This Formula 1 season will be like no other. Due to COVID-19, sports around the world had to be put on hold, and Formula 1, like other sports, will be facing a shortened season, with many countries not hosting their races.
With the first race only taking place on July 5th, it is also the first time we will be seeing the F1 video game franchise by Codemasters release at the beginning of the season and not several months in. One of the first things I wondered about the game is if the seasons will be the one that will never be. A season planned and ready to go, cancelled by a global pandemic. Although there are only 8 races so far on the Formula 1 schedule, the F1 2020 game will feature the full 2020 Formula 1 schedule as it was originally planned before the shutdown.
When you first turn on the game, you will be prompted to start your Character Creation. You will enter your character information to be used throughout F1 2020. You will decide upon your avatar, your country/region, your full name, your name that is used by the announcers, and your driver’s number. This info and character wil be used throughout the game.
So what is new in F1 2020?
My Team Mode is a whole new system where you will create the 11th team in Formula 1 and compete against teams like Ferrari and Mercedes with your created driver, choice of engine supplier, 2nd driver and sponsor. Build your team over time to become one of the great brands in the sport. Play as the owner as well as the 1st driver.
This mode start with you choosing a Character. This character can be the one you made previously in the Character Creation section upon startup or one that you create anew. I chose the one I had already created.
After this step, you will be asked to fill in some Team Details. This includes your Team Name and your Primary Sponsor. Your Primary Sponsor gives you a Signing Bonus, a Weekly Income and a Goal Bonus that is achieved when you complete the contract goal, also shown when choosing a Primary Sponsor. The Goal Bonus and Weekly Income increase with each Team Acclaim Level. After choosing your Primary Sponsor, you will now be able to choose your Power Supplier or engine. One can choose between Honda, Renault, Mercedes, and Ferrari. Each Power Supplier has a Performance rating and Durability rating out of 100. They also have a price for the contract that you will have to pay up front. The last part of your Team Details is your Teammate. Choose between several Teammates whose stats are shown along with their Acclaim Level which adds to the Team Acclaim Level. Doing better in races will raise your profile and the team’s, increases your Weekly Income as your team gets better.
After you have filled out your Team Details, you will move onto your livery section to make your cars stand out of the pack. A pre-made livery will be available right away as well as the ability to create a new one from the pre-made selections. If you purchase the Deluxe Schumacher Edition of F1 2020, players will get four of Michael Schumacher’s incredible machines: The Benetton B194 and B195, Jordan 191, and the Ferrari F1-2000, as well as an updated Ferrari F2004. This edition also includes Schumacher-themed multiplayer car liveries, helmets, race suits, and a podium celebration emote. One can also play with sponsor decals if using the standard liveries.
The next step is choosing your Team Badge branding. Once again you can select one that is chosen for you or create one from scratch using shapes and colours. You will then select your Team Colours that are displayed throughout your control rooms.
Now that your team is ready, you can select your Season Length. I went for the full 22 race season. You will then choose your Standard or Casual playing styles which will determine which driving assistance features will be used to help the player. Your dashboard shows the date and upcoming events, your current cash, your Team Acclaim.
The Facilities Tab brings your to your different aspects of your company. This includes Aerodynamics, Chassis, Personnel, Powertrain, Durability and Marketing. You can upgrade each of the facilities to improve them and your team.
The R&D Tab is similar to the R&D in previous versions of the game. Maintain funding into your research and development to keep competitive throughout the season.
The Vehicle Tab is where you switch your Power Unit and Gear box and set tyre allocation for races. This is also similar to oprevious versions of the game.
The Corporate Tab is new. Here you can see your sponsors, Contracts, Driver Market, Finances, Finance History and change your Team Customizations. At the start, you will only have one sponsor but as you gain Team Acclaim, you can have a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th sponsor. The Driver Market allows you to see the value of other drivers so you can plan your acquisition of them in the future.
The final Standings Tab allows your to see your Team and Driver placement in the season.
From the main dashboard, there is also an Activities secondary tab that allows you to manage your team events in between races. These events can include things like Driver Training Camp, pre-season merchandise sale or Power and Durability Focus. Filling your calendar as much as possible allows you to improve your morale for different departments, increase the stats on your 2nd driver and build Acclaim and Resources.
At this point you are ready to start your My Team Mode season.
Other new features in the game include Split-Screen which has returned to F1! Not since 2014 have you been able to play at home with your friend using Split-Screen Multiplayer. This mode has returned with this fans appreciation.
There are also some New Race Circuits! Both the Netherlands’ Circuit Zandvoort and Vietnam’s Hanoi Street Circuit are featured in F1 2020, having never been in an officially licensed F1 game before.
You can see our review of F1 2019 from last year to go over some of the other features of the game. As for this game, the team at Codemasters are constantly improving on a very good game, listening to fans as well as brining new content and gameplay from their team. Although the F1 season will be shorter this year, we have this game to help us through lockdown and play the season that should have been.
To find out more about F1 2020, please visit the Codemasters website.