Thanks, thanks and thanks again to X Box for providing the code for this game and I can only apologise about the delay in getting the review written and posted.

There's no 'I' in team.....

First thing you will learn about the world of F1 playing this and any other game in the official F1 licensed products, is that success is not just down to one man or woman. There is a team of engineers, designers, and technicians backing you up all the way, providing of course, that you can live up to expectations.

And team expectations are the first thing you should consider if playing in career mode. First fashion your drivers looks to suit yourself and it's nice to see that you can play as a female driver if you so desire.

Then choose your team.  You are not restricted in any way, you can go for the lowest ranked team say Haas or go all in and depose Sebastian Vettel and go for a seat in a Ferrari. I chose to go for Force India, not the highest of expectations true but for someone playing for the first time, their targets for you to reach are not impossible to achieve.  Mind they won't be easy for you either, Hass has the easiest ( in theory) but whoever you choose, remember there are at least 15 other drivers out there on that circuit all aiming to hit the winning line ahead of you.

Expectations

We've already touched upon team expectations and these need to be balanced with your own as a player. Only the very confident and skilled should try for a seat at Ferrari or Mercedes ( Hamilton's team) this is because the highest rated team of course will have the best packages as far as development and technology is concerned and they will hammer the point home that they want nothing short of excellence from you in practice, qualifying and racing over the weekend of the event.

Be warned, you CAN be sacked from a team but whether or not you have impressed someone else in another team enough, will mean you can get a seat but in a lower ranked team. If you have done well enough (like a friend of mine on FB told me) you can be busted down from Ferrari to Red Bull (not bad) or Del Toro Rosso (again not too bad, RB's secondary team) or as he did, get busted down to Hass and you'll have to claw your way back up the rankings again to win back your seat for the next season.

However time is on your side as you have a 10 year career to achieve the goals, that's double what you had back in F1 2015 but it still won't be easy.

Effort equals reward.

As you drive you will earn driver points akin to XP points in a RPG game. These points can be spent on research on upgrades to the cars performance, components and tech. This is like a Diablo 3 style skill tree and you can pick and choose to your hearts content as to what to research.

It could take some time though, the higher the point cost the longer it will take. The lowest will cost about a 100 points and will be fitted straight away (you get a pool of points free when you sign a contract) others can take two to three (or more) races down the line.

Hit those targets and team expectations during qualifying, practice and of course race day itself and you will get a bonus. These resemble the driving tests you see on early Gran Truismo games, and will be very familiar to players of that series.

Season Mode.

As said you have a virtual 10 year season to go through and depending on the Forza style options for difficulty, you can try and greatly redacted race weekend, with say a 15 lap GP on race day to the full length event at the end.  Driver aids can be added and taken away to your hearts content but I do advise if you are new to this series, then having automatic gear selection. Without it you are going to need lighting quick reflexes for those up and down shifts. Be warned though there is NO abs on ANY difficulty level.  You can have the race line on screen or not if you choose, like I said if you play Forza you know what kind of tweaks you can have.

There are also nice invitational events that take place in real life that means you can drive vintage cars in situations that would not normally be seen in the regular season, like taking James Hunts Mc Claren around the Monaco circuit at night. A welcome change and fun too.

Regulations

Now a word of caution. This is no rules free free for all like Forza, heck no. Regulations are on, and they are as strict as ever. Sometimes too strict I feel. I have been in accidents where I can be really sure I was not too blame and I was the one who got penalised. Likewise as in real life, if you have to change the gearbox so many times, you will get hit by a penalty.

Yes it's true too life so keep this in mind.

Game play etc etc.

So now down to the nitty gritty and we take a look at the game under the nose cone as it were.

Graphics.

Very very nice and would love to see what it looks like on the new X Box with 4K behind it. But lighting, textures etc are sharp as a knife and although they may not quite have the polish of 

Forza 7, it looks very pleasing too the eye indeed.

The frame rate makes racing very slick and smooth with no pop up or drop out that I have noticed.

I have to put my hand up here, I have not explored EVERY game mode on offer and that includes online.

I have it on good authority that online is fun providing you don't get a lobby of idiots who think it's a demolition derby or on the flip side an ultra serious gang who are of the mindset that driving should mean no witty quips or banter. Find the right balance and it should be a pleasant experience.

The one reason why I gave up on online was because on the one time I tried to log into it, the loading time dragged on and on and I gave up trying to do so.

Weather effects are very very nice indeed (and rain makes driving a whole different experience. Those that have driven Forza 6 and 7 races in the rain, will understand that) and don't just jump in they are phased in realistically. If you hear from the pits that rain is expected in 15 minutes, then sure enough the skies will darken etc etc.

Sound

Engines sound suitably powerful and everything sounds as it should. Commentary is precise and not frivolous and provided by most of the TV presenters as you would find on Sky F1. There's no Martin Brundle and thankfully (for me) no Ted Kravitz or Eddie Irvine (again thankfully for me)

modes.

Season mode as is expected but instead of your created driver you will take the virtual seat of say Lewis Hamilton, Vettel or anyone on the team list at the time of release. Set up the cars setting from the drivers seat in the garage, alter your tactics if you so desire as well as tyre sets.

Time Trial, just you and your car. Unlimited fuel and tyre wear is not a factor. Like Forza you will be given a rivals name and bingo, race and try and beat his time.

Grand Prix

A one off event that is downloaded to your machine with various random conditions. This is a fun way of playing and like time trial and great way to learn a track though time trial is the best way of 'farming' the circuit, learning it's quirks in both the wet and dry.

There is of course the previously mentioned online game mode. 

Summing up.

Slick check

Authentic check (as best as can be simulated by a game)

Fun check

Challenging double check

So is it a must buy? Well see my summary above and the final rating. 

Like it says IF you are an F1 fanatic then this is a must buy, but if you prefer your racing with more relaxed conditions (i.e rules free) but still want a fast, exciting racing game then this is a worth buying.

See you all on the grid!