Ahead of the launch of F1 2021 next week, we’ve been hands-on with the game’s brand new story mode, called Braking Point.
Taking control of a young driver called Aiden Jackson, in the opening minutes of Braking Point you’ll push for victory in the final race of the F2 season. Achieve your goal and that’s it, you’re promoted to F1. Straight away you’re likely to be impressed with the presentation of F1 2021‘s Braking Point mode, with almost real-looking CGI story scenes blending seamlessly into the gameplay.
It simply isn’t a case of races being sandwiched between story scenes, either. In your first F1 race, for example, you’ll start about mid-way through the Australian GP, pushing to catch up with your teammate, Casper Akkerman. When you do finally catch up, a story scene kicks in, where you defy your team’s orders to defend and instead try to pass your colleague. When Devon Butler, a character some will remember from F1 2019, comes up on the inside of them both, however, a collision ensues, taking Casper out of the race. Control is then handed back to you again, leaving you to finish the race with your action on your mind while pushing for positions.
Needless to say, Casper isn’t too impressed by the end of the race, and he doesn’t mince his words. It’s all part of the drama of F1 2021‘s Braking Point mode, though, and it’s very welcome indeed. Playing through a standard career in previous F1 games has always been thoroughly entertaining, but this adds a human element. As much as F1 is a sport, it’s also about team politics. If you were confident of your abilities as a driver, would you hold back on command? Casper may be an experienced driver with many wins under his belt, but you’re an up and coming star with great potential. If you’re capable of winning, why hold back?
As well as watching story scenes, in between events you’ll have time to check your emails, field phone calls from everybody from your mum to your manager, and also check your what people are saying about you on social media. You’ll be taking part in interviews from time to time, too, where it’s up to you if you throw Akkerman under the bus or put on a strong front for the team. Akkerman isn’t the only character you’ll find yourself at odds with in the opening hour of Braking Point, either, with Devon Butler also showing up to throw some shade your way.
You can watch us play through the first 30 minutes of Braking Point above. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to continuing Aiden’s story and seeing how things play out. The combination of F1 2021‘s fantastic handling and gorgeous visuals, now with a gripping story to go alongside them seems like a real winner, and it doesn’t come at the expense of any of the content you’ve come to know and love. There are even difficulty options for Braking Point, making it suitable for all skill levels. We’ll have a full review of F1 2021 next week, so make sure you come back to check it out.
F1 2021 launches 16th July on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Preorder the Deluxe Edition to get three days early access.