| 17°C Dublin

F1 2020 review: The formula just keeps getting better

(XO/PS4/PC) ★★★★★ Age: 3+

Close

F1 2020

F1 2020

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

F1 2020

Bound by the rigid confines of the F1 licence, the racing studio Codemasters has focused in the last decade on authenticity, incrementally improving its simulation of the cars and circuits.

This year, all the usual fidelity is present and correct - bar the pandemic-delayed start to the real season, obviously. Check out the new cars, new tracks (including ones that won't be actually raced because of the curtailed championship) and new pilots.

But it's the sideshows to the F1 circus that make the 2020 version more interesting, with a deep team-owner mode enabling you to create your own hellishly expensive marque from scratch and race it. Kudos too for the belated return of split-screen racing, turning your living room into a (socially distanced) bearpit to challenge friends.

While Codemasters prides itself on a meticulous faithfulness to the sport, its commitment to accessibility means everyone from petrolheads to casual players is accommodated. Take off all the training wheels and you have a nightmare wrestling volatile machines for 60 laps - if you like that sort of thing. But dial up the assists and even a fair-weather F1 fan can get an enjoyable approximation of the demands of a 900bhp monster at 300kmh.


Ghost of Tsushima

(PS4) ★★★ Age: 18+

Close

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

I wanted to hate Ghost of Tsushima more. I also wanted to like it more, but kept suffering flashbacks to the trailblazers it so clearly has studied slavishly.

This open-world samurai saga has been assembled from the building blocks pioneered in the best of the genre. If you've played The Witcher 3, Grand Theft Auto V, Uncharted, Far Cry and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you played bits of Tsushima already.

No one could deny it has been forged with craftsmanship and love. Witness the astonishingly pretty vistas in its recreation of the 13th century Mongol invasion of Japan. Marvel at the intricate combat - so many ways to stab, slash and pierce your enemies with swords and arrows. Wallow in the contemplative silence of its secluded shrines and other nods to Japanese culture.

But then Tsushima makes you do it all over again. And again. Uninspired side-quests abound and the lead character is a dull cipher.

Camera problems frequently make your samurai's life difficult but Tsushima's worst offence is that we've seen it all before.

Indo Review