F1 2014 review: Realistic racing offering high hopes for the 2015 next gen release

£29.99; Xbox 360, PS3, PC; Codemasters

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The Independent Tech

As one would expect from an officially accredited game, F1 2014 is incredibly loyal to the real world of Formula One.

It's impossible not to feel a little bit like a real F1 driver as you zoom past the Monte Carlo Casino, jostling for position in the Monaco Grand Prix whilst fending with the spray from the car in front.

Every car, driver and track is there, including the new Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. And it all looks fantastic. From reflections in the puddles collecting on the track to the painstakingly accurate details around the circuits.

However, despite all this, it's difficult to not wonder how much better it will look on the next generation of consoles.

Codemaster opted to hold back on releasing an F1 title on the next generation of consoles before launching next year, earlier in the season than the latest release.

 

As a consequence, F1 2014 feels a little unloved. Aside from the material improvements such as the new tracks, few improvements have been made in terms of gameplay or options. In the case of the retro car options made available on F1 2013, an area ripe for improvement, things have simply regressed with no alternative options to this year's cars.

With the game showing such loyalty to real life, omissions like this make it feel somewhat one-dimensional and lacking in variation.

The flip side of the game's realism is that it can be incredibly challenging in comparison to alternative racers on the market. The smallest errors, whether it be breaking too late or too early, failing to shift gear at the right time or missing the apex go heavily punished. If that's not to your liking, there are a host of customizable difficulty options that make the game accessible to players of all levels.

Ultimately F1 2014 feels like something of a stopgap - which ultimately it is. For those who don't have the previous edition, this is still a great racer, but for those who do it might feel like an extra lap behind the safety car before (hopefully) things go up a gear next year.

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