The newest installment of the F1 game series from Codemasters was released earlier this month. Since release, the game has given Motorsports fans something new to enjoy when hitting the sticks. Our open-wheel analyst, Collin Bestor, reviewed this game from the standpoint of a seasoned player who has played F1 games heavily. I, on the other hand, played F1 2021 completely new to the experience. As someone who comes from the world of NASCAR, I had not previously experienced a true open-wheel sim in any capacity. Coming at this review from a gaming analyst perspective, I will illustrate what stood out to me as the good and the bad in F1 2021.
There are many good things I can say for F1 2021. The game gave me a good feeling from the moment I started. The opening scene showcasing all of the key drivers in the series was empowering to me. I could not help but think of how I would like the NASCAR games to try something like that. In many ways, F1 provided many things that I wish Motorsport Games would incorporate in the NASCAR series. First and foremost, was the way the game looked and how it felt. The graphics of the game were extremely realistic. Codemasters did an excellent job of fully immersing the player into the world of F1. The physics were just as immersive. During a race, even the slightest amount of contact with another car could drastically change the way your car drove. This level of simulation was unreal as someone who was playing for the first time. The game has the option for a two-player career mode, a feature that allows a player to move up through the ranks with a friend. The multiplayer lobbies were separated into casual and ranked lobbies, which provided options for online play. However, the one key that made F1 2021 so much fun for me was customizability. Gamers play games for different reasons. Some players want the highest level of realism as humanly possible. Others want to go into a game and just mess around and have fun. F1 2021 delivers to both of those mindsets and anywhere in between. Almost every setting one can possibly think of in relation to realism can be changed to one's liking. This ability to customize the game makes it to where anyone can hop on F1 and find an experience they enjoy. This customizability is a feature that I believe other racing games have lacked in recent years. This, in my opinion, is what sets F1 apart from other major racing games and even other sports games out there.
As a video game analyst, I spend a lot of time trying to find things that are bad within a game. Each little problem a game has can be a detriment to the player's experience. However, F1 2021 did not have a lot to report in this category. The game was fairly solid all the way through. I did want to mention the inclusion of an item shop in F1. Item shops have been made popular by games such as Fortnite and other major shooters. Personally, I do not find the addition of an item shop to be necessary for sports games. The whole concept feels like a money grab and tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth. With that said, F1 does take a better approach with an item shop than some games. While real money is involved, the prizes are strictly cosmetic and do not provide a player with any sort of advantage in the game. Thus, a player can avoid the item shop and spend no extra money on the game and still have an enjoyable experience. Also, there are ways to earn "Pitcoin" without buying it. This allows players who do not want to spend extra money on a game an opportunity to check out the item shop on occasion.
Overall, F1 2021 is a fantastic racing sim that allows players to fully feel immersed in the world of Formula racing. The game feels like a true top-level sports game and easily competes with the likes of Madden and NBA2K. This is easily a game that I would pay $60 for and I will certainly be keeping up with the F1 series in the future. For the final part of this review and other reviews in the future, I'll be leaving a numerical ranking for the game. Similar to Game Informer magazine, I will rank games on a scale of 1-10 with decimal rankings of .25, .5, and .75 included. My ranking reflects only my personal opinions on the game. F1 2021 will be kicking this review series off well with a solid score.
F1 2021: 9.25/10