The annual releases are a bit treacherous. On the one hand, they can bring little newness and limit themselves to repeating and polishing a well-cemented formula. On the other hand, and especially in sports simulators, you can’t invent or create new rules, and there’s always that pressure to do better in the next edition, constantly raising the bar. Now, whoever goes ahead in a race doesn’t need to get tired or take risks to manage the advantage.
It wouldn’t be all that surprising if Codemasters decided to manage the advantage in this race. After launching the excellent F1 2020, and with no competition in sight in the rearview mirror, it just had to keep up the speed and enjoy the scenery to remain the formula 1 simulator of choice for fans.
However, the studio made it clear that it didn’t set the pace: The foot is deep in the accelerator, with unexpected novelties in a Formula 1 simulator, but that fit like a glove, thanks to the dedication invested in them.
I’m talking about the big news in F1 2021: Braking Point, a narrative adventure where players take on the role of a young driver who makes his debut in Formula 1 championships, and which, in addition to being a great introduction to mechanics for a novice, it also shows us how passionate and intense simple overtaking can be.
The inspiration for Drive to Survive is clear, and it has all the elements of a good soap opera. There are betrayals, guys with unbearable egos, dramas, backstage scandals, and of course, everything is resolved on the asphalt at high speed.
After choosing the team we want to compete for, we are put in the role of Aiden Jackson, a young driver who made a splash in F2 and who now fulfills his dream of driving alongside one of his biggest idols. For me, who prefer the chaos and destruction of Burnout or Wipeout, this mode served as a great introduction not only to the game’s complex mechanics, which are presented in a phased and easy-to-digest way, but also to the passion that fans of Formula 1 feel with this motorsport.
Braking Point shows why overtaking is so much more than just that, and it surprised me positively. In a way, it helped me to understand a little better the legion of fans who swear by their love for Formula 1 and who religiously follow the backstage dramas of each race.
This mode may not be the most appealing for veterans of the series, who are here to test their skills in the most realistic and challenging scenarios, but it deserves to be tried by all F1 2021 players, even if only for the effort that the team of Codemasters dedicated it. The attention to detail is evident in every moment of the adventure, whether the most obvious ones, such as the voice-acting, to the unusual details, such as the phone calls from Aiden’s mother. She is more concerned about the condition of her son’s underwear.
Back in the My Team mode, one of the highlights of last year’s F1 edition. As in a formula that wins you don’t move, Codemasters limited itself to smoothing the edges and perfecting something that already had immense quality.
Here players take control of a new F1 team to take them from the bottom of the table to the top of the podium, on and off the track. The first step is to create our pilot, the team colors and symbols, and then move on to the management side. You have to choose a partner, a sponsor, a brand for the engine, and so on. You also have to deal with the press. Our answers greatly influence the adventure: A compliment here or a review can lead to technology development bonuses or sharper questions from journalists.
Compared to last year’s edition, the research and development department was changed, leaving behind the “Skill tree” model. This change also applies to the career mode, which can be played together as teammates or rivals for the first time.
There are plenty of options in the multiplayer department, which include a more accessible mode for newcomers to the series, which allows a more accessible entry to asphalt newcomers.
In more recent entries, the F1 franchise has made an effort to welcome the less experienced, with a whole range of options and assistance tools that make it possible for even the most clumsy (like me) to make the corners of the 21 circuits without rushing out. However, Codemasters didn’t oversimplify the experience and even introduced new options that make driving even more realistic or artificial intelligence ruthless. In fact, with Expert Mode, players will be able to customize every aspect of the game, even their progression in career or My Team modes.
If I had to sum up the F1 2021 experience in one sentence, it would be “faster, better and stronger.” Codemasters has here a simulator that manages to be the best gateway to the passion, precision, and speed of Formula 1 for novices, while veterans have a reason to once again dive into this universe.
Codemasters does not take its foot off the accelerator and shows again why it follows first in the race of Formula 1 simulators. It reinforces the formula is presented in the previous game and introduces the Braking Point novelty, which surprises for its quality and demonstrates excellent attention to detail.
Codemasters proves again why it remains isolated in the first place of Formula 1 simulators, with another entry capable of falling in love between novices and veterans.
- INCREDIBLE 0%