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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that F1 2018 is a realistic racing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. The gameplay is safe for all ages without any inappropriate content, though the challenging controls and racing physics could make this a bit more unapproachable for younger players without patience. While cars can crash, the driver is never shown being hurt or killed, nor is there any blood or gore in the game. Like real F1 racing, many surfaces in the game, including cars and racing suits, are covered with the logos of such companies as Ferrari, Shell Oil, and Red Bull. Finally, players could be exposed to inappropriate content if they choose to play online with others.
What's it about?
Like most racing games, F1 2018 doesn't have a story. Instead, it has a career mode where you have to move up the ranks from a novice driver to the star of a racing crew. Unlike in some racing games, though, the gameplay doesn't focus solely on your progress on the track. It focuses on some real-life aspects of being a race driver as well, such as doing interviews with the media that can impact how your fans, and your sponsors, feel about you.
Is it any good?
This Formula One racing simulation has all the depth and detail that serious fans are looking for, but casual players might be intimidated. Like earlier installments, F1 2018 is an authentic and realistic racing simulation that really makes you feel like a Formula One driver, whether you play the career mode, race online, do a Grand Prix event with modern or classic F1 cars, test your skills with a Time Trial race, or play a Championship series. The big difference in this year's model, as opposed to last year's game, is that the controls seem slightly more forgiving. Not to the point of making this a Mario Kart-like arcade game, of course, but enough that it keeps this edition from being frustrating ... and enough to keep you from flying off the track. In addition, the career mode has been fleshed out, and even has you doing interviews, which play out like the multiple-choice dialogue parts of Mass Effect and other role-playing games.
What's ironic (and annoying) about this being so detailed is that this depth sometimes gets between you and the race itself, giving you so many pre-race options that you'll really wish one of the game modes was a Quick Race. It's also missing some options that would be helpful, like one to make the text in the menu big enough to read when you sit at a reasonable distance from your TV. Still, with so many options that let you customize your car, the races, the controls, and even the way you play, F1 2018 is the best way to feel like a Formula One driver if you don't have $320 million for a new sports car just lying around.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about advertising. Why do you think every surface in F1 2018 has a corporate logo on it? Does it make the gameplay more realistic, or does it make you want to use the products that you see in the game?
Obviously, driving a race car that's built for safety on a closed track is safer than driving a regular car that fast on a highway during rush hour, but what can you learn about safe driving from playing F1 2018? Why are speed limits, and obeying them, important?
In F1 2018, you do interviews, and not showing humility can be a liability. Why is it important to be confident but also humble?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.