F1 2015


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Complete Review & Description

If you’re fed up with all the big, flashy, and fun arcade racing games packed with all types of vehicles, different tracks and terrains, mods, body kits and decals, time to get back to racing purity. One type of car, a few tyre and tuning options, and only a limited number of tracks. F1 2015 is a pared back racing simulator, with a single goal. Recreating the Formula 1 racing experience.
Which is great for Formula 1 fans who love Lewis Hamilton and want to spend time before every race running practice laps and adjusting your car’s downforce, before starting an eighteen lap race with your chief engineer constantly in your ear keeping you up to date with your tyre temperature. But, for those who want to swap paint in high-end concept cars, on city streets and dirt tracks, you’ll need to look somewhere else.

F1 2015 is for fans of Formula 1. There’s no career mode, or driver creation function and certainly no Bernie Ecclestone to liven things up. So, at the start of a Championship Season you pick your team and driver and get ready for practice day. You can choose your car set-up, from five presets, ranging from heavy on the down force to all-out top end speed. Or, you can spend your time tinkering with tyre pressure, suspension, and aerodynamics. Once your practice is over, you get a lap to post a qualifying time, and then it’s on to race day.
While it’s all completely accurate – engine noise, driver animations, physics, and weather – there is a small problem. It is a hell of a lot driving round and round the same race track before the race starts. Even on the easiest setting, where you only have to drive 25% of the actual race length, you still need to spend fifteen minutes doing all the practice laps and qualifying. Unless you choose to play on Pro difficulty, in which case you’ll be driving laps and tweaking sliders for ninety minutes before each race. That’s just the start of how hard Pro difficulty is.

F1 games, with the difficulty turned up, have always been the most impossible games to master. F1 2015 is no different. Despite being on the top menu, pretending to be a different game mode, Pro Season is just the Championship Season at its most realistic, and hardest. There’s no HUD, no on-road driving guides, manual transmission, tyre wear and collision damage, and of course the opposition driver AI is ramped up. You have to memorise every track, know what gear you need to be in for every corner, and be extremely gentle on the accelerator or you’ll spend your practice time limping back to the pits with busted nose cone. Every time I play an F1 game, I try to play it on Pro. I have never completed a full circuit yet.
So, if you’re like me you’ll choose Lewis Hamilton or Daniel Ricciardo and set the difficulty to easy or medium. You’ll make sure all the driver assists are on, select the short race weekend, and head to Melbourne for the first race. While easy difficulty doesn’t mean the game goes totally arcade, it does make it playable for a new player. Like those ‘fun’ arcade games you can swap paint without making the car un-drivable, or miss the odd corner and still have a shot at podium finish. Although races can also turn into a procession, where you might get to make one passing manoeuvre every ten or fifteen laps.
Every time I play an F1 game, I try to play it on Pro. I have never completed a full circuit yet.
Or, you can try a bit of online racing. Just, make sure to start searching for a race early because it can take a long time to find one. In multiplayer you can look for a beginner, standard, or hardcore series to enter. Or, you can enter the race that matches the actual Championship season calendar. The only problem is that there is no indication how many people, or races, are out there. So, you choose one and then go a do something else for five minutes while the search goes on, or until the game gives up and says it can’t find anything. If you get sick of searching you can set up your own custom game, and invite your friends.

When you do find a game, it is chaos. Twitchy and a bit random, F1 2015 feels like a work in progress. But, there’s nothing like blasting around the hills in Spa, or the streets of Monaco, with up to twenty-one other drivers at the end of a fourteen race online season.
So, F1 2015 is not a big, fun, flashy arcade racer. It could never be. Not while its main purpose is to be a serious and realistic representation of Formula 1. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the same problem that has plagued all sports sims when they first appear on the eighth generation consoles. There is a distinct lack of content.
Every track, car, manufacturer, and driver from the 2014 and 2015 championship seasons are there, but compared to the hundreds of cars and events other racing games offer, it’s not much. You can race a Championship Season, compete in an individual Quick Race, set a hot lap in Time Trial mode, or race a series online. But, in the end you’re driving the same cars around the same circuits. With the only difference being how simple, or hard, you choose to make it.



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