It has been a bit quiet around here but that does not mean that I have not been busy. It most likely is because I have been busy actually. With my time going into work, family and streaming, there has not been too much of it left to type posts in here. I finally made it to Bronze over at Trovo, which means that I’m on the way to actually getting paid by a company for playing. just imagine! To get to Bronze I had to convince viewers to watch my stream for more than 900 hours. During those hours, i actually gave F1 2021 a try, after being convinced by a friend, that it was awesome. This is how it went.
I have tried the F1 since the start! I had the 2009 version for the Wii with the wireless wheel. It actually was my way in to sim racing, even though at the time it was very much console gaming. I remember wanting to make a blog with track tutorials and really trying to find my braking points and turn ins for those first couple of corners at Australia again and again. Trying to find the ideal line through that right-left at at Turn 1 and really struggling with turn 12, either cutting it too much, or not being able to keep it on the track. This is how this website came about, even though none of that content is still available. It was really bad, but it was a start!
The F1 series has changed a lot since then! I did buy the first 3-4 versions of it, and stopped for a long time because the only thing that really changed back then, were the driver names, and the car models. The most dramatic changes where when they introduced KERS and DSR. It kind of felt like FIFA where they more or less rebrand the same game over and over again, just to make money. I gave it a try once in a while after than, but it wasn’t before 2016 that I really felt that they had made good improvement to the series! 2021 is even better and the game is slowly becoming very good. The last time i had an F1 game series was back in 2019 and 2021 is definitely going into the right direction. The problem, as I see it that i too am moving so the point of view is variable.
When I started taking racing games seriously, I loved Forza 6. This was my go to game and for me, it could not get much better. Of course I was still just using a controller and was playing on Xbox, but I was racing, meeting up with others through leagues and clubs and there were people joining teams and racing on behalf of them. It was all very exciting. Even at that time, I felt that the F1 series was the best racing game to race with a controller, even though I liked Forza 6 better because of the variation of cars, the active community and the online racing, even though it was terrible.
2021 I believe is still awesome with a controller and from what I see, it must be a great game on consoles. It is also obvious that it is made for this audience, even though it is used for serious e-sport series as well. More on this later though
It starts off with F2 cars, where you try to get an F1 contract, by doing your best in this slightly slower class. I chose to race in F2 mostly to get used to the extreme powers that these cars have. I was struggling to stay on track with the F1 cars, so it was apparent that i needed some acclimatization. After the initial shock, I actually started liking the F2 cars, and I have had some of the best racing that I have had in a long time, against AI there. To me, that initial phase, was the best of the whole game.
The story mode is awesome, and what I really miss other racing games had more of. Especially the educational part was something that games like iRacing could learn from! I wish iRacing had similar practice sessions and coaching where they taught drivers what to do, how to do it and what was expected of them on track (especially on multi class sessions). Education was only one of the aspects of the story mode. You had to meed the press, spend time with different departments of your team, and make sure that you and your team mate improve your value both on and off the track. There is even a multiplayer career mode, where you can play with a friend, either as team mates or rivals. This is an awesome idea and I really enjoyed trying that out, even though it is slightly limiting for one of the players.
It is a deeply addictive and immersive game, until you get to the racing. My friend and I were really struggling to find the right level for the AI, and this is one of the known drawbacks of the game. The AI needs to be adjusted for each track, because their level is no way near consistent. This caused us to have to restart sessions a few times to find the sweet spots for the AI so that we both had a chance. This was an interesting process but no matter how hard we tried, we had no chance against the AI at the levels we noticed streamers play.
The total turn off, came when we realised that it was because of the camera settings. As any sim racer will know, Field of View is a very important aspect of sim racing, and it defines how you register the track and position your car on it. Both my friend and I are pretty active sim racers, and have triple screen setups, with full rigs and our go to game is iRacing. So we are used to racing in cockpit view. Therefore we both raced F1 2021 in cockpit view.
After failing to get fast enough against the AI, we tried to set some times in the TV pod point of view and were seconds faster than the cockpit view. This is natural, according to many F1 game series players because you see more of the track. But considering that both my friend and I have not raced in that camera view for over 5 years, and being instantly whole seconds faster by just changing to a less realistic camera, was an instant turn off. We both felt really let down and decided to give it up because none of us were willing to race with that point of view.