Another year, another Formula One game. Codemaster’s F1 2017 may very well be the series’ best entry till date. Not only have the fine folks at Codemasters nailed down the racing mechanics in F1 2017, they have somehow managed to make the overall package better by including RPG like mechanics such as as the skills and resource upgrade system. Not only does this add a level of dynamism to gameplay, but it also helps players remain invested in races. After all, winning and performing well over the race weekend results into more resource points which in turn means more more skills for your vehicle.
We recently went hands on with F1 2017 across all console versions including the PS4, Xbox One and PS4 Pro. So first of all, what are the differences between the PS4 and Xbox One versions? To begin with both versions target a 60 frames per second cap, however both of them face minor frame rate drops here and there. The drops are a bit more frequent on the Xbox One version. Suffice to say, both versions don’t run flawlessly at 60 frames per second. On the image quality front, both versions’ vertical resolution renders at 1080p. However on the PS4 the horizontal runs at 1920. On the Xbox One, we observed a slightly more softer look at times which possibly indicates that the game is employing a dynamic or less than 1920 horizontal resolution.
Codemasters have also revealed that F1 2017 utilizes PS4 Pro’s FP16 operations (which is the only console it’s available for right now), which has resulted into optimized shaders and reduction in instruction counts on the GPU front. This has given the developers enough room to render the game at a much higher resolution and frame rates.
If you are a PS4 Pro owner and if you own a 4K TV, then F1 2017 will be rendered in full 4K output resolution of 3840 x 2160, achieved through a checkerboard reconstruction technique. This results into better shadow quality, reflections, better draw distances, sharper textures and high quality shaders on vehicle and environmental materials.
For PS4 Pro owners who game a 1080p TV, F1 2017 offers a downsampled image resulting into a higher quality 1920 X 1080p image buffer. This immediately results into better object detailing and smooth edges. Performance on the PS4 Pro version seems to be rock solid 60 frames per second. We barely witnessed any drops even in during the most intense situations.
Unfortunately, all three versions suffer from screen tearing. It isn’t as worst as F1 2016 but it’s definitely present on all three versions. Another downfall is the game’s atrocious character models and visuals that are now showing its age. Character models look flat and it seemed like they have been picked up from the early PS3 days. The visuals, except the cars themselves, are slowing showing their age. In an era, where a game like Forza Motorspot 7 is running at a blistering 4K resolution and 60fps with extremely high visuals, F1 2017 looks rather dated. It seems that Ego Engine 4.0 hasn’t really seen much in terms of visual upgrades from last generation. F1 2017 is by no means a bad looking game but it definitely doesn’t look like a game that is pushing boundaries in 2017.