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F1 2017 is Simply Sensational

I’m not an F1 fan. It may come as a surprise then, for me to say that Codemasters’ F1 2017 has me well and truly hooked.

It’s simply because I adore racing games, and while I’m not interested in watching cars go round and around on a track on TV or following the latest dramas occurring within the many racing teams and their drivers, I can appreciate getting behind the virtual wheel of an F1 car and taking it for a spin. And that very act in F1 2017 is so joyously engaging and authentic that it has blown me away.

My PC isn’t the beefiest out there – a slightly overclocked i5 4690K coupled with a GTX1060 – but I’m able to play F1 2017 on ultra settings at a rock solid 60 frames per second, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The attention to detail is astounding, and there’s an abundance of colour and impressive special effects that really give the visuals some character. Quite often, racing sims can be a bit dull to look at, but you can’t say that about F1 2017.

While it’s the visuals that grab you the moment you begin your career in F1 2017 though, it’s the gameplay that keeps you going back for more. The sensation of speed is electric and the handling is just perfect; it’s responsive, accurate and exciting, making each lap you complete as pleasurable as the last. There’s a plethora of assist options and car settings to tinker with too, allowing you to fine tune your experience with the game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a racing novice or a seasoned pro, you’ll be able to find a level of AI competency and handling complexity that works for you.

The stunning visuals and thrilling racing can be enjoyed across a generous selection of modes. Career mode will be the biggest attraction for F1 fans, allowing them to choose between all the teams they know and love, each with their own objective. You’ll race through a number of seasons, spending R&D points on improving your car, building your reputation and competing in rivalries. You’ll also need to manage the allocation of tyres and engine components to ensure optimal performance within races. It’s involving and comprehensive, really making you feel like an important part of a team.

Outside of career mode, there’s the usual selection of online multiplayer, Time Trial, Grand Prix and Championship modes to enjoy, as well as a selection of unlockable invitational events. It’s here that the game becomes more accessible to those who don’t always have the time to commit to a career, and because of the sheer number of things to do it’s hard to imagine they’ll ever be a loss for things to do.

F1 2017 may well be the best F1 game ever made, but then I don’t have the most experience with them so it would be a lofty statement to make. What I do know, however, is that it is one of the best racing games of recent years. It stands up there with the likes of Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo in offering an authentic and engrossing racing experience, backed up by an expansive career and yet plenty more to do on the side. When the only nitpick you’ve found about a game is that the movement of its cars sometimes looks a little unnatural when entering and leaving the pit, you know you’re onto a winner.

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