the variations, nuances, rules and controls, and does so in a quick and non-impeding fashion. On top of that, the control scheme with a controller is rock solid and feels about as good as you can do without the use of a wheel.
Career Mode

Welcome back career mode, you have been missed. F1's career mode finally makes its way back into the F1 series, and it returns with a vengeance. Although the format will seem similar to veterans of the series, the overall implementation is handled much better. The game gives the user the option to pick the team they choose to race for, and while all teams are initially available, one should keep in mind that the better the team, the more difficult the expectations are.

Some teams will ask you to win an outright title within 1-2 years, while others will lessen the bar and hope for consistent podium appearances within four years, or longer. In addition, just because you may choose a team that perennially struggles for respect on the F1 circuit, that in no way means you are relegated to a career of misery and disappointment. The game offers the ability to upgrade and improve your car throughout the course of the year, and as long as you stay with that respective team, the improvements carry over from year to year.

That being said, don’t expect to take an underfunded team and turn them into an absolute powerhouse overnight -- unless you are playing on the lower difficulties, this isn’t going to happen. You earn the highly coveted research and development points by executing and achieving certain goals throughout practice and qualifying sessions, and of course how you perform during the race and where you finish. Those points, once earned, can then be applied to areas of improvement for your car such as engine and tyre performance, new aero designs and weight reduction. Each component of improvement is tiered, and requires multiple upgrades to max that section out. The implementation is done very well, and really adds to the immersion and overall depth of the title.
While in career mode, you will also be assigned an agent. Your agent will occasionally update you on where you are at throughout your career and what goals you need to achieve in order to keep management happy. I typically loathe these types of career interactions, but in F1 they do a solid job of keeping it simple, short and to the point. Exceed expectations, and you may find yourself as the team’s first driver. Fail often enough, and you may be looking for a new ride, or worse, a new career. The career runs over a span of 10 years, and it does a solid job of making things fun, informative and realistic, and that is the key to creating a great career experience. The only caveat to all of what I have stated is that I highly suggest you take time the time to hone your skills, and see what difficulty best fits you.
Online Modes

Career mode will garner the majority of attention from most folks, but online multiplayer in no way takes a backseat to anything. F1 2016 now offers support for up to 22 players, allowing users to create user-filled grids, or fill out the grid with car-controlled AI. The new Multiplayer Championship mode allows for up to 22 users also, and it gives players the chance to compete against each other over the course of a season. Users also have the option to race together as teammates, or they can battle it out as different teams.

One of the most underrated options of F1 2016 is that if you are racing in a multiplayer championship online and get disconnected, the AI will take over for up to five minutes, allowing the user to reconnect and assume control of his or her previous car. This is an option all racing titles should implement in their online mode options.

The standard set of online modes make another appearance in the form of time trials and standard multiplayer races, but what's great is that the title offers the user the ability to customize and create the experience they want.

Final Thoughts

To say that F1 2016 is an enjoyable title is a huge disservice to Codemasters. F1 2016 is quite possibly one of the best racing sims to ever hit consoles, and the depth of this title is unparalleled. If you include the immersion factor, depth of the title and in-game tutorials to help you understand the sport, this is about as good as it gets. There may be other racing titles in the past that exceed what F1 offers in regards to certain aspects, but as a whole, I would stack up F1 2016 against anything. The title is not without a few flaws, but they are relatively minor, and hardly detract from the overall experience. If you are a racing fan at all, having F1 2016 in your rotation is an absolute must.

Score - 8.5 (Great)

Member Comments
# 1 extremeskins04 @ 08/20/16 03:28 PM
One of the issues I have with the game is the car engine sounds are nothing like the real F1 cars. How could you go for realism and not have the engine sounds right?
# 2 CujoMatty @ 08/20/16 07:32 PM
After reading this review I went and picked it up this afternoon. Haven't had a chance to play yet but I'm excited.
# 3 miguelitoKache @ 08/20/16 11:11 PM
Lol... I did the Same... I havent play F1 game since dreamcast.. Thats a long time..
# 4 Lieutenant Dan @ 08/20/16 11:29 PM
I'd say that review and score is spot-on, based on my game time so far. Amazing racing game.
# 5 ps3veron @ 08/21/16 03:14 AM
Darn it I'm getting tempted to pick this up now..
# 6 WDaniel @ 08/21/16 08:31 AM
Originally Posted by extremeskins04
One of the issues I have with the game is the car engine sounds are nothing like the real F1 cars. How could you go for realism and not have the engine sounds right?
Sir, the sounds are 100% authentic. The days of screaming V8 engines in F1 went out the window with the introduction of the turbo V6's.

The engines sound very muted compared to (what I think) you are expecting.
# 7 JMD @ 08/22/16 06:27 AM
I'm still playing F1 2015, is 16 that much better?
# 8 Yantropov @ 08/22/16 09:42 AM
Originally Posted by JMD
I'm still playing F1 2015, is 16 that much better?
Yes it is!
# 9 Suvorov @ 08/22/16 09:08 PM
This is one of the best racing games I have ever played. I usually run races at 25% and occasionally. will go 50% length. So far I have run 2 races at 100% and I have never had so much fun. The strategies at 100% race length is fantastic! I am really loving this game.

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