F1 2020 has become the tribute that the legend of Michael Schumacher deserved. This is the most complete installment of Codemasters to date.
2020 is being an exceptional year for the world of sports. All competitions paused their calendar due to the health crisis we are in. Some, like the Ligue 1 soccer, gave it up; others, such as Formula 1, knew how to reinvent themselves to offer their annual show.
The work of Codemasters has undoubtedly been affected during the development of F1 2020. However, the British have known how to say goodbye to the current generation with a solid delivery, one of the most complete remembered since they took the baton from SCE Studio Liverpool back in 2010. Because far from resting on their laurels, their commitment to the license has led them to expand an inescapable offer for all motor lovers.
My Team: Emulate Bruce McLaren
The My Team mode is the cornerstone on which F1 2020 is based. In it we will be able to emulate the team managers who donned the helmet at the same time to pilot their cars. In practice, it works in parallel with the traditional trajectory mode, with the exception that we will have to worry about reaching the top of the constructors’ world championship.
Identity, power and sustainability: three fundamental axes that allow us to feel from a different perspective the game we receive year after year. In our impressions, its director told us that in no case did they want to create a kind of management title, but rather that it had the ideal balance between the weight of the driving and what happens after the motorhome.
And the truth is that it succeeds. As soon as we start, we will be taken through the team creation process. From the name to the symbol, through the first sponsor, logos and more. In these first steps we will begin to introduce ourselves to finance through the motor supplier. We can choose one of the four existing on the grid, each with its strengths, weaknesses and budgets for the season. Honda will be your most affordable entry point, at the expense of a power group that loses in reliability compared to its rivals.
Going to the pilot market will be another of the tasks entrusted. Finding a teammate will be an almost scouting process in the early days. We will be able to dive between the original drivers of the F1 2020 grid and those who participated in F2 last season. As if it were an RPG, pilots are identified by their skills on and off the track: reflexes, experience, skill, pace and prestige. Not all drivers will agree to leave their position to get behind the wheel of a newcomer team. The doubts that such a large project generates are natural, just as it would happen in real life.
The beginnings will be humble. If we select the work areas of our team, we will see them work in conditions with the least possible luxury. That path through the world of F1 will lead us to feel our progress even from the screens. If we invest in improving equipment and personnel, little by little we will see more sophisticated creation processes. This advance is transferred to the way in which they will develop the evolution of the car. During the beginning they will only be able to develop one piece at a time, while the probability of failure is high.
We will want to solve it very soon, but as is usual in the saga, emphasizing resources in some R&D sections will ensure that the least benefited are not at the same point of motivation. If he was already picky when we only had the four original trees, it is more so when we direct them from the factory.
Your stage in My Team will be divided into two very different phases. One, when we are inside a Grand Prix, where the experience is similar to what we already know. Another, the novelty, is the period between the dates indicated in the calendar. Outside the GP you will have full control over the activities that the team will carry out on days off. On the right side of the screen you will find randomly the events that you can carry out, along with their duration. You will not always have the margin to do them all, so you must ensure that you receive the boost you need, taking advantage of as many days as possible.
The activities are a mix of advertising events, those related to R&D teams and pilot training. Going through the simulator is vital if we want to grow as a driver. Performance that we can diversify in another unpublished menu: the pilot features. We can spend our salary to obtain passive bonuses such as obtaining more reputation points, having more question turns during press conferences… This addition affects the traditional trajectory.
Although it may seem monotonous throughout the races, it is not at all. The study has set intermediate goals to have more options to increase our portfolio. It does this through the secondary sponsors, who will be able to contract for a limited period of time and will make us count on economic premiums if we meet their objectives. One of them, for example, is to do 30 laps in the three training sessions of a weekend. Wear the logo of those who give you a check, no more, no less. You have 10 seasons to take your name to the highest.
Few buts we can add to your introduction. It was necessary to have a game mode that broke both the wall between the pilot and the team, and what better way than to be the owner of one. We would have liked to have more customization options, which are currently scarce. At the time of the Reviews, the ingame store has not opened, so we do not know the number of vinyls that we will be able to purchase afterwards. We also wish we could have had real sponsors, although it is something that may be difficult to introduce in a licensed game of this type.
New asphalt, more possibilities
The original season in real life would have left us the debut of two new tracks. The orange tide was receiving a Great Guild at home since 1985. The Zandvoort circuit has a quite peculiar format for what is usually common. Several of its angled curves are reminiscent of the Indycar’s ovals. It is a very fast circuit, with hardly any big braking, and where the aerodynamic load plays a fundamental role.
On the other hand, Vietnam would host its long distance GP outside the city of Hanoi. Sanitary circumstances have prevented the transfer with the utmost fidelity of what would have been disputed. Due to its recent construction, both the exteriors and the track itself feel below standard quality. We can try to emulate what would have been disputed if it had not been for the coronavirus, but it is not at the same height as the usual ones or even Zandvoort himself.
And, as we said, COVID-19 hindered the flow of information that Codemasters receives. Teams like Mercedes still don’t wear their new colors, as do the changes to the McLaren car. In the next few weeks an update will arrive that will solve it. They also could not count on the real performance of the cars this season. Current game data is that provided by the FIA prior to its start. What we saw in the Red Bull Ring we will not see it launch in F1 2020. Neither Ferrari will suffer on the straights nor Racing Point gives the same blow on the table. We do not know in this case if its modification will be valued.
At launch date, Mercedes does not have its new colors.
Another of the relevant changes in F1 2020 consists of the new ERS system. In recent seasons, individual battery charge management was introduced. We could choose between five performance modes that varied the electric power output that the hybrid motor supplied. Now it resembles real life. The team is the one who manages it, and you can use the energy only by pressing the forward button. It makes us focus more on driving. Of course, we would have liked the change to be in line with his training mode. With nothing to manage, ERS training has lost all utility.
We will be able to choose the total length of the season between 22, 16 or 10 races in the long-term modes. Improvements in accessibility are another of the points that deserve special attention. F1 2020 allows you to select a casual or standard control. The first reduces penalties for touching surfaces outside the limits of the track, in addition to eliminating options in the menus and re-entering the track after being fired. On the other hand, the second is the experience that you have had during all these years. It even adds the assistance of an AI that facilitates the movements of the steering wheel, similar to what the company introduced in Dirt Rally 2.0. We can play locally with another player.
Speaking of artificial intelligence, we would like your behavior to be a little less wild. We still have the feeling that they are too limited to the line, of few resources compared to how unlikely a race can be. They look for holes where there are none, and many times they end up stamping on us. Fortunately, in higher difficulties the decisions they make are smarter, but it is still a pending issue for the next generation. This Reviews has been carried out on PlayStation 4 Pro, in which the game performs above what was seen last year. The framerate remains more consistent, except for the small loading times of the models, something that still needs to be improved.
Seven stars in the sky of Germany
F1 2020 is, above all, a tremendous tribute to the figure of the Kaiser who led the sport in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Michael Schumacher lives on in the memory of those who lived through his exploits. His leadership on the track and subsequent fall at the hands of Fernando Alonso was a milestone in the history of Formula 1.
For this reason, the edition with its name expands the catalog of retro experiences that the franchise offers a few years ago. We will be able to ride in cars as spectacular as the Ferrari F1-2000, the Benetton B195 from 1995 and its predecessor, the green tiger B194, to culminate in the sophisticated Jordan 191, the car that would see the legend born.
All of them can be enjoyed in great detail in the exhibition, an interactive museum where you can soak up the culture that F1’s 70 years have left us. If you do not have the content of the deluxe edition, you will be able to access such legendary racing cars as the Brawn GP BGP-001, the great Renault R26, the Williams Fw18 from 1996 and the McLaren Mp4 / 6, among others.
Along with the contents of Schumacher, there are different cosmetics for vehicles, its most famous helmets (including its famous red starry background) and gloves. As usual, they can be enjoyed in Grand Prix, Championships, Exhibition and Multiplayer mode. A nice gesture in the edition where father and son live together. Multiplayer that follows the same trend of the latest installments, with social meeting points, ranking mode and super license.
F1 2020 is the most complete installment in the series to date. Codemasters has continued to improve a product that already meets the license it deals with. My Team mode is one of the best additions in recent years. It has the optimal management point so that driving continues to be the main motivation, except that now it coexists with several layers of depth that extend the experience. The change in the ERS allows you to see more of the show if possible on the track, and the new layouts make the game the only option to enjoy them this season. In conclusion, it is the tribute that Michael Schumacher deserved. Driving their cars is an authentic experience worth living, even if it is virtual.
- My Team mode, a new way of understanding Formula 1.
- Improvements in accessibility.
- Packed with content from the past and present of the competition.
- A fantastic tribute to Michael Schumacher.
- Local mode and improved console performance.
- The Hanoi circuit does not have the same quality as the others.
- Artificial intelligence must improve.
A benchmark title in its genre, which stands out above its competitors and that you will enjoy from start to finish, surely several times. A game destined to become a classic over the years.