Metro (UK) - - CONNECT - Our verdict on F1 2020

AF­TER a long shut­down, F1 is back on our TV screens. Now its video game com­pan­ion re­turns too, just in time to burn some rub­ber – and the smell is oh so sweet.

That’s not al­ways been the case with pixel it­er­a­tions of the flashy mo­tor sport. And even though stal­wart de­vel­oper Code­mas­ters has con­sis­tently taken small steps to keep the se­ries on track, it’s only now that it’s made the leap to must-own racer.

That’s mostly thanks to the new My Team man­age­ment mode, which puts you both in the pit of your own rac­ing team to call the shots and be­hind the wheel, chas­ing down ri­vals. Not only will you se­lect spon­sors, man­age con­tracts and im­prove fa­cil­i­ties, you’ll also con­trol an R&D up­grade tree to man­age pro­gres­sion and get a head start on the com­pe­ti­tion. Not fussed about play­ing team cap­tain? Get­ting be­hind the sim­u­lated wheel has never been bet­ter. Han­dling has had a wel­come over­haul, mak­ing cor­ner­ing a feat of at­ten­tion and strong hands, while fel­low racer AI leans more to­wards ag­gres­sion. While this may not mimic the more cau­tious real-life rac­ers, for a video game it makes per­fect sense to up the ante.

The split-screen rac­ing for sofa co-op is an­other el­e­ment that in­creases the revs, ad­ding an old-school vibe to the mod­ern di­men­sions that come with the F1 brand.

For purists, the de­layed F1 sea­son has re­sulted in some mi­nor set­backs in the lat­est edi­tion. For one, the 2020 sea­son isn’t en­tirely mapped out: some of the ru­moured re­place­ment cir­cuits, such as Fer­rari-owned Mugello, and Por­ti­mao in Por­tu­gal, don’t make the cut, while two new tracks sched­uled for the sea­son – the dunes-based Zand­voort and Hanoi, with its sweep­ing straights – do. Ea­gleeyed fans will spot slight dif­fer­ences with team uni­forms as well. Mean­while, sim­u­lated me­dia in­ter­views drag in the sin­gle­player cam­paign and the Michael Schu­macher theme (he’s the ‘face’ of the Deluxe Edi­tion) adds lit­tle. But th­ese are tiny bumps in the road and none of th­ese is­sues de­tracts from a se­ries that’s come of age, de­liv­er­ing some­thing that’s ac­ces­si­ble for video game racer fans and au­then­tic for the F1 faith­ful.

Turn­ing a cor­ner: The F1 video game se­ries has come of age

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