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F1 2014 Review

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Stalling

★★★★★

Did you miss out on last year's F1 game? Are you a Formula One superfan? Those are really the only scenarios in which you might want to pick up this year's entry, which feels an incremental improvement at best. In some ways, it even backslides, losing the old-school content from the '80s and '90s that made the previous edition a real joy for long-time fans of the motorsport.

One of the biggest changes to F1 2014 is in its controls. Cars feel weightier and a bit more solid on the track, and a touch easier to handle. This is a love-it-or-hate-it change though, as it's not entirely accurate to the vehicle's real-world physics. As a result, it's more accessible to newcomers or those wanting a simpler racing experience. The real hardcore players can switch off all the virtual assists and modify the game to their liking, but the balance is going to be frustrating for some.

It's not all bad though. Indeed, if you've played and enjoyed any of Codemasters' previous F1 games, you'll be very at home here – it's definitely a case of nothing being broken, and nothing really needing fixing. It's an authentic experience, true to the spirit and mechanics of the real world sport. New additions, such as Russia's Sochi Autodrom track, are beautiful recreations of reality, accurate to each roaring turn of a corner. The soundscape is drastically improved too, especially over decent speakers or headphones where the purr of the engines and squeal of tires hit the ear .

Perhaps the best addition is the Driver Evaluation System. Essentially a tutorial without the condescension, it simply throws you into a race and gauges your performance, recommending a difficulty level for the full game. It's a great way to get quickly into the game, without finding yourself over- or underwhelmed. It's entirely your choice whether to take the advice, too.

It's just a real shame that this is a thoroughly "last gen" game. PC players will be able to push the game farther, at least visually, but that F1 2014 isn't on PS4 or Xbox One almost a year after their release feels restrictive. As it stands, this is more of a stopgap measure, awaiting the real evolution that will pass the chequered flag next year.

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