E3 2019 Hands-on – F1 2019

The last few seasons of Formula 1 have been disappointing, to say the least. Ugly car designs, classic racetracks being replaced by oil-rich countries devoid of racing tradition, a minute roster of racers and scuderias, I could go on all day. Thankfully, while the actual sport gets more boring with every new season, Codemasters’ F1 games just keep getting better and better. F1 2018 had great visuals, controls, an excellent career mode and lots of classic cars to drive. I was expecting for F1 2019 to maintain this tradition of adding more than just an updated roster. Boy, was I impressed with this E3 demo.

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Brand new lighting effects when you’re driving at night.

As expected, the graphics and controls weren’t the main reasons I was impressed with this E3 build. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It was good back then and it’s still good now. What really impressed me is the amount of new content added to the overall package.

The biggest addition of this iteration isn’t related to F1 at all. For the first time in the series, the game also includes all drivers from both the 2018 and 2019 seasons of Formula 2, the feeder league where drivers develop their skills before being signed by bigger F1 scuderias. F1 2019 features a brand new career mode in which you start off as a F2 rookie before securing a spot in a F1 scuderia, complete with new cutscenes and a fully voiced rival, just like in FIFA‘s Journey modes. I loved the fact Codemasters decided to include the 2018 season of F2 in order to get your driver ready for the current Formula 1 season.

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I can drive as Senna in his legendary MP4/5B. I can die happily.

Finally, F1 2019 features some side missions starring the legend himself, the greatest driver of all time, Ayrton Freaking Senna and his glorious McLaren. To have the greatest sportsman in Brazil’s history (get lost, PelĂ©) in this game is just downright amazing. To have his likeness, original car sounds, as well as his main rival Alain Prost included in the game makes things even better.

F1 2019‘s E3 demo didn’t need to impress me in the technical department. I wanted to see the new modes Codemasters was bringing to the table and they managed to impress me a lot. By the looks of it, the game will basically feature twice as much content from the already generous F1 2018, all while being released much earlier this year. I see no reason for this game to become the best F1 title of all time when it finally comes out later on this year.