F1 2018 Review

Richard Walker

F1 2017 was a fantastic game, delivering what seemed like a definitive package with an involving Career Mode, stellar handling model, the return of classic cars, and more modes than you could shake a gearstick at. But there's a problem with creating such a fully-featured package as this: where the hell are you supposed to go next year? What can you possibly add? It felt like Codemasters could have been facing an uphill struggle for F1 2018, and we wouldn't have been surprised if this latest iteration had been an 'off' year for the series.

Turns out it's anything but, emerging as an even sleeker, more efficient and sexier game than its predecessor, boasting even more content and improvements than we dared hope for. Primarily, the biggest changes are on the track itself, the frame rate eye-searingly smooth and free of screen-tearing, the handling silky and responsive, enabling you to glide around curves like a pro, and it's all beautifully presented. Crucially, everything about F1 2018 from a gameplay standpoint feels completely and utterly right, shaving precious milliseconds off your lap times and racing to stay ahead of the pack proving endlessly compulsive.

Once you delve into the expanded Career Mode too, you'll find yourself swept up in all of the many appurtenances of Formula One racing, from researching and developing upgraded components for your car to keeping your chosen team happy, while engaging in an ongoing rivalry with your teammate in a fight to become number one driver. Also, new to F1 2018 are time-restricted media interviews you'll intermittently have to conduct from race to race, choosing the best responses to various questions that dictate how your F1 career develops.

Opt for responses that diss your team, engineers or rivals, and you might earn points for showmanship, but your reputation with your own team and even other teams will dwindle, putting your place and the potential of being offered new contracts at risk. Conversely, being diplomatic or complimentary to the engineers, strategists and so on, will garner their gratitude, feeding into your sportsmanship rating and positively impacting your standing in the team. Veer towards a higher sportsmanship or showmanship rank, meanwhile, and you'll unlock additional responses that apply to your driver's personality traits when talking to the press.

So restrictive is the time you're given while deciding the best response, however, that you're barely able to weigh up what to say after you've read each option. Sometimes, you'll quickly go with your gut without stopping to dwell on the answer for a second or two, which is obviously the whole idea. Say something stupid or respond like a twat, and you're stuck with it. There are other aspects to take care of off the track too, including your car's setup, tyre choice, R&D, and other concerns that require your attention. There's a lot to take into account.

It all adds up to deliver one of the most immersive Career modes you'll find in any racing game, covering practically every aspect of the motorsport, with all of the depth and detail a die-hard Formula One fan could ever ask for. Simultaneously, F1 2018 embraces newcomers and casual players alike, with a glut of assists and difficulty settings that can be finely tuned to your exact skill level or the degree of challenge you're after. Like F1 2017 (and most of the other F1 games) before it, F1 2018 can be as easy (with flashbacks and such) or as rock-hard ultra-realistic (no assists whatsoever and pro handling) as you like. This remains one of the game's greatest strengths, ensuring no player feels out of their depth, regardless of how good (or bad) they might be at racing games.

While F1 2018's depth can seem daunting, it's really not. And when you consider the sheer wealth of modes and race types on offer too, from Career to a single weekend Grand Prix for longer, more involved race experiences; to the more immediately gratifying one-off, limited-time Event races; addictive Time Trial mode; multi-discipline Championships; and online Multiplayer for up to 20 players; no stone has been left unturned. At time of writing, we were unable to find a multiplayer race online, unfortunately, but it appears that Codemasters has addressed the aggressive jostling and unsportsmanlike conduct that inevitably comes with racing against other players, by rewarding clean driving, and sporting behaviour over ramming others out of the way in a insane dash to the finish line.

As such, multiplayer already sounds like an improvement, and whether you fancy investing time in ranked or unranked races, or longer Online Championships, you'll be well-served here. Add the live online leaderboards for the game's Event and Time Trial modes, and you have a whole raft of reasons to keep on plugging away against rival racers. For many, the single-player Career will provide the crux of the F1 2018 experience, of course, and to that end, Codies has truly outdone itself in making each race throughout the season constantly exciting and compelling. If you're a Formula One fan, you're guaranteed to get a lot out of it.

Another complete package of startling quality that we really didn't expect after the incredibly high bar set by F1 2017 last year, F1 2018 somehow manages to outstrip the previous game by some margin. Boasting an enhanced, dynamic Career mode, more gratifying handling, a greater number of classic cars in the garage, and more modes than is probably necessary, F1 2018 can only be described as yet another stellar entry in a series that continues to show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In a nutshell, F1 2018 is simply, unreservedly brilliant in every respect, and a dizzyingly perfect representation of the world's most popular motorsport.

F1 2018

Quite how Codemasters has managed to top last year's incredible effort is quite beyond me, but F1 2018 manages to eclipse F1 2017, delivering an even more definitive and just as essential Formula One game that fans will 'lap' up. Get it bought.

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Each car sounds distinctive, while pit crew chatter keeps you well informed during a race. Menu music is nice enough, and commentary setting up events makes F1 2018 feel like a proper TV-style broadcast.


While F1 2017 looked incredible, F1 2018 is a cut above, providing the best-looking Formula One experience you'll have ever seen. It's not only incredibly smooth, but the attention to detail in the game's cars, circuits and Career mode cut-scenes is second to none.


Whatever settings you opt for, F1 2018 handles like an absolute dream, striking a pitch-perfect balance between accessibility for new players and enough complexity for the hardcore. Gameplay sliders and optional assists enable you to tailor your experience.


Even more content and modes, as well as increased depth to the core Career mode ensures that this year's game covers every conceivable base and then some. The entire thing is polished to a startling level too.


There's overlap between previous games in many of the objectives on F1 2018's list, but as ever, there's a nice smattering of smart achievements to tackle. A good, solid list as always with excellent spread.

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