Two further tracks make return
appearances, namely Germany's Hockenheimring and The Red Bull Ring (formerly the A1 Ring) at Spielberg, Austria. Both have been in F1 games before, but it's good
to have them back. Bahrain receives a cosmetic change, as it's now a
very pretty night race, with countless floodlights rising from the
desert into the night sky. It looks like a bit like you're racing on the
moon. There is one sad loss, however, with the Indian GP track dropped
for one year due to a scheduling predicament in real life. Long story.
from the staple career, championship, multiplayer, split-screen and
co-op season mode, there is a return for the challenge mode, which sets
you bite-sized scenarios to tackle, each of which is graded on a
gold/silver/bronze scale. There's also a welcome reappearance for Season
Challenge mode, which sees you choosing a rival and trying to take
their seat in a best-of-three contest. With one-shot qualifying and a
reduced roster of tracks, this is still one of the best game-ified
interpretations of F1 since the days of Super Monaco GP.
here's the kicker. Last year's game itself was an incremental update
over the already-great F1 2012, but there was a load of classic content
of cars and drivers from the 1980s and 1990s, which added significantly
to the game's appeal and made it worth the upgrade. This year, all those
extras are gone. On paper, the new tracks, rules and what-have-you
sound like enough to warrant the upgrade, but they aren't.
still a stonking racing game. It's more accessible than ever thanks to
the slightly more forgiving handling model, yet ready to punish you on
the harder difficulty settings. But seeing as it is so
doppelganger-similar to last year's game, yet leaves out one of that
title's biggest features, there's no question that it's an inferior
package overall. Still, despite taking a small step backwards while we
wait for a big step forwards, F1 2014 is still demonstrably better than
the vast majority of other modern racers and deserves your time.
Especially if you haven't played an F1 game in the last couple of years.