Serious racing simulators have never been my thing. There is something about driving around the same track over and over again that has never really appealed to me.
F1 2015 takes this to the next level by upping the length of typical races to 15-30minutes as a minimum. Despite the dread that came over me when those numbers first came up on the screen, I actually liked it more than I expected.
As the title states, F1 2015 exclusively features F1 vehicles. The game is based around competing in the F1 World Championship season in the aptly named mode, Championship Season. You start by choosing your sponsor and driver. From there you race on tracks from around the world.
Prior to each race, you complete practice laps and a qualifying lap. This in combination with the long race lengths made each race feel like a bigger deal than other typical racing games.
The set-up of competing in these series do feel bare boned. Outside of competing in the races there is really nothing to do, with no ’emails’ to read or other management aspect to look after.
To make matters worse, there is no alternative modes to really mix things up. There is one variation of the first mode, Pro Season, which turns down the assists and up the difficulty to provide for a more hardcore experience. This is more changing the settings and less providing a different experience.
I’m not sure whether it was because I had the settings turned right down to beginner or if it was just the game, but I found the vehicles easy to handle and very forgiving. Where in other games like Project Cars or Gran Turismo, I found myself making mistakes more than I care to admit, in F1 2015 I found such occasions very rare.
The long race times actually suited the game very well. It also made the game more forgiving by diluting the impact of stuffing up on a corner. There is a save/load mid-race option if you have to dash off sometime during the race.
Outside of competing in the Championship series, there is also a multiplayer mode tagged on.
The mode seems to be catering for having a very large and active audience due to the large number of multiplayer modes available. Unfortunately this has not come to fruition and the modes serve more to divide the audience and make it difficult to actually find a match to play in. When I did finally get into a 3 man race, well short of the capacity, I actually found the experience boring enough to make me quit mid-match, don’t judge me.
I think I have been spoiled with the visuals of other racing games like Forza and Project Cars as graphically F1 2015 didn’t impress me. It has the vehicles detailed much better than environments but both however seemed less impressive than what I have come to expect.
Despite some initial scepticism F1 2015 managed to provide me more enjoyment than I anticipated. The long races made each feel more meaningful and fit in very well with the serious tone of the game.
The lack of anything to do in the Championship series outside of races made the mode feel half done. With this being the only real option, the game feels a bit bare, making it hard to justify a purchase.