Review – F1 2019

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Formula 1, the sport, isn’t as fun nowadays as it used to be. That’s all due to its reduced number of scuderias, ugly car designs, removal of traditional racetracks in favor of street racetracks in different countries, and excessive amounts of punitive measures for anything a driver does. Not to mention Mercedes-Benz’s monopoly over the sport. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen in the realm of video games. Codemasters’ F1 games just keep getting better and better, and that can be easily seen with F1 2019, arguably the best Formula 1 game ever conceived.

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F2 cars are as ugly as F1 cars, but slower.

F1 2018 was already a fantastic game with an excellent career mode and lots of retro cars to choose from. Surpassing that game in terms of overall content and quality would already be a challenge of its own, but Codemasters certainly achieved that. For starters, although the game is called F1 2019, this isn’t the only racing category present in it. For the first time in the franchise’s history, you can also play with F2 cars, the feeder division that’s directly below F1 in terms of importance. The cars present here are from the last year’s season, and while this might sound weird at first, it totally makes sense when you look at what Codemasters did with the game’s career mode.

The new career mode lets you start off as a F2 pilot on the 2018 in order for you to become a F1 pilot in 2019. This little detail made all the difference. You’ll be able to race alongside last year’s wunderkinds: Alexander Albon, George Russell and Lando Norris. You’ll join the 2019 F1 season alongside them and two new fictional characters created specifically for this career mode: a best friend and a rival. The plot isn’t very important, but the fact that the developers included a fully voiced buddy and one hateful and incredibly punchable rival makes things a lot more personal. More cutscenes have been added, such as going to your agent’s office whenever you’re ready to sign a new contract. Plus, the annoying framerate drops that plagued last year’s career mode have mostly been fixed.

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Racing on the streets of Azerbaijan.

The game’s visuals have been revamped, with noticeable improvements in its lighting effects. Driving in Singapore’s track now feels like daylight, and while that might sound weird, that’s actually what the drivers say it’s really like. The dynamic weather changes are still present and work as well as in F1 2018. The only instances in which I saw some weird graphical glitches were whenever I’d enter a driver selection screen. The game takes a few extra seconds to download their faces and their overall textures. Besides this, the graphics are just downright unbelievable.

Finally, while I’m not one to talk about day-one DLC, I need to praise F1 2019 for its Legends pack. In this pack, you’re able to drive as both Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, both fully rendered in-game, and can compete in a handful of challenges designed around their rivalry in the late 80’s and early 90’s. For a Brazilian like myself, being able to play as our ultimate sports hero (step aside, Pelé) is just a phenomenal icing on an already delicious cake. The sound of that 1990 McLaren MP4/5B’s engine is like music to my gearhead’s ears.

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Senna against Prost. Now that’s what I call a legendary rivalry.

F1 2019 is how you should do a sequel to a sports game. The game doesn’t simply bring roster updates and slight adjustments to the gameplay. This version more than doubled the amount of content when compared to last year’s iteration, with an impressive career mode, yet another racing category to choose from, and even more challenges to master. To top things off, the game was released even earlier this year, with more than half of the actual season to go. I’m glad that, even though the real F1 gets more boring with every new season, the F1 games just keep getting better and better.


Graphics: 9.5

Improved lighting effects, especially when driving at night. The framerate is as rock-solid as always and the occasional career mode slowdowns have been fixed.

Gameplay: 9.5

The gameplay is as good and responsive as in F1 2018. If it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it.

Sound: 8.5

The cars sound as realistic as ever, which means that the current season F1 models sound a bit underwhelming. The voice acting in the career mode is even more impressive than last year.

Fun Factor: 8.5

F1 2019 features a much deeper career mode, the addition of the F2 racing category, as well as lots of old-school fan favorite cars. There’s way more content here than in F1 2018.

Final Verdict: 9.0

F1 2019 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of F1 2019 was provided by the publisher.