The long-running series of Codemasters is ready for its newest part and this time it has appeared earlier than ever. However, a shorter development period can also turn out to be a disadvantage for Codemasters. Less time often equals less innovation and if there’s something that the series can use, then that is a bit of innovation. There is new stuff, but do not expect any thunderous additions. Nevertheless, Formula 1 has another excellent version with F1 2019.
From F2 Driver To World Star
F1 2019 contains largely the same content as F1 2018. We still participate with historic cars, race with the top players of the field and compete for the world title in a season. However, we do the latter this time with a short story. No, we don’t race with a world star, but with a young man in Formula 2. We won’t do that for long, because after taking the world title, we progress to the royal class. Players are joined by their teammate and rival as well. No longer do we race with only famous names, but also with some rookies too. All this comes with short cutscenes to tie everything together, an entertaining addition that gives just a little more variety. You no longer drive mindless laps, but aim to crush the competition. Sadly, the narrative element is practically abandoned when you leave Formula 2.
We do that racing on the well-known courses of the annual calendar. The environments have been given a polish, looking slightly improved. The NPCs also seem a bit livelier, but not by much. Certainly, during the interviews and the driver creation, this is clearly visible. Those interviews are, incidentally fun, having an effect on the relationships within the team. It’s unfortunate that the characters don’t look exactly jolly, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s all about speed, and F1 2019 definitely has it. The cars feel good and the upgrades you make have an impact. There are quite a few more upgrades this time, as the branch has expanded considerably. Upgrades are cheaper, now taking time to develop. Major upgrades can easily take weeks while a small aero adjustment is done in no time. This gives more options and thereby contributes to realism. A good move!
Racing, Racing, and Racing!
The only mode that’s really changed is the career mode. However, that doesn’t mean that the content around it is flat. As mentioned, F1 2019 now also includes Formula 2 and its drivers. A nice addition, but one that falls into oblivion after the introduction of career mode. In addition, the game is naturally full of classic cars that you can send into the classic courses. A screaming Ferrari F2004, the Red Bull from Vettel and those slick McLarens from the 90s; they’re all in it. They can also be viewed in the extensive showroom. This way you can zoom in on all those little parts and read the story behind those big cars. An absolute must for the fans.
Of course, the game comes with a multiplayer mode. The servers are running well and the races are stable. Before the race, you can indicate what exactly you’re looking for. Do you want a short or long qualification? Which track do you want to race on? What’s your preferred weather forecast? If you’re really looking for some competition, then you’ll enjoy the online play. It does what it has to do, but like the rest of the game, it doesn’t do anything to innovate. Still, it’s nice that the roster is completely up-to-date again.
F1 2019 is another fine simulation of its class. The game does exactly what it has to do and that is, of course, the feeling of speed and skill. The series is in need of some innovation here and there, but at the same time, I wonder what more can be done. The addition of a career mode where we get something more than just racing is certainly a good start. However, it’s unfortunate that the story comes to a halt after the introduction. It would be better if Codemasters managed to get the real drivers to participate in the game so that you really had the feeling of being on the grid. Hopefully it’s something they’ll do for a future installment.