Get ready for the return of Devon Butler, the most hated man in racing.
Jonathan M. Gitlin
If you’re old enough to have started playing video games by the turn of the century, the words “EA releases a new Formula 1 game” might strike fear into your heart. After all, the gaming behemoth published some pretty bad F1-branded racing games between 2000-2003. But even though this year’s box art has the EA logo on it, F1 2021 still feels solidly like a Codemasters’ game through and through (EA bought the British studio earlier this year).
That’s good news, as Codemasters has been responsible for several extremely good F1 games over the past few years. As ever, the studio’s challenge is to make this year’s installment sufficiently different from last year’s version to get people to open their wallets. For F1 2021, the changes are largely down to a new single-player story mode and a two-player career mode, which are both in addition to the various single-player, multiplayer, and esports modes you might remember from F1 2020.
These new feature-filled modes are interesting experiments from a development team better known for good physics, but in an era of an engaging new documentary series about F1, this is a clever move to capture some of the sport’s new fans. And it’s executed well, too.