Guest Blog – Alex Gillon: F1 2017? It’s All The Small Things

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August 18, 2017

Whilst looking through our tweets last week in preparation for releasing our Lando Norris trailer, we noticed something that piqued our interest:

 

As Alex Gillon (@Alex_Gillon) has been a tester for us for both F1 2016 (which you can check out here), and F1 2017 (which you can read here), and hugely involved in our beta programmes, we wanted to know more, and got in touch to ask him what it was he meant. Here he is in his own words:

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“There’s no denying that F1 2017 brings with it some pretty big headline features; classic cars, massively improved career, championships mode and short tracks to name a few. But I’m here to tell you that these things are only a part of why you should buy F1 2017.

For me, it’s the small things that add up make an overall great product. Think about it, do you love something for one big specific reason, or do you love something for a multitude of smaller reasons? I’m betting it’s the latter, which, for me at least, is what makes F1 2017 so good. What are these reasons? Well…

 

Improved Handling Model
The new for 2017 rules helped with this one, but this year the game feels great to drive. It’s got more rear grip compared to last year and this means you can push the car so much harder and have so much more fun doing so. The increased downforce levels this year also mean you can go so much faster in the higher speed corners, which always feels fantastic.

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Suzuka – Japan
While we’re talking about feeling fantastic to drive, you absolutely have to drive Suzuka in F1 2017. They’ve completely remodelled the track and added lots of realistic camber into it, which means it feels absolutely amazing to drive. I was never a fan of Suzuka before F1 2017, but now it’s probably my favourite track. I can’t give it higher praise than that.

(Editor: You can check out our very own Senior Car Handling Designer David Greco driving a 50% race around the Suzuka International Racing Course here, or take a look below!)

Power Unit Wear
This is a feature that you’ve probably heard about, but I feel like I need to explain just how significant this feature is. For those that haven’t heard about it; the gearbox and each of the 5 engine components will now wear down, lose power and eventually break. On the face of it, this doesn’t sound too significant, but once you start playing the game, you realise it really makes a massive difference to how you play. In previous years, I hadn’t worried about my engine power setting other than for my fuel consumption. However, in F1 2017, I found myself using a lower power setting in practice and only sparingly using a high power mode in qualifying. Then when it comes to the race, I was being really mindful of how much I was using high power mode, I only really used it for overtaking or defending. It gives you a whole new thing to think about during the race weekend and really makes you think carefully about how you’re taking care of the car – just like real life.

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AI Difficulty Slider
In last year’s game, you could only choose between 7 different AI difficulties. This year, you can choose between 110. That’s thanks to a new difficulty slider that goes from 1-110%, which will fill the pace gaps that a lot of players fell into. They are also even quicker than last year on 110%, so be prepared to be beaten by your teammate unless you get everything just right!

 

Spectator Slots
There is now 2 dedicated spectator slots in Multiplayer on F1 2017. The benefits of this are obvious, but I’m really excited for this feature as you will likely see more and more livestreams popping up, of better and better quality. If you’re someone who enjoys watching live eSports online, you’ll come to love this feature.

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Manual Pit Limiter
When you come into the pit lane, you now have to slow down, then engage the pit limiter. You then have to manually launch out of the pit box (which works the same way as the race starts), then manually disable the pit limiter on the pit exit. All small things on their own, but together they make the whole pit experience much more engaging and you can really make up some time in the pits!

 

I’ve got a lot more, but in the interest of keeping this blog short, I’ll just rattle them off:

  • The AI now race you much more aggressively
  • The proximity indicators now turn red when the car behind is alongside you
  • The menus are much more intuitive
  • There is now a 4th ‘max’ setting for qualifying only
  • The AI now make mistakes; they’ll lock up and go wide
  • If you damage your wing in a practice or qualifying session, you can now use the garage options while it’s being repaired, instead of skipping until it’s finished

I’m sure there’s lots more that I haven’t listed here and as always, the smaller things are personal to each player. But overall, I really love F1 2017 and I would even go as far as saying it’s the best F1 game I’ve ever played. The small things really do make a difference.”

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