Hearing the differences between the current cars and the historic ones is hypnotic, even for those of us who wouldn’t know the difference anyway.
…an unparalleled audio mix. Each of the engines sounds different depending on your brand and of course, the V10 in some classic F1, will take you back to those awesome times of Formula 1
…excellent in the reproduction of the sounds of the race and the engines
The Sixth Axis
This latter car is an absolute dream to drive, with a screaming engine as your soundtrack
Much of F1 2018’s appeal can be found in those small details. How, having earned a seat at Ferrari early on in my first season after putting the McLaren on the podium across a string of races, the engine note was noticeably different, sounding like the exhaust was being put through a fuzz pedal at low revs.
The roar of the engines is especially engaging, though. Hearing the screams and whines of these turbocharged beasts on straightaways never gets old. Even their soft wind-down while slowing for a turn is music to my ears. Codemasters’ sound department should be proud; the engine captures are commendable.
The high level of visual and audio detail, grouped with the care and attention to authenticity, collectively makes for an experience that’s robust, faithful and deep. Codemasters’ subtle yet noticeable changes over F1 2017 takes an already distinguished racer and makes it bigger and better than ever.
F1 2018 looks and sounds outstanding.
The sounds of the cars are beyond wonderful in F1 2018. Each manufacturer has a distinctive engine sound and little things such as the exhaust under braking are noticeable and appreciative. Then there are the historic cars and each one of them blares wonderfully and distinctively.
Each car sounds distinctive, while pit crew chatter keeps you well informed during a race. Menu music is nice enough, and commentary setting up events makes F1 2018 feel like a proper TV-style broadcast.
The impressive levels of detail also extend to the visuals and sound. Engines rumble at the precise tone, tires squeal as you bounce over curbs, and the familiar voice of David Croft is there to introduce the sessions. All the sounds work together to create an immersive race-day atmosphere, and even the introduction media scene is complemented by the sound of the turnstiles at Melbourne, recorded directly from the track itself.
Sound also remains stellar with the older machinery sounding thunderous and cars bottoming out on long, bumpy straights.
Presentation has been improved with the visuals and audio doing a great job of creating atmosphere…
On the face of it, this seems like an easy job for Codemasters compared to other racing game devs. Record the ten modern cars, add in the classics, and get the usual gamut of track-side sounds. It’s not like the team has to source hundreds of cars, right?
But there’s so much more to F1 2018’s audio package than that. It starts with the spatial modelling. “We’ve overhauled the distance tones this year,” explains lead audio designer Brad Porter. “We’re actually getting authentic sounds of F1 cars at distance and blending between the on-board and the external shots and it’s created a far more believable broadcast sound.”
The team has also improved sound reverb and reflection — the latter is particularly useful for players to subconsciously determine their distance to walls, says Porter. He’s right; there’s not a lot of peripheral vision when you’re strapped into an F1 car, so the audio clues make it easier to know where you are on the track.
Each of the modern cars sound different to one another, if however faintly. Naturally, it’s the classics that really make an impression. As you wind the Renault R26’s 2.4-liter V8 past 20,000rpm, it lets out a banshee shriek that transports you right back to its championship-winning 2006 season. Step further back into any of the ’70s era cars — all new for F1 2018 — and the smooth, tech-laden scream is replaced with a more raw, natural battle cry.
It’s no less impressive; instead, the game acts as a hands-on history lesson, showcasing how the sport has changed over the decades.
Being a sports title as well as a racing one means plenty of commentary. This is really where F1 2018 can stretch its legs over the competition, while simultaneously immersing the player. You’ll hear quips about on-track action, summaries of the season’s highs and lows, and stand-out performances by other drivers. As a more casual fan of the sport, there’s some cool trivia in there too: when the season gets to Paul Ricard, Anthony Davidson drops the fact that the last time F1 was there, Prost won — making it the 100th grand prix win for Ferrari — and half of the current grid wasn’t even born yet!
While the character models may not be the most convincing, the voiceover work on all of them is excellent. Claire sounds genuinely excited to grill you post-race — or understandably dejected if you don’t answer — and every member of your team feels like a real person when they’re talking to you, not a simple script reader.
Special mention goes to the dynamic soundtrack too. As you flit between the menus of the game, the instruments check out or re-introduce themselves in real time. It’s subtle, but it gives the whole game a cohesive identity.
Nothing is spared too in the visual and sound departments, with the high-pitched roars of an F1 engine vibrating your eardrums