There is more to Formula One than just hopping into your car, driving as fast as you can and trying not to die. There are countless variables and tinkering of engines and suspensions which would be enough to make even the most technically-minded amongst us curl up in the foetal position and cry. F1 2017 allows you an insight into these activities, and they all drastically alter your gaming experience for the better or worse (depending on your knowledge).
Adding on to last year’s release, the Career mode sees you playing practice session mini-games in order to collect Research Points, which can be used to help build and improve your car. With a skill tree set-up that is ridiculously expansive, you really get a sense of being an integral part of a real F1 team
The most immersive aspect of any race is the constant worry that your tires might fail, your fuel might run out or there is a sudden downpour that may render your current setup useless. Luckily, there are constant updates from your team, alerting you of any potential problems and help you decide the most effective strategy for getting your car past that all-important chequered flag
There is a steep learning curve if you want to fully master the handling of your machine but happily, you are given the ability to fiddle with your competitors AI, meaning that, while the game always remains challenging, it is never “pull your hair out” difficult.
There are plenty of different game modes alongside the in-depth career mode allowing you to drive classic cars from different eras and Championships that offer different rules such as sprints and reverse grids, breaking up the monotony of the fun but uniformed structure of your career.
The game looks and sounds great initially, with the engines roar replicated perfectly and the cars looking almost picture perfect when compared with their real-life counterparts but the courses can look a little lackluster with no great effort to make your surroundings look as impressive as the vehicles. It’s not a deal breaker though as the most important aspect is still present; you feel a real sense of speed as you put your pedal to the metal.
With all games like this, there proof of the pudding is in the driving experience and while it authentically replicates the sport of F1 and there is a few different time trial and ghost lap options, it is inevitable that it will become a little repetitive for people who may not be interested in the technical side or people who, like me, only recognise skid marks because of their underwear, rather than because of their understeer.
Codemasters have done a great job of bringing F1 2017 to the PS4 and purists will have a great time messing about with all the customizable options at their fingertips but for gamers who want a pick-up-and-play racing experience may want to look elsewhere.