By: Ted Chow
I have to say in advance that I am not generally a fan of racing games ,and I don’t follow the Formula 1 series. So please don’t hurt me if I don’t know any of these people or racing terminologies! That being said, F1 2014 is the sequel to 2013 and the subsequent years before that. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even tell much of a difference from past iterations besides slight graphical improvements.
That aside, if you enjoy the feeling of driving a racecar with your favorite company, sponsor or celebrity, and are compelled to buy the latest Formula 1, then F1 2014 will provide you with that experience. On another note, how many times will I say F1 before the end of this review? We shall find out!
In a racing game you have probably come to expect the controls on the wheel to be the most important aspect. And you are right in that regard as there are plenty of options to customize how you want to play. You can opt in with a keyboard, controller or even a racing wheel! That means it’s time to dust off that peripheral that you probably used once or twice and is now an expensive paperweight in your garage somewhere.
But I digress; the wheel has many sensitivity controls that you will be able to tinker with to accommodate to your preferences. It is probably the method you should employ in order to get the best experience as the keyboard controls are pretty lackluster.
F1 2014 is a good looking game if you would like to immerse yourself within the racing world as a driver in the grand prix. Environmental textures are solid and the racecars look awesome at the highest setting. If F1 wasn’t a yearly game, then the graphics would have held itself higher. Unfortunately, F1 2014 looks all too similar to past iterations with what seem like marginal improvements across the board.
The soundtrack is nothing too elaborate, but it does help to fill the void of a racing environment to an extent. You would think the mechanics would install some woofers in the racecars by now for the players to enjoy. F1 2015 anyone?
F1 2014 has a few gameplay modes available once you boot the game up. The most noticeable would be grand prix, career and multiplayer. Grand prix is your grand race while career mode allows you pick a driver and follow him through different race tracks throughout the driving year. Multiplayer comes in your standard online, LAN and split screen with a friend. There is also an additional mode called proving grounds where you can relive certain instances from real world racing scenarios or other time-based trials.
In terms of actual gameplay, F1 2014 feels like any other racing game where you take command of your vehicle and traverse a multitude of race tracks from around the world. You can even change the weather to create interesting scenarios and conditions to play under. As for controlling the car, a keyboard doesn’t do the game any justice, as it felt like a crucial component was missing from the experience.
As far as racing goes, it is your standard affair from past installments with all the driving rules and regulations in place — although I probably had more fun causing penalties and crashing my car aimlessly against walls or driving backwards than following the rules of the race. This would most likely explain why I came in last place every single time and should be a clear indicator for me to stay away from a racing career.
Play time will vary with a game such as this, but you can put in a good number of hours before trading it in for the inevitable next version.
If you are a fan of racing games or follow the scene closely, then you will most likely find F1 2014 to be exceptional while appreciating the subtle details. Overall, this is a solid racing game that doesn’t steer too far from past games and is largely the same in almost every regard.