Released in August 2017 by Codemasters, F1 2017 allows PS4, Xbox One and PC owners to experience the ups and downs of an F1 driver's life. Featuring the most realistic driving physics ever, an immersive career mode and exciting multiplayer action, F1 2017 is the ultimate F1 driving experience, short of actually taking the wheel in a Grand Prix itself.
Officially licensed Formula 1 games have been around for over 30 years. First, they were coded by Microprose, then Electronic Arts took on the mantle, followed by Sony in 2003 and then Codemasters in 2007.
Since then, the UK-based games company has turned the F1 racing series into one of gaming's most successful franchises, knitting exciting racing action into the experience of participating in an F1 season – giving racing obsessives and ordinary players something to enjoy.
As of 2017, Codemasters had released 9 updates in the series, and pretty much all of them have been well received by critics and players. They have also kept up with console technology, making the most of 8th generation systems like the Xbox One and PS4 (after the release of F1 2015), and incorporating state of the art force feedback, HD graphics and voice recognition systems in the process.
Although there are other racers on the major gaming systems, F1 2017 remains the only officially licensed F1 title, and it looks like being a fitting addition to a hugely successful gaming dynasty.
Key Features of F1 2017
F1 2017 is a new breed of console and PC racer, mixing the excitement of a silky smooth arcade racer with the statistics and strategy of an in-depth racing simulator. You can pick it up and play for a few races with friends or start a career and follow the fortunes of a budding Lewis Hamilton across years of competition.
The game also has an innovative research and development feature which encourages you to race as much as possible. By doing so, you'll rack up experience points, which can then be channelled into new research to soup up your vehicle and improve its performance. With this encouragement, it's easy to become absorbed by the game, learning its nuances and how to control the car, before you're ready to take on the big guns online or in a full-blown career.
If you do choose to start a career, you can pick from a range of difficulty modes, easing yourself into the action. You'll also have to manage your team, not just your driver. Equipment needs to be protected and conserved (as F1 rules place a limit on the number of components each driver can use every season), and choosing to spend your points on speed enhancements or more durable parts.
As you race or practice, your pit crew keep in touch via microphones, providing a stream of updates about how you are doing and how your car is performing, letting you stay on top of things like damage levels and fuel. And, in between races, there are even cut scenes showing your character in dialogue with other drivers or team staff – a neat touch which lends the game more personality than your average racer.
During races, F1 2017 really comes into its own. Reviewers have highlighted how it uses force feedback in a way that few other games have managed, delivering a level of realism and thrills that you won't have experienced in other Formula 1 games. And, compared to F1 2015 or 2016, the cars handle more realistically as well, lending another degree of authenticity to a game that already gets us closer to the action at Silverstone or Monte Carlo than any title ever has before.
As we'll see later, F1 2017 has an improved multiplayer system as well, and – crucially for some people – you can also race a variety of classic F1 cars such as the 1992 Williams of Nigel Mansell or the 1995 Ferrari driven by Michael Schumacher.
Weather is simulated to an unprecedented degree of accuracy, making it essential to kit out your car for the conditions you'll encounter, and there's a massive selection of tracks, with all 20 championship circuits and four other variants. It should take months before you've mastered every curve and straight.
Silverstone Short – F1 2017 Gameplay with Max Verstappen
How Can You Buy F1 2017?
If you want to taste the thrills and spills of a real F1 season, F1 2017 offers the best chance you'll ever have, and making a purchase is simple. First off, it pays to be aware that the game is available for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One, so Nintendo or Mac users are out of luck this time. It also helps to know that there are two different editions for fans to check out:
Digital – The basic edition of F1 2017, featuring purely the game itself in digital download format. The title was released on August 25 2017 so should be available for all UK PS4, Xbox One and PC owners via Steam, the PlayStation Store, the Microsoft Store or the Codemasters website.
Special Edition – If you purchase the hard copy of F1 2017, you'll almost certainly buy the Special Edition. What makes this version “special”? Well, aside from the high quality of the career mode and the action, buyers receive a few bonus features, most notably the chance to drive 1988 McLaren MP4/4 vehicles as raced by Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. You'll also receive the box and disc, which some collectors prefer, but the Special Edition doesn't come with any extra merchandise, which is a bit of a shame.
If you choose to buy the PC version, it might be useful to know the minimum and recommended specifications associated with F1 2017, so here they are (according to Codemasters):
First, the minimum specs:
OS: Windows 7, 8 or 10 (64-bit)
CPU: Intel i3 530 or AMD FX 4100
Memory: 8GB RAM
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 460 or AMD HD 5870
DirectX Version 11
Hard disk space: 40GB
Broadband Wi-Fi also required
And the recommended specs:
OS: Windows 7, 8 or 10 (64-bit)
CPU: Intel Core i5 4690 or AMD FX 8320
Memory: 8GB RAM
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1070 or AMD RX 480
DirectX Version 11
Hard disk space: 40GB
Broadband Wi-Fi also required
Some Popular Gaming Peripherals to Use With F1 2017
With F1 racing games, much of the fun lies in how you control them, which is just as important as the quality of the graphics, the realism of the features or the smoothness of the action. That's definitely the case with Codemasters' latest Formula 1 title, so here are some popular peripherals that gamers might want to buy along with their F1 2017 purchase:
The Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Challenge – This add-on for Thrustmaster's T500 RS, T300RS, T300 Ferrari GTE, or TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition wheels accurately recreates the look of a Ferrari Formula 1 car, with a reinforced rubber texture, realistic inertia and force feedback (which the game uses really well).
Logitech Driving Force Shifter – Along with a high-end gaming wheel, why not add an extra element of realism with Logitech's gear stick peripheral? Codemasters have gone out of their way to ensure that F1 2017 is compatible with this stylish stick, which is designed to work with Logitech's G29 and G920 Driving Force wheels. Buy them all as a package and have the best possible setup to launch your F1 career.
Buttkicker – No products create the sensation of driving (or flying or fighting for that matter) like the Buttkicker from Guitammer. This advanced gaming system is designed to work with gaming seats, amplifying the sound and reverberations created by games – creating an immersive, all-encompassing racing experience. Again, Codemasters have optimised the game to work with the Buttkicker, so if you want to enhance your racing sessions, be sure to buy a kit to attach to your favourite gaming chair.
D-Box – One of the most popular home cinema systems around, D-Box is also configured to enhance PS4, PC and Xbox gaming, and Codemasters have incorporated it into F1 2017 as well. D-Box motion systems will translate every single curve or collision into real-world vibrations, creating the G-forces felt by actual drivers and transporting you onto the track at Silverstone as you compete for the World Title.
How Does the Multiplayer Work in F1 2017?
Multiplayer is a big part of F1 2017, which is only natural. Racing games have always been more effective and enjoyable when a multiplayer element is added to the mix, and Codemasters know this, so they have added thrilling local and online multiplayer modes to keep players engaged.
You can gather mates together to play a few races, but the real joy of the multplayer side of F1 2017 lies online. Whether you play via the PlayStation Network (in which case you'll need to pay to access the servers) or just connect via PC broadband, you can easily match up with players of a similar ability and build up your career points shaving seconds off your lap times every session.
Matchmaking is carried out via a levelling system, which most players will be familiar with from other racers and shooters, and you have the option of taking part in present day races or competing in classic cars, recreating great F1 rivalries from the past like Hill vs. Schumacher or Senna vs. Prost.
Are There Any Other F1-Themed Racing Games to Consider?
While F1 2017 is the official racing game of the FIA, it's not the only way to enjoy high-speed racing on your PC or games console. Here are a few other contenders to think about buying:
DiRT 4 – Another Codemasters title, DiRT 4 continues to be the world's most popular rally driving franchise, with incredibly realistic graphics, day and night stages, challenging simulation modes and accessible arcade options. Available for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Assetto Corsa – Possibly the world's most realistic driving game, Assetto Corsa features high-end sports cars. It comes with in-depth career and championship modes as well as stripped-down drag races, time trials and sprints, supports a vast array of peripherals and even comes in modded versions with all-new cars and tracks. Also available for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Driveclub – A PS4-only release, Driveclub is the title for racers who aren't bothered by technical details or realism and just want a Ridge Racer-style romp over varied terrain and in different weather conditions.
Project Cars– The PC's number one Touring Cars simulator, Project Cars lets you take the wheel of high-speed cars around leading UK tracks.
What About Earlier Versions of the F1 Franchise?
F1 2017 is a fantastic achievement, but it isn't the first instalment in the F1 series. If you are looking for an exciting, realistic racing challenge featuring your favourite drivers and tracks, it might also be possible to find F1 2015 or F1 2016 for PC, PS4 or Xbox One at much cheaper prices. Should you take the cheaper option or try to find a great deal for 2017's version?
Well, if you are looking for an in-depth racing experience, F1 2017 wins hands down. But if all you want is the chance to race cars around familiar tracks with attractive visuals, F1 2016 or even 2015 will be just as exciting. Then again, F1 2017 features classic cars, which were absent on earlier versions, and the graphics have been seriously tweaked, with better HD compatibility and less (though still some) screen tearing.
If you've played previous games in the series, you'll notice the cosmetic improvements and you may appreciate the greater depth that F1 2017 provides. However, if you are new to F1 racing on next generation consoles, or you just want to dive into races without worrying about things like car damage, F1 2016 is still a great purchase and will almost certainly be much cheaper.
How to Save Money When Buying F1 2017
Whenever you buy computer or console games, you should always be looking to save money, and F1 2017 is no exception. For starters, think about whether you need this year's game or you'll be happy with F1 2016. If you're dead set on having the latest game, that's great. But don't leap for the Special Edition over the basic digital download. The Special Edition really isn't that “special” – offering a few classic cars and not much else, but it will almost always be more expensive.
When you've worked out whether you want to buy the physical disc or download the game, it's time to start hunting around for bargains. The best way to do so is via the hotukdeals F1 2017 listings. You'll find discounts from Steam, PlayStation, the Microsoft Store, Smyths, GAME, Amazon and CDKeys – so scroll through the lot and select the best price.
If you really want to save money, shopping for F1 2017 at the right time of year makes perfect sense. Expect huge reductions for the game itself, as well as gaming peripherals from Thrustmaster and Logitech when Black Friday rolls around in November. And check out Amazon Prime Day in July – which is fast becoming the best time to find gaming bargains.
Adrenaline Rush for Less with F1 2017 Bargains at hotukdeals
However you choose to shop, F1 2017 offers a feast of adrenaline-pumping racing action and breathtaking HD visuals with a little bit of strategy thrown into the mix. If you are an F1 fanatic who wants to emulate Lewis Hamilton or a casual racing fan, it's a great title to buy, an