Chain, keep us together: F1 2017 released

F1 2017 [official site], Codemasters’ latest annual adaptation of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, roared off the grid this morning. Once again, the avant-garde artgame uses fast cars to represent throbbing basslines and lyrical concepts such as running in the shadows, damning your love, and damning your lies. I can’t say I feel Codies’ interpretation in my heart own but hey, who am I to judge how a song feels to them? You can’t say they don’t commit to the metaphor, as they’ve released an update every year since 2009. And if you don’t love me now…

Codemasters say they have “massively expanded” Career Mode for F1 2017, including adding female drivers, expanding the research & development system, and boshing in new ‘Invitational’ events with classic cars. The new Championship mode boasts “unique race events following different rules and structures from the official Championship in both modern and classic car”. Also in are new classic cars, new alternative track layouts including Monaco by night, and multiplayer improvements including spectator spots.

I believe the spectators capture the feeling of a wailing guitar solo soaring above us.

F1 2017 is out on Steam for £44.99/54,99€/$59.99. It’s on Windows and Mac, with porting peeps Feral Interactive handling the latter.

Here’s a big lump of gameplay footage:


  1. Pizzzahut says:

    Oh gawd. Okay, so how bad is it?

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      It depends what you want from an F1 game. If you want a fun game with good progression that has reasonably challenging controls and handling model, get this.

      If you want a punishing and realistic SIM that basically requires you get a wheel, then buy rFactor 2 or subscribe to iRacing and get in the MP430.

      • Faldrath says:

        Or drive Automobilista’s take on the F1 2017 specs – it obviously lacks licenses, but that can be solved with mods. Plus you don’t have to race in Bahrein, China or Russia or the other Tilke yawnfests and can try any number of modern and classic tracks, official or modded.

        • Grizzly says:

          The 1976 version of Interlagos in that game is a treasure, really.

        • Unsheep says:

          Personally I don’t consider Automobilista to be a finished game though, despite being released as one. Last time I played it, the AI would not even pit during a longer race, even though you yourself were forced to do so. The developers had simply not programmed that into the game. Again, this is post release, not Beta.

          Their updates have also been marred by people having sudden problems with the game that were not there before, like game crashes and corrupt saves.

          The idea behind Automobilista is great, but the implementation is not good. Their previous game Stock Car Extreme is a better quality product in my opinion, you get similarly unique content but in a much more stable game.

      • Grizzly says:

        Basically every modern sim sports an F1 car these days , but I enjoyed what I played from F1 2016 and every noise I hear is that F1 2017 is a definite improvement. As much as those other sims have unofficial variants or even official variants that are better simulated then their F1 2016 counterparts (Assetto Corsa’s Ferrari F1 car has the full hybrid system modelled, which is insane both ingame and in real life), there’s something about Codemaster’s presentation that works really well for me. F1 is often as much about what happens off-track as what happens on-track, and that’s where other games, for all their attention to detail, fall flat.

        • Unsheep says:

          My line of thinking as well. A tyical racing sim gives you “just” the racing, … which is great, it’s what they do best after all. However a Codemasters game, be it F1, Dirt or Grid, aims to give you a more personal experience and something with a wider sense of immersion.

    • Unsheep says:

      F1 2017 is great if you enjoyed their previous games.

      If you have unrealistic expectations, i.e. hoping for something similar to Assetto Corsa, Automobilista, rFactor2, Race 07, RaceRoom and so on, you might be disappointed.

      Codemasters’ F1 games have to be technical enough to appease most racing sim fans, yet be accessible enough to appease mainstream gamers. The “gamer base” for a Codemasters F1 game is much wider and bigger than your average racing sim.

      When it comes to the “complete immersion/experience” their F1 games are actually better than you average sim game, since they have an actual Career path inside the game. They have other, smaller, things that also raise the immersion; commentators, weather effects, etc.

  2. Unsheep says:

    I’m fascinated by the hypocrisy that usually follows the criticism of a franchise, be it F1 or Assassin’s Creed.

    The kind of hypocrisy that makes it OK for every Dark/Demons- Souls/Bloodborne game to be more or less the same. Not to mention Counter-Strike, Quake, Borderlands, Far Cry, Batman, Anno, Civilization, Elder Scrolls, Persona, Hitman, Total War, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart and many more. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    • MacPoedel says:

      This time I don’t see all that much criticism on this being a franchise in the comments, just that some people don’t like the balance the F1 series tries to find between sim and arcade and would rather it goes full sim.

      Alice doesn’t hide in the article that she doesn’t really have a thing with the F1 games, but RPS is more a blog than a journalistic outlet, so that’s within her rights, I think it’s quite funny and I still feel that she has informed us about the game.

      The list of games you mention isn’t very fair in my opinion, some of them deserve the exact same criticism as Assassin’s Creed: Batman (until the current hiatus), Far Cry (well Far Cry 4 and Primal I think), some of the Hitman games.
      But I don’t think it’s fair to put some of the others like Mario Kart in between them though, since there can be a very long time between subsequent games.

      I get that you’re saying it’s about perception, but yearly games that charge full price for content that could be DLC (like FIFA) are a category of their own. I get that for real fans the details that change make it a completely different game, but compare that to XCOM 2 War of the Chosen, that also heavily changes the base game but is marketed and priced as DLC (although a quite expensive DLC). What exactly is new in F1 2017, the latest season and campaign tweaks like female drivers and a different development tree?

      For games with multiplayer, big DLC would divide the player pool, so I’m a bit divided on this, but I still think Codemasters could make a base F1 game (with just the current season) and add cars (past and future), tracks and campaigns over the years.

  3. DrollRemark says:

    F1 2016 hit that sweet spot between challenging and enjoyable for me, I really dug it. Looking forward to this.

  4. fearandloathing says:

    This has been the most enjoyable thing I’ve read this year, <3