F1 2021 is back and it’s better than ever before thanks to an exciting new story mode, Braking Point.
You play as Aiden Jackson, an up and coming driver on the brink of joining an F1 race team, you’ll need to finish his career in F2 first however. The story is pretty entertaining, as you play through the trials and tribulations of racing in an F1 team. I particularly enjoyed seeing the return of Devon Butler, who many will remember from F1 2019. As you progress through the different chapters you’ll be given different objectives to meet, if you don’t meet them you’ll need to play again until you do to progress the story. There are three difficulty levels to choose from, so depending on how good you are at keeping an F1 car on the track will decide which level to go in at.
As enjoyable as the story is, when you are moving between races all you can really do is check your emails and social media accounts in your trailer. I’d love to see this progress to a more open world scenario in future games.I’d also happily never hear a phone call between Aiden and his Mum, they are pretty wooden I’m not sure they add any real value.
The rest of F1 2021 is pretty familiar if you are a seasoned veteran of the game. For those of you that like full control of your team’s affairs then MyTeam is back and better than ever. For those unfamiliar with the mode, you’ll create your team, choose a sponsor, engine and team mate before starting your journey. New features include additional customisation, the revamped R&D system which can also be found in Career mode, and routinely updated Driver Stats based on real-world performance.
The two player career mode is a great addition to the series, you can take to the circuit as part of the same team or choose to race as rivals. Everything players have come to expect in Career, now with a friend. It would have been great to be able to play this mode locally but currently it’s only an online mode.
Unsurprisingly there is a big focus on e-racing, with lots of opportunities for players to race online for a chance to qualify for big events. I’ve never really got on with the online racing that F1 offers but I can see why those who love it continue to race.
The F1 series has always felt very accessible, regardless of your ability, F1 2021 is no different and Codrmasters have made more changes to adjust the scale of difficulty work for everyone. They have introduced Casual, Standard, and Expert race styles which gives unprecedented customisation to multiple areas of the game. Less-experienced players may benefit from Casual options including easier to drive off-track surfaces, simplified menus, and setup wizards. Whereas Expert options allow you to change the game in great detail. In Career for example, elements such as the frequency and types of faults experienced, the rate cash is earned, and how resource points are allocated can all be tweaked.
Whichever level you choose, the racing still feels brilliant, Codemasters make you feel like a racing driver, no matter your skill level. Managing races, whether it’s keeping your tyres as fresh as possible or planning the perfect pit stop strategy the racing is always exciting. It sometimes feels like your team is conspiring against you with some weird ideas about when you should pit, but ultimately you are in control.
Graphically, the game has improved too, the cutscenes in Braking Point all look superb, the character models are much improved although some of the characters still look a little dead in the eyes. Post race visuals have also improved however I’d like to see some more variation in the animations, things get a little samey a lot quicker otherwise.
F1 2021 is an excellent update to an already great game, I can’t wait to see how the game progresses now EA is involved. I'd love to see a mode similar to motorsport manager where you manage a team with a completely different focus. It will be interesting to see how the next story mode progresses too. There is something here for all types of F1 fans and I can’t wait to play some more.
- Braking point is a welcome addition
- Two player career adds a new dimensions to the game
- Visuals keep getting better
- Online is still a frustrating experience