Codemasters is set to deliver the newest edition of one of the most popular series in its entire catalog of games with F1 2020. This year Codemasters is looking to make the game a bit deeper and a bit more accessible to the masses. Were they able to accomplish that? Let’s find out.
F1 2020 Review – What I Like
If you are familiar with Codemasters’ career mode in previous versions, then taking part in the newly included “My Team” mode will feel very comfortable for you. If you are new to the series, then I envy you because the experience you will take part in with My Team is one of the best available in the genre.
From the start, I was required to pick a team name, sponsorship, engine supplier, a second driver and more. You are truly handed the keys to the kingdom, but there is a lot more to running your team than just driving and podium appearances.
Although my focus was primarily on preparing for each week’s race, I also now had to consider training my newly signed second driver, keeping sponsors happy, working with, and investing time and money into my facilities and team members. While having all that responsibility may seem daunting to some, it draws you in, and offers future payoff and growth in terms of seeing your team mature and become competitive on a weekly basis.
What My Team offers in terms of depth and longevity was addicting, and I constantly found myself investing more and more time and energy into making sure all aspects of my organization were running at full speed to become and maintain my status as a competitive force in the series.
I am not sure that a racing title has ever delivered a mode that made me feel so vested in it, but that is exactly My Team does. Yes, at times it can feel a little overwhelming as I would forget to train my second driver or improve my facility, but that is a true compliment to the developers and what they have provided in terms of player involvement.
F1 is all about power, precision (and money), and Codemasters does an excellent job of delivering an accessible set of options and controls for people of all skill levels. I am a seasoned veteran of this series, and I naturally gravitate to some of the hardest settings available in the game. For many though, that has been an issue, and a reason why they have not stuck with the F1 series to this point.
Thankfully, that issue has been all but eradicated with the inclusion of two modes for F1 2020, standard and casual. Both give you the ability to tune each setting from break assist all the way to controller dead zone, but casual allows for a bit more assistance by taking all of the options — in-car and out — and condensing them into a few basic choices that are more understandable.
I can say that not much has changed in terms how the car feels on the track with either option. There is an amazing level of precision that comes with either a controller or a wheel (I tested with Fanatec CSL Elite F1), and the more time I put in on the track at each venue the more control I possessed, and the more comfort I felt pushing the car with each lap turned.
Have no worries if a wheel isn’t part of your peripheral ensemble at home because using a controller felt every bit as satisfying. F1 2020 still requires time, patience, and practice to become a very good driver, but the jumping-off point is a bit easier now for those who struggled before.
The Beauty And Presentation
The presentation and real-world graphical fidelity on display in F1 2020 is more authentic than just about anything else out there today. From the car models to the venues to the transitioning weather, every single aspect of a full race weekend makes me feel like I’m watching, and better yet, participating in an F1 broadcast.
There is a genius to the way the camera cuts are delivered and the flyovers are presented. So many times, I have caught myself watching full replays or simple flyovers of the tracks and the cities just because of how beautiful they look and how well they are presented.
There is a true elegance and beauty to the overall graphics and presentation package in F1 2020. I struggle to think how much better it could be or what they could add, but I have confidence they will somehow keep doing that in the years to come.
F1 2020 Review – What I Don’t Like
Career Mode Story Removal
If you played F1 2019, then you know there was a story that followed you during your career. It was somewhat predictable and odd at times, but it felt like something that could be built upon and fleshed out. Nevertheless, it has basically been removed. The option to run a full F2 championship is still there, and you can still work your way up while gaining much-needed experience, but it would have been nice to see the story idea from 2019 continue to grow and evolve.
I tested F1 2020 on PC, Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, and while load times on PC were never an issue, it might be a bit noticeable for some on a console. Is this a huge deal? Absolutely not, but the load times were long enough for me to notice, and they’re something that could grate on you a bit as you play the game more and more.
F1 2020 Review – Bottom Line
From the outside looking in, F1 2020 may have the same look as previous titles. However, when you factor in the My Team mode and the casual assist options, the game is still much better off this year and could grab a new demographic of people as well. The biggest gripe about the F1 series has always been that it’s too technical for most people to squeeze the juice out of it. Codemasters has done an excellent job of trying to eradicate that problem by making the title more accessible to the masses, and the improvements here should accomplish just that.
If you’re an F1 fan, a racing fan or just a slightly interested outsider, make sure that F1 2020 by Codemasters is in your rotation. The racing genre has a strong presence in this year’s summer and fall lineup, and with the addition of F1 2020, it just got even stronger.