It is not easy to talk about Michael Schumacher, telling of the seven world titles won by the German driver is not a trivial matter. Yet what remains eight years after his retirement are the extraordinary single-seaters who accompanied him throughout his career. There Jordan ’91 brings with it the debut of the driver, who reached seventh place at Spa-Francorchamps throwing his heart beyond the Eau Rouge having never covered the circuit. There Benetton B194 and B195 led the German to the victory of the first world titles, leaving on the asphalt of Adelaide the broken dreams of a Damon Hill condemned eternal second. The v10 “type 049” of the legendary F-2000 it is still today like a call of irresistible charm, a song whose harmony is the sound of victory. Being able to drive such iconic cars for Formula 1 history (even if virtual) was like reliving speed as a child when with our arm out the window we thought we were him, the German Kaiser, the man who lit the dreams of a country red and made it rejoice for a long time. Thanks Schumacher.
The 2019 edition represented a great leap forward for Codemasters which saw the flaws that undermined the quality of the title removed. The year of the lockdown has put the spotlight on the racing title in a way that is anything but expected, F1 2020 represents the result of the collaboration of a part of the drivers of the real counterpart who, as we all know, competed in the Virtual GPs in recent months spent inside the house. Thanks to this exchange of feedback, the improvements made are immediately visible as soon as you get on the track, even if it is necessary to do a I distinguish between the experience of driving with pad and with steering wheel. Buckle up and enjoy the review!
Formula 1 2020 brings with it an excellent amount of additional content compared to the predecessor, which we never expected given the advent of next-gen consoles. Starting from the additions to the calendar, the two new stages peeping ad Hanoi (Vietnam) e Zandvoort (Holland). The realization of the two tracks appears excellent right from the start, Zandvoort with its continuous changes of slope and fast corners requires to pay particular attention to the management of the tires, which tend to degrade guaranteeing spectacle in the overtaking circus. Completely opposite situation for Hanoi, where the long straights allow to create very interesting overtaking points in the braking, with a very (perhaps too) technical central part, with the barriers almost always kissing the tires.
As for the modalities, the most important introduction of the title is represented by the My Team mode, you will in fact have the opportunity to create your own team from scratch, allowing you to manage it in all its parts: from the internal factory to produce and develop the car, to the management of the sponsors, up to the selection and management of the second driver (one of the two will be the player).
Once the mode has been selected, you can give vent to the creation of your brand, selecting the features of your virtual alter ego, and then moving on to the name and logo of your team, which can be selected through a modest set that however allows a fair amount of changes, such as the managing the colors or the position of the logo elements. The same thing goes for the livery of the single-seater, for the drivers' overalls and even for the use of company colors within the team's rooms.
Once the aesthetic elements have been created, we will move on to the beating heart of the car: the engine. You will have all the engines of the manufacturers that are actually used at your disposal: Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda, each with a different cost, which will have an impact on the available budget.
As a team owner, the budget is the first thing you need to pay attention to. In Formula 1, most of the income comes from sponsors, which is also no exception in the Codemasters title in which each sponsor will make available a budget that you can use for the development of the car and to build upgrades for your factory, from the wind tunnel to the creation of new power units or chassis. Each sponsor will put different prizes on the table based on the objectives that are proposed on the track, both on a weekly and monthly basis, so be careful to select a sponsor based on the goals you have set for the current season.
Life as a Team Principal is not easy and is not based on just winning races on the weekend, but also planning the activities that separate one race from another. The activities to be decided are many: you can schedule meetings divided by development team, or schedule training activities for the second driver, up to organizing marketing events to grow the brand and followers.
The other substantial portion of the package includes what until last year was the highlight of the offer: the mode Pilot career. Following in the footsteps of the My Team mode, even the traditional Career adds an additional dashboard that goes alongside that of the pod inside the box, you can then go and browse the properties of your car and undertake the improvements between one race and another. , managing to ponder in the most appropriate way the direction of research and development you want to undertake.
Also interesting news for the cadet series, Formula 2, which is enriched by the possibility of undertaking a reduced championship, of medium duration or of all 22 races, before arriving in Formula 1. The driving model of Formula 2 remains well diversified. Compared to the main series, with the Mecachrome V6 engines that are much more nervous than their F1 counterpart, the fact that each team uses the same engine also makes every race a real battle for the first position, with an outcome not always readable based on the positions on the starting grid.
Last but not least is the welcome addition to split-screen multiplayer, which adds a great deal of fun with friends in head-to-head challenges, at the expense of performance, although the work done by Codemasters is commendable in that regard, we have found an inevitable drop in details and frame rate, which often happens in the creation of split-screen.
Pad in hand
Leaving aside the modalities and getting on the track, what we are in front of is a gameplay immediately fresher but not revolutionized. Great work done by Codemasters on the rear of the cars that makes the much more stable cornering, allowing you to achieve better times than the previous year right away. The oversteer, which even with the standard set-up tedious even the simplest curves forcing the player to make several corrections in the corners. The handling of the tires is excellent and much more balanced than last year, with greater care in degradation which caused too sudden a loss of grip, which now it happens gradually and compatible with the driving style in a more credible way.
Honorable mention goes to the truly exceptional audio sector, several spans above the predecessor, with all the rhombuses of the various teams reproduced in a meticulous way, with the sound that reverberates in the presence of walls adjacent to the shape of the car or when you are joined in an overtaking, try it to believe, we were thunderstruck.
Great willingness of the English developers to increase accessibility even more by inserting the "sport" mode in which a series of aids are inserted by default that lead less experienced pilots to avoid the usual difficulties encountered when you are a beginner. Obviously, those who have already approached the titles of past years will find themselves on autopilot, so we do not recommend its use for those who chew bread and racing games for those who are already even a minimum of savvy.
Thanks to the collaboration with F1 drivers the manual management of the ERS also disappears which is replaced by the “Overtaking” button (the so-called push) that the pilots use to extract maximum power from the power unit and attempt the attack for the position or try to defend themselves until the last centimeter of braking.
Steering wheel in hand
The compatibility with the steering wheels that Codemasters ensures is the same as the 2019 edition, therefore all owners of Logitech, Thrustmaster and Fanatec can sleep peacefully, except for Simcube which compatibility is not guaranteed but as happened in the previous version, no particular problems should occur in the following months.
After having thoroughly tested the title with a pad, we moved on to a steering wheel Thrustmaster T300 with T3Pa pedal board with whom we spent several hours in the company of the motorsport title.
The driving feeling changes substantially between pad and steering wheel, but the types of signals that are sent to the steering wheel have not fully convinced us. Very good phases with fast and mixed sections in which you can get a pretty clear general picture of the grip of the car, the behavior of force feedback is much more uncertain out of slow curves on the other hand, where no rear-wheel drive input is received, too often we find ourselves in a ruinous spin. The return of force on the changes of direction in the straights in the overtaking phases and with active DRS is also satisfactory, even if we would have expected a greater presence of jolts dictated by the roughness of the track.
Something to file
Although the British developers have pulled an excellent chapter out of the hat, there is currently something to polish. First of all an artificial intelligence still not at the top, with opponents who too often ignore your presence, ramming you and sending you off the track, forcing you into the infamous flashback. Even the general performances of the opponents have non-linear behaviors, with peaks of difficulty that vary from circuit to circuit in an unusual way, finding us from making the fastest lap in a given track, to finding ourselves entangled in the rear with opponents too fierce compared to the previous races.
Another small tile worth mentioning is the length of uploads, given the addition of an additional interface in career mode, we will find a double loading that will not just slightly extend our wait, which we hope can be corrected with the next updates.
Ultimately Formula 1 2020 is an excellent racing game that is positioned exactly halfway between a simulator and a more arcade title, which tries to please all palates with many modes and gameplay that is now Codemasters trademark.Videogamingallday.com review
60 granite frames, excellent trackside details and single-seater models, even if the general glance has been similar for some years now.
SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM
The audio sector is extraordinary, the sound of the deep and gratifying engines, played with headphones is a pleasure.
It is Formula 1, with its strengths and weaknesses. An experience between simulation and arcade, with an eye to the accessibility and great scalability of the driving model.