F1 2016 Review

You’ve held the pole position for most of the race but it’s come at a cost: You’ve approached too many corners aggressively and now your tires have worn down and your grip is reduced. You’ve got three laps left and the pit team warns you to come in and change tires. You refuse and on the final lap disaster strikes and you take a corner too finely, clip the barricade and lose your front wheel. Race over. While not everyone will experience the thrill and endurance of a long race, it’s there for fans and is one of the most intense racing experiences you can have. For those of you who want a simpler but ultimately an enjoyable race can fins it here also. F1 2016 is not only of the best racing games out there for enthusiasts of the sport but also one of the most accessible racing games there are and both are equally reasons to play this game.

F1 2016 is an authentic representation of the sport featuring every track used in this current season. Because it’s aim to be authentic, it doesn’t have a huge variety of modes but what is there will please fans. The main mode on show is the Career Mode that allows you to race for any team for up to ten seasons. Within the options, it allows you to have each weekend be the full weekend including all practice sessions, qualifying sessions and the full race length or just a one-shot qualifying and a race length of five laps. However, it allows you to customise and of these lengths to your liking so choose the length of everything that suits you best.

As you will be racing on the same track for a few sessions, the game has tried to inject some worthwhile distractions in the Career Mode. Each weekend, there are a series of challenges to complete that will not only make you play in different ways but will also improve your racing as a whole either on that individual track or in racing in general. It’s a simplistic but brilliant way to get players better at the mechanics that make the F1 games unique. The three main challenges will always be about driving through gates, tyre management, and getting the best lap time. Getting better at all three will prepare for the more realistic aspects of the game when you may be doing the full race and you’ve got to be perceptive of your tyre management. To incentivise you to do these things, completing each challenge will reward you with resource points. These points are then accumulated and used to research and improve technologies of your car. It’s not ground-breaking nor is it an essential aspect to include but it definitely keeps from the monotony kicking in.

Gameplay is still the game’s best feature. The F1 cars glide around the track, feeling silky smooth as you come out of corners. It’s sensitive but not overly so meaning you always feel as though you have complete control over your vehicle. What was most surprising was just how different your car can feel by having different setups. Different tyre types will make the car feel different. Having super soft tyres can improve acceleration but grip is sacrificed. The biggest challenge however is when it rains and you’re left to tackle a wet track. Accelerating too hard out of a corner can result in your car spinning out or losing control. It’s both impressive and rewarding to apply different strategies to different conditions.

These strategies can go much deeper should you choose to take on everything the game has to offer. You can constantly talk back to the pit team as they give you updates and advice regarding your car. They can tell you when to pit, your vehicle’s condition or whether you want to change your strategy if its not working on the track. It’s incredibly rewarding to take on a full race, change tactics and have the results work but it takes a lot of time and even though it’s intense, it’s not for everybody.

The game itself though is. You have a myriad of options to change not only race length, AI difficulty, and race line but also assists in the vehicle. You can have full braking assist and casually enjoy the feeling of being in an F1 car while also not being too worried about how to brake right on this corner or how much throttle is required to have the best launch for ever turn. It’s still enjoyable though because the game always allows you to have enough control to always feel like it’s you doing it all.

The game also has multiplayer and in my time playing it, it was easily the most intense racing experience I’ve ever had with a racing game. The speed is intense, the fact that every other car is another person and there is literally no room for mistakes, this is where you take the real challenge the game has. It’s thrilling, frustrating, but ultimately the purest form of racing you can find on a console.

F1 2016 manages to do what most other games can’t: Offer options for the purist while also being accommodating to casual players and build a game that caters to both while also being thoroughly enjoyable to them all in equal measure. There are no concessions to be seen for the core players and nothing is overwhelming for casual players if they don’t want to be. On top of all that it’s a bloody brilliant racing game that looks spectacular. It may never consistently reach its 60fps target but it still looks and runs incredibly well. An excellent game that manages to please all types of players.


  • Plays like a dream
  • Added enhancements add life to practice sessions
  • Great detail in track and cars
  • Great accessibility for all fans


  • Some performance hitches


Owner of Game-Smack, Jason plays everything that's possible. Goal of Game-Smack: Overhearing a stranger "Game-Smack? I've heard of that. It sucks!"

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