The build-up to this game has been one of stunning new features, positive feedback from F1 drivers, and enormous expectations.
So does it deliver?
A new feel
While still recognisable, the menus all have a fresh feel to them. One that carries into the UI for Career Mode and My Team.
Handling has seen a marked improvement, while some tracks have been reprofiled and given a more realisitc feel.
The “push-to-pass” ERS replaces a complicated mode and allows drivers to focus on driving, while the AI is much improved to make bolder passes, better defensive moves, and even a few errors.
It looks much like last year, but the game itself has a totally new feel.
Fresh Career Mode
When My Team was announced, there were plenty of worried gamers thinking that Career Mode would be ignored.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case. While building My Team Codemasters have clearly gone with a modular approach. Allowing Career Mode to benefit and be revitalised with new menus and more engaging home screens.
The ability to choose your own F2 involvement, from a trio of scenarios up to a full 24-race season is nice, but you can skip it too if you don’t want to get involved.
It’s also a bit easier to see how you fit into the wider F1 world thanks to the Acclaim system and contract values.
It’s also easier to change your Career Mode settings and assists level as they now appear as options on your work station rather than hidden behind a loading screen.
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The regular contract negotiations are gone, replaced by a perks system that you can buy with cash earned and more infrequent opportunities to renegotiate your deal.
In short, Career Mode is much improved.
My Team is the crown jewel in F1 2020. It’s a glorious game mode that offers a depth to F1 games that fans have been crying out for.
From sponsorship choices to F2 drivers being bought into F1, to a true sense of ownership, it has everything.
Carl and Jeff are still the faces of your crew, but everything else is yours to tweak and change.
From the team colours, logo, and #2 driver, the world of F1 is open – if you can afford it.
Money is tight and performance is low at first.
Trying to keep pace around Australia is hard work. Building up the funds to grow your small team into a world-beater is a long journey, which is exactly what you want.
The R&D system is the same, but failure rates are higher, and getting perks for each department is harder. It’s the kind of lengthy single player mode F1 fans have been crying out for.
Of course, none of that really matters if the gameplay is lacking. Fortunately, F1 2020 is terrific fun.
Handling has been tightened up this year, with locking brakes and traction control improved. It’s easier to race without assists, but that doesn’t remove the challenge of driving fast.
You can feel the difference in quality between the cars, and where one lacks balance or downforce.
Classic cars provide a different challenge, and the re-profiled tracks only add to the realism and quality of the game.
AI drivers are smarter. They defend and attack more subtly, but can get aggressive and forceful too. Drivers have a bit more personality than last year too.
What doesn’t work
So if the game modes are good, and the gameplay is good, is there anywhere F1 2020 is lacking?
Well, the customization suite is still limited, and frustratingly so.
READ MORE: Pre-order F1 2020 NOW
You can’t copy a colour scheme from your suit to your gloves for example. With no number value on the hue or saturation, you are just left to try and eye the right spot for each one if you want to make a cohesive colour scheme.
The My Team car also stands out like a sore thumb in races.
The livery frameworks you have to work with don’t all feel like they belong in the elegant world of F1, while an inability to change the sizing or angle of your sponsor logos can leave them looking like stickers rather than parts of the livery itself.
However, once you’re in the car a lot of that just doesn’t matter. If you race from the T-cam or cockpit you can’t see the rear wing sponsor logo issues, or notice that your suit doesn’t quite match the shade of the car.
F1 2020 is a triumph.
It is more accessible, engaging, and immersive than ever before.
My Team could be a stand-alone game as “F1 Manager 2020”. Packaged in with improved gameplay and a better UI, F1 2020 becomes an utter bargain for any player.
RealSport Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)
READ MORE: F1 2020 Driver Ratings
Codemasters has released a list of every wheel compatible with F1 2020.
You can see the complete wheel list here.
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Leon Joseph is just a few years into his journalist career, but has already had pieces published in many major publications including Tech Crunch and the Game Spot. In regards to academics, Leon earned a degree in business from Texas State. Leon has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in the gaming industry.