If you’re excited for the release of F1 2021 next month, you’re probably wondering what new features and gameplay changes you have to look forward to.
There’s the new Braking Point story mode, of course. F1 2021 will also be the first game in the series to make its way onto PS5 and Xbox Series consoles, allowing for better performance, visuals, and more. But that’s not all; Codemasters has been hard at work, making the career experience of F1 2021 more customisable and accessible than ever before.
Jump into F1 2021 and you’ll find that it features 20 official F1 drivers and 10 teams. F2 is included as well of course; there are 22 official F2 drivers and 11 teams. And when it comes to tracks there are 21 of them, although three will be delivered post-launch. Those are Imola, Portimão and Jeddah, which are all new, too.
It’s when players embark upon one of F1 2021’s career modes, Driver or My Team, however, that they’ll really find some welcome changes. For a start, playing a career no longer has to be a solitary affair. Fully fledged online co-op is now available, allowing two friends to play through a career on the same team, or compete against against each other on separate teams. And don’t worry if you have multiple friends you want to play with – you’ll be able to switch friends if required.
Those relying on a computer-controlled teammate will find that there’s a new driver statistic: Focus, a measure of driver readiness and motivation. It’s impacted by a whole host of factors such as your performance on track, team activity decisions, the player’s press responses and more, and it can have a real affect on your teammate’s on-track performance. Will you be a team player, or will you sacrifice your team’s success for personal gain?
Whether playing a career alone or in co-op, other changes that are likely to appreciated include the introduction of department events, which allow players to make important choices regarding such things as development. There are also more press briefing questions, staving off repetition, and the R&D skill tree is no more. With its new structure, R&D is more streamlined and better presented.
Practice sessions have also been on the receiving end of some work. There are still objectives to complete that reward valuable development points, but you no longer need to do as many. If you do put in the effort, however, there are new Development Boosts to be earned, which reduce the costs of certain upgrades. And for those who want a more authentic experience, the new official practice session length can be used.
Acknowledging that some players might not want to take part in practice sessions or distractions such as press and department events, however, Codemasters has implemented a variety of new options to truly enable them to tailor their experience. You can disable them if you like, and can also change settings such as resource gain rates, the chances of mechanical failure, and faults. On the subject of customisation, you can now place a personal sticker on your Halo, too.
We’re still not done. F1 2021 is also introducing Real Season Start. Taking information from the real F1 2021 season and putting it directly into the game, you’ll be able to jump into a season at any weekend that’s actually taken place with the correct grid and standings. And if you fancy yourself a skilled driver, you can do so while making use of the new Expert racing style, which will really test your abilities.
Finally, moving away from career modes, there’s multiplayer. In F1 2021 there’ll be Beginner and Experienced social play lobbies, with the former offering a more fun and friendly environment. With Casual race style, auto reset and no collisions, the Beginner social lobbies will let players get to grips with the game without affecting those seeking a more serious experience. And when players feel up to it, they can move to Experienced lobbies that use Standard style and have collisions enabled, with races that are longer.
Needless to say, there’s a lot that’s new in F1 2021 – Codemasters hasn’t just simply updated the teams and drivers and left it at that. We’re particularly looking forward to Braking Point, but beyond that there’s so much else that been tweaked or added to that should make F1 2021 feel fresh and more enjoyable to play. And never before has the experience been so customisable. Whether you’re new to F1 and seeking a good entry point, or a devout fan keen for an authentic depiction of the sport, F1 2021 doesn’t seem likely to disappoint.
F1 2021 launches 16th July on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.