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F1 2019

F1 2019 Review

Codemasters is back again with F1 2019, and this time a few months earlier than their previous efforts. Yes, it has now been a full decade of delivering the F1 experience to the masses for Codemasters, and while they have really hit their stride over the last few years, I came in wondering if there was enough left to deliver a new and exciting experience on the current generation of consoles and PC.

For the last few years, Codemasters has delivered arguably one of the deepest racing experiences available to date, now we find out if 2019 continues that trend.

What I Like

Handling

I feel like I say this with every new F1 entry from Codemasters, but the handling in-game is impeccable. Rarely does a racing game give such instantaneous feedback on whether one’s approach to a specific track is correct or needs tweaking, but the F1 series consistently does just that. Whether a controller or a wheel is your choice of peripheral, the organic attachment I feel between machine and road in F1 is unparalleled, and it helps users understand what is working and what is not.

Once you hit the track in F1, you will be inundated with information that helps you understand how the car is setup, what your approach to a specific track should be, and what your opponents are accomplishing all around you. Absorbing that information can be a bit overwhelming, but with such tight and responsive controls, nailing that S-curve, hitting the apex, or finding the perfect opportunity to pass is a bit easier.

Career Mode

If you played F1 2018, then you will feel right at home with the newest iteration of F1’s career mode as not a lot has changed. The one prominent addition, of course, is that of the F2 series now being implemented into career mode. In F1 2019, you will start out in the F2 series and be asked to “prove” yourself against teammates and opponents striving for the exact same goal as you — to impress an F1 team enough that they are willing to give you one shot.

Once you actually accomplish the goal of stepping up from the F2, the game will give the option of which team you will sign with. Of course, the one caveat to this system is that the more successful the team you sign with is, the loftier the goals and requirements are, so choose wisely.

Once you include all of the research and development goals, press requirements, track appearances and optional side challenges, the F1 2019 career mode remains as deep as they come in the genre, and will consume a large majority my time with the title.

Options/Modes

One of the hardest things to accomplish for a developer is to deliver a licensed yearly sports title based on a real-life sanctioned series. Codemasters has been delivering the F1 experience to their fans now for a decade, and the pressure to deliver a fresh experience over the course of 10 years can be somewhat difficult, but thankfully Codemasters does just that to a large degree.

In F1 2019, users can race a full career mode both in F1 and F2, race historic cars and drivers, go online and race in full leagues, or simply race against other users in ranked or unranked challenges. The game has also included the ability to fully participate in F1 esport events and includes the ability to qualify, race and even view races that don’t involve you.

If that isn’t enough, in addition to adding F2 to career mode and standalone championship, Codemasters has promised to deliver the full 2019 F2 season later this year. We often speak about the depth and longevity that video game titles should deliver for the price of entry that AAA titles ask of us, and that is exactly what Codemasters has done here. F1 2019 is full of options that cater to almost all needs and wants from their community, and delivers a game overflowing with options and modes to suit most of its fans.

Graphics

As we approach the end of this generation of consoles, developers are really refining their ability to take advantage of the current hardware, and Codemasters is no different. F1 2019 is stunning to look at, in part because Codemasters has improved the lighting system quite drastically.

As you hit the track for the first time, the improvements are noticeable both on the cars themselves and environments. At times, especially during the replays of the game, the title can look photo-realistic, and it is hard to discern between what is in-game and what is real life.

The little details and graphical changes implemented do so much to create an immersive experience, and thankfully Codemasters has also delivered a beautiful game full of stunningly realistic environments and venues for us to race in.

What I Don’t Like

Pit Stops

There are very few things in F1 2019 that simply do not work. One issue I still have is the lack of dynamically interactive pit stops. The foundation of the game is built and being improved upon, and now it’s time to focus on the minutia of the sport and adding user input into the pit stop would be an exciting addition.

Final Thoughts

Consistent is the word that best describes F1 2019, and that is perfectly acceptable. For those looking for a whole new approach to the sport of F1, they should keep on looking. But for those who have enjoyed the series over the years, and are looking for additional content and refinement, you should be extremely pleased with the current F1 offering from Codemasters.

When what you deliver works on multiple levels, you do not go looking to reinvent the wheel, but rather improve on what is there and branch off into different areas, which is exactly what Codemasters has done. F1 2019 will instantly be one of the top racers in your rotation of racing games, and the depth and options the game provides make F1 an absolute must-buy for all fans of the genre.

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  1. How can we get reviews of a new game?  Why not call it a  preview and then follow up with the game in a month?  Your final thoughts could be copy and pasted to any sports game...
    Awesome Bob, thanks for the anticipated review!
    Did you review this on PS4 only, or also on PC and XOne? I'm split between playing downstairs on the big TV and audio system on my comfy furniture, so sitting at my PC (be using a controller either way for F1). The biggest factor is if the PC game looks that much better than it would on my OneX. Mainly the replays because the racing itself will look pretty much the same across all three?
    EDIT post release: One X replays work 90% fine, very occasional judder but they'll fix that like they did last year. Otherwise AMAZING on One X!
    I agree that some how they need to make the pit stops interactive. I have an F1 game for my PS3 and when you pit you have to press the corresponding button for each task to be completed. Fuel , tires , repair and so on , the quicker you hit the correct button the quicker your pit stop. This was not ground breaking but at least it was something.
    Really enjoying it so far. Ran an F1 race at Montreal, it's a little trickier to handle the cars this year(found steering a bit more sensitive), but medium TC is quite a bit more friendly to the use than before. Especially if you hit the curbs. Yikes. Ran an F2 race right after at Montreal as well, wow, what a difference in the handling of the two cars. The F2 cars were more of a handful than I anticipated to be honest.
    The inability to choose your teammate in career mode though is very disappointing. Hopefully it gets patched in, I think it was last year too IIRC?
    Lieutenant Dan
    Awesome Bob, thanks for the anticipated review!
    Did you review this on PS4 only, or also on PC and XOne? I'm split between playing downstairs on the big TV and audio system on my comfy furniture, so sitting at my PC (be using a controller either way for F1). The biggest factor is if the PC game looks that much better than it would on my OneX. Mainly the replays because the racing itself will look pretty much the same across all three?

    PS4 Pro only - but just got the PC version today.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    bluengold34_OS
    PS4 Pro only - but just got the PC version today.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

    LOL, thanks Bob...I caved and preordered on OneX last night because I'd rather do the Career in comfort :)
    If I really love it, I can always get on PC on a Steam sale like I did with F1 2018!
    I bought this because of Bob. Walk away now if you're on the fence, Bob will sell you on this game using his fancy words. This game is EVERYTHING Bob says it is and more.
    After playing for a bit, this is easily the best F1 game to date. Although I play on an elite controller, the handling isnt understeery for me at all, actually feels a lot like last year which is good for me. F2 is a great new addition that takes on a life of its own, career mode has some great new features.. AI seem a lot better as does damage and penalties. Great game all around IMO.
    BTW, is anyone using voice commands with a headset? Im trying to but its not working properly.
    mike24forever
    I bought this because of Bob. Walk away now if you're on the fence, Bob will sell you on this game using his fancy words. This game is EVERYTHING Bob says it is and more.

    LOL Why am I always the bad guy?
    Can't say enough about it. I love it. Driving feels great. The new visuals are quite stunning and this has always been a great looking game. The F2 portion in career is a bit underwhelming to me, but it actually makes career mode a bit more interesting as you move forward through career and you have some story lines to follow with them, and press clippings etc. It adds a neat little element. Reading that real drivers will also transfer teams now is really cool as well. The AI is more aggressive, they're not just getting out of your way now when you're close to them. Just another well done game IMO.
    Really loving the game so far. But what is the deal with the pit strategies in Grand Prix mode?Both strategies are for 3 pit stops at every track. Has anyone else noticed this? Is it a bug or what?
    Got it on One X, and it's an improvement on 2018 which was amazing.
    I started a career and played thru the F2 part, joined Mclaren and did the weekend/race in Australia. I had so much fun!
    How does it look better than last year on my console?? Incredible...and I have Bahrain's night race up next!
    My only gripe so far is I would have liked MORE of what they did with F2, other than just bits of three races. This is something to build on, because I really enjoyed the off and on track stuff with Devon. I'm glad he carried on into F1 at least.
    I also love the Highlights mode and that you can save them. Nice little replay option!
    Lieutenant Dan
    Got it on One X, and it's an improvement on 2018 which was amazing.
    I started a career and played thru the F2 part, joined Mclaren and did the weekend/race in Australia. I had so much fun!
    How does it look better than last year on my console?? Incredible...and I have Bahrain's night race up next!
    My only gripe so far is I would have liked MORE of what they did with F2, other than just bits of three races. This is something to build on, because I really enjoyed the off and on track stuff with Devon. I'm glad he carried on into F1 at least.
    I also love the Highlights mode and that you can save them. Nice little replay option!

    I'm about ready to buy this for my XBox One X and Thrustmaster TX Leather racing wheel and T3PA 3-pedal set. I haven't read any reports yet of how well it's working with this wheel and I'm holding off until I do. It worked reasonably well with F1-2018, but I always felt it could be a lot better.
    OnlookerDelay
    I'm about ready to buy this for my XBox One X and Thrustmaster TX Leather racing wheel and T3PA 3-pedal set. I haven't read any reports yet of how well it's working with this wheel and I'm holding off until I do. It worked reasonably well with F1-2018, but I always felt it could be a lot better.

    I've got 2018 on my PC as well, and a TMX wheel w/T3PA pedals too. It was kinda cool but I'm just better at F1 with a pad and driving from the camera pod view. I just can't keep up with the turns from the cockpit in F1 and Indy cars lol.
    Lieutenant Dan
    I've got 2018 on my PC as well, and a TMX wheel w/T3PA pedals too. It was kinda cool but I'm just better at F1 with a pad and driving from the camera pod view. I just can't keep up with the turns from the cockpit in F1 and Indy cars lol.

    I'm a liability on the track with pad. I used to be 'competent' with a pad in racing games, but when I hit about 48, that changed. I can now hold a line well and not be a nemesis on the track with a wheel in F1 games, but even then I'm also using the camera pod view.
    Currently got this for Xbox because of the better performance of the X, but I might get this for my PS4 Pro too because it REALLY upsets me that there is no voice command support unless you have Kinect. I dont want to be scrolling through commands while im in the middle of a dog fight just to tell Jeff to shut up.
    OnlookerDelay
    I'm a liability on the track with pad. I used to be 'competent' with a pad in racing games, but when I hit about 48, that changed. I can now hold a line well and not be a nemesis on the track with a wheel in F1 games, but even then I'm also using the camera pod view.

    I guess when it comes to f1 specifically I just do better with the pad. I do iRacing and now can only really drive NASCAR class stuff w/wheel+pedals, but those low slung quick and nimble F1 cars in Codies games I just do better with the pad. I only race against AI though in F1.
    I've never claimed to be very good, either LOL
    I'm more of a casual F1 fan but I enjoy great racers so picked up the Legends Edition on Friday. I have a played a few of the previous versions but did skip last years game. Had so many games to play didn't want another if it was just going to sit there. Anyways really loving the game. I have a lower budget wheel(Thrustmaster T80) but need to calibrate it a bit to get it to feel more comfortable. Also using a controller & it feels great. Not really an online guy for racers so most of my time is spent offline against the AI. Graphics are great with beautiful lighting & rain effects. Of course my first race I got into was heavy rain. Came 14th but I was just happy to finish the race. Love that there are so many ways to tailor the game to your liking whether you're a beginner or a pro.
    Does anyone experiencing lag on ps4? I never had any problems with f1 2018 but this right now is unplayable...cars flying all around the track all the time!!!!
    Mortiis
    Does anyone experiencing lag on ps4? I never had any problems with f1 2018 but this right now is unplayable...cars flying all around the track all the time!!!!
    Are you playing online? I have been playing career mode only and haven't had any problems yet.
    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    I'm a very casual F1 player (2018) and this year's game sounds like it's a worthwhile improvement especially since I am a graphics hound.
    My issue is that I don't want to spend time struggling to get through the F2 phase of the career mode to get to F1. Is going through F2 optional? Can I race an entire season in F1 without using career mode?
    Thanks.
    mrsaito
    I'm a very casual F1 player (2018) and this year's game sounds like it's a worthwhile improvement especially since I am a graphics hound.
    My issue is that I don't want to spend time struggling to get through the F2 phase of the career mode to get to F1. Is going through F2 optional? Can I race an entire season in F1 without using career mode?
    Thanks.
    Yes, you can skip the whole F2 part of career mode and just jump straight into F1. The F2 part of career mode is just a few scenarios, not an entire season.
    Yes, you can run an entire season of F1 outside of career mode.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    mrsaito
    I'm a very casual F1 player (2018) and this year's game sounds like it's a worthwhile improvement especially since I am a graphics hound.
    My issue is that I don't want to spend time struggling to get through the F2 phase of the career mode to get to F1. Is going through F2 optional? Can I race an entire season in F1 without using career mode?
    Thanks.

    Yes you can run a full season with any of the drivers in the game that you like. You can go into championship modes, or just choose Grand Prix and set up your own custom season.
    I'm a very casual racing fan, and I grew up more of a Nascar fan. I actually know very little about F1 in general. Still, I've been wanting a career mode racing game for a while so I decided to check this out.
    The game is great. I love all the nuances and edits you are able to make. Practice runs are a lot of fun with the various challenges, and they provide real results with how you can get a grip on your fuel and tire maintenance. The cars drive really smooth too, and I love the feedback from your crew chief.
    The only negatives so far for me are:
    Graphics - The graphics are a bit underwhelming for a game near the end of this console generation. They are not bad, but they feel a bit last gen.
    Headset - So...I didn't know this when I bought the game for xbox one. I only play offline, and so I was hoping to be able to communicate with my crew chief while the race is going (because hitting LB and scrolling through a dozen communication options while you're running 200km/h is not easy). This is a feature available on PS4 and PC, but on Xbox it requires a Kinect. This is actual a game killer for me on the xbox. I will be trading it in and looking to replace it with either a ps4 or PC copy.
    KSUowls
    ..........The only negatives so far for me are:
    Graphics - The graphics are a bit underwhelming for a game near the end of this console generation. They are not bad, but they feel a bit last gen..

    I liked your post, and welcome to F1...check out some real races on TV and get to know the personalities. It's a circus/soap opera that can be a real hoot :cheers444
    Having said that, I gotta say I'm surprised you're down on the graphics. I think this series has looked phenomenal in recent years, graphically.
    KSUowls
    I'm a very casual racing fan, and I grew up more of a Nascar fan. I actually know very little about F1 in general. Still, I've been wanting a career mode racing game for a while so I decided to check this out.
    The game is great. I love all the nuances and edits you are able to make. Practice runs are a lot of fun with the various challenges, and they provide real results with how you can get a grip on your fuel and tire maintenance. The cars drive really smooth too, and I love the feedback from your crew chief.
    The only negatives so far for me are:
    Graphics - The graphics are a bit underwhelming for a game near the end of this console generation. They are not bad, but they feel a bit last gen.
    Headset - So...I didn't know this when I bought the game for xbox one. I only play offline, and so I was hoping to be able to communicate with my crew chief while the race is going (because hitting LB and scrolling through a dozen communication options while you're running 200km/h is not easy). This is a feature available on PS4 and PC, but on Xbox it requires a Kinect. This is actual a game killer for me on the xbox. I will be trading it in and looking to replace it with either a ps4 or PC copy.

    To get to know F1... watch a race or two on TV, it's fantastic coverage compared to the clowns that broadcast Nascar (on Fox anyways, hopefully that changes with DW gone now though). Another idea... watch Formula 1: Driven to Survive on Netflix. It will give you some really cool sights, sounds and behind the scenes stuff on last season, and stuff that lead into this season.
    I'm also surprised you're down on the visuals. It's been a key highlight of this series in it's existence. It's downright beautiful to look at IMO, by far better than last year and last year was outstanding as well. I'm curious what your issues are with it? My only gripe is the day races, in sunshine the colors look a bit too bright to me. I think the colors/lighting though is spot on in night races, and rain races too. I had a heavy rain race in my last career event, I started P11. What a nightmare, couldn't see a damn thing. The rain/mist/spray is well done IMO. Blades of grass on the tires, rubber/marbles build-up on the track surface and the tires... or gravel/sand if you get into it, cracks in the pavement, the environments etc. etc. It's just all well done IMO.
    Either way, welcome to the series. Like you, I was more of a Nascar fan originally. I paid attention to F1, but never in great detail. Once I played the first game in this series I got more and more hooked. Now, I rarely miss a race on tv and this game is constantly being played. I can't get enough of it. I wish we had a Nascar game that was even in the same atmosphere as the F1 series is, sadly though, there isnt.
    Also on Netflix is a series called F1 Drive To Survive which takes you into the world of F1. It follows last years season going from race to race & everything in between. It really helped for me to get to know the inner workings of F1 & all the different personalities. I really enjoyed it. Made me look forward to the game even more.
    Got to say, I was excited to see driver transfers making it into career mode. Then I experienced it... It's quite ridiculous sometimes. IMO, it needs a logic upgrade. I've seen online examples of Hamilton leaving Mercedes midseason as the championship leader only to move to Williams. Huh?
    In my career mode... I started with Williams. Moved to Racing Point as #1 driver partnered with Stroll. My move basically just swapped my driver and Perez. Fair enough. Next contract review rolls around. I stay put (my plan is to try and replace Bottas or Vettel at the end of season 1). I get an email from the wonderful Emma to tell me that Perez is my team mate again. He's moving BACK to Racing Point, this time replacing Stroll who goes back to... Williams. Yup, that same Williams that just parted with Stroll.
    I like the idea. I dont think it should happen mid-season to be honest, and I think it needs a major addition of logic. It seems random at this point and kind of kills the career mode IMO.
    I forgot to suggest Drive to Survive, thanks fellas. It is exceptionally well done.
    In other news I have quite the attraction to Claire...but I believe her camera man to be her father so I don't think I'll be giving her an "exclusive" anytime soon
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T377A using Operation Sports mobile app
    Lieutenant Dan
    I forgot to suggest Drive to Survive, thanks fellas. It is exceptionally well done.
    In other news I have quite the attraction to Claire...but I believe her camera man to be her father so I don't think I'll be giving her an "exclusive" anytime soon
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T377A using Operation Sports mobile app

    I am personally all in on Emma, she is definitely my "personal" assistant....
    I’ve ran several practice races awaiting the performance patch, and have mostly just been using Mercedes. Earlier today I got bored and decided to sit down and check out all of the other cars closely. I noticed something that I’m curious about. On the Racing Point cars, it is listed Spscore.com Racing Point, and has Spscore.com on the cars, as opposed to SportPesa as they have on the real versions of the cars. Does anyone know why SportPesa isn’t in the game? I checked out the Spscore website out of curiosity and it takes you to a SportPesa page.
    bronxbombers21325
    I’ve ran several practice races awaiting the performance patch, and have mostly just been using Mercedes. Earlier today I got bored and decided to sit down and check out all of the other cars closely. I noticed something that I’m curious about. On the Racing Point cars, it is listed Spscore.com Racing Point, and has Spscore.com on the cars, as opposed to SportPesa as they have on the real versions of the cars. Does anyone know why SportPesa isn’t in the game? I checked out the Spscore website out of curiosity and it takes you to a SportPesa page.

    SportPesa is a gambling website. Having their actual logo on the car would likely change the age rating of the game. So they modify the sponsor name to get around it. Kind of like with the alcohol sponsors in Nascar games.
    Earl1963
    F1 2019 is pretty amazing to me. I use the Logitech wheel.

    If you played F1 2018 with the wheel, how does the feel if 2019 compare? I find that 2018 feels okay with my Thrustmaster TX, but it's lacking subtle handling effects like I feel when I'm playing Forza 7 or Project CARS on my PC. Forza 7's handling on the XBox One X with this wheel has a more nuanced feel with my Thrustmaster TX than F1 2018, but again, it's "playable" with the TX, but want something that rises above playable... hope that makes sense?
    brandon27
    SportPesa is a gambling website. Having their actual logo on the car would likely change the age rating of the game. So they modify the sponsor name to get around it. Kind of like with the alcohol sponsors in Nascar games.

    Ahh. I see.
    Lieutenant Dan
    Got it on One X, and it's an improvement on 2018 which was amazing.
    I started a career and played thru the F2 part, joined Mclaren and did the weekend/race in Australia. I had so much fun!
    How does it look better than last year on my console?? Incredible...and I have Bahrain's night race up next!

    I watched the Digital Foundry comparison feature of the console versions of F1 2019. Does the XBox One X version actually maintain 60 FPS at 4K, with little to no screen tearing!? I could see the difference in the X and the PS4 Pro versions in the side by sides, but I'd have to see them side by side to spot the difference, I'd imagine. I'm just giddy about the 60 FPS performance mark being maintained, and to do it at anything above 1080p is icing on the cake!
    OnlookerDelay
    If you played F1 2018 with the wheel, how does the feel if 2019 compare? I find that 2018 feels okay with my Thrustmaster TX, but it's lacking subtle handling effects like I feel when I'm playing Forza 7 or Project CARS on my PC. Forza 7's handling on the XBox One X with this wheel has a more nuanced feel with my Thrustmaster TX than F1 2018, but again, it's "playable" with the TX, but want something that rises above playable... hope that makes sense?

    Feels pretty much the same as 2018 as far as driving, imo.
    Earl1963
    Feels pretty much the same as 2018 as far as driving, imo.

    Thanks, I could live with that, but I'm surprised at the gap in force feedback feel between Forza 7 and F1 2018. I will say that this gap wasn't that substantial until one of the more recent Forza 7 updates in which the force feedback was addressed. I'm going to explore the opinions on force feedback for the PC version of F1 2019 to see if it's enough warrant going with the PC version this time around, although my gaming PC wouldn't be as up to handling 4k at 60 FPS as my X.
    According to codemasters patch 1.05 should be coming in the next couple of weeks. It will contain the performance update, and aerodynamics updates that will make the cars about 1-1.5 seconds a lap quicker. Also they’re updating how drivers behave on the track to match their real life counterparts. Patch 1.06 should be coming in August and will contain livery updates. Looking forward to all of this.
    bronxbombers21325
    According to codemasters patch 1.05 should be coming in the next couple of weeks. It will contain the performance update, and aerodynamics updates that will make the cars about 1-1.5 seconds a lap quicker. Also they’re updating how drivers behave on the track to match their real life counterparts. Patch 1.06 should be coming in August and will contain livery updates. Looking forward to all of this.

    Are they planning on fixing the photo mode any time? Everything goes dark when making camera changes.
    Earl1963
    Are they planning on fixing the photo mode any time? Everything goes dark when making camera changes.

    Yeah that was mentioned as well. The dev team made a post in the codemasters forums giving the specifics of everything they’re doing.
    Regarding the online weekly events, does anybody know what difficulty the AI is set to for the cars that fill the field of the races? I missed Austria last weekend, but did Britain today. Only had one other player get put into my lobby, so had 18 AI cars in my race. The other player controlled car finished in 2nd (+48.982 to me), and the 3rd place/top AI car was +1:05.68. Extremely boring race, might be skipping these from now on if they’re all 25% distance with very weak difficulty.

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