Archive for July, 2019

F1 2019 or When More of the Same can be Just Good Enough

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , on July 18, 2019 by Rabidgames

Sometimes, an annual game can still be worth getting when there are mostly just small changes to the formula. F1 2019 might well be such a game, especially seeing how fucking boring the real Formula 1 has become. Sure, F1 2019 has some questionable penalties from the stewards, but nothing as arbitrary as the real thing …

The first thing you notice in F1 2019 is the graphical upgrade – especially races at dusk (or dawn) look stunning now. And sure, part of it might be the XBox One X’s enhanced capabilities, but the game runs a bit smoother than last year’s, too. And the lighting looks great on all platforms, especially if you drive around a circuit at night!

Then, you can play either an entire season in the F2 or you can start your career there (for now, there’s the 2018 grid, but the updated drivers of this year will follow in a free update later this year). Well, as for your career, the game is still called F1 2019 so you only drive in that series for a couple of races before being promoted to Formula 1 together with a friend and a not so friendly rival. Another new feature there is that drivers actually swap seats. It’s rather unlikely you’ll see Hamilton in a Williams, Leclerc in a Mercedes or Vettel not crashing his car, but hey, it adds some dynamics to the game so we’ll take it.

Of course, F1 2019 comes with a ton of classic cars again, and as before, it’s great fun to try them and compare them to the modern-day DRS monsters. The official real-life F1 HUD makes the game look a little bit more authentic, which is of course welcome.If you like esports,  gives you a nice package, too: You can customise your driver and your car design pretty freely, there are weekly events and also leagues now. If that interests you, check it out. Also, it often ends in pure chaos, as one would expect.

Sadly, some of the problems from last year are still in F1 2019: the interviews are often more miss than hit, some penalties seem a bit harsh, the AI is braindead on easy but smells your overtaking strategies on higher difficulties from miles away to easily block you, he story is a bit too clichéd and voice overs don’t always deliver. It can be quite annoying, yes, but never ends up being game-changingly frustrating.

At the chequered flag, none of the small issues matter now: F1 2019 is the latest step of the evolution of the series. It sits comfortably on the arcade-side of simulations or the simulation-side of arcade-racing games, it gives you tons of options and settings and optimisations if you want them, and the often tiny tweaks and additions just elevate it a bit more – without raising it to a new level.

Rabidgames’ verdict: DO NOT BUY if you have no interest in Formula 1, racing games or a mix of arcade and simulation racing. Especially for arcade-racers, this game might quickly become too overwhelming and too hard to get into.

THINK ABOUT BUYING if you already have last year’s F1 game. If you have no interest in the tweaks or the F2 roster, you might want to wait until later.

GO BUY if you love or loved Formula 1 or if you like to micromanage your career step by step. Or get if you’re bored with the incredibly boring Mercedes dominance. Just be careful of Vettel’s Ferrari behind you …

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5 Reasons to Get an Xbox One (X) Now

Posted in Commentary, Gaming these days ... with tags , , , on July 2, 2019 by Rabidgames

We all know Microsoft royally fucked up the start of the Xbox One with their always-online bullshit, their Kinect idiocy and their general complacency of having overtaken Sony’s PS3 with the 360. So while the exclusives aren’t exactly shit, they still pale to the PS4 exclusives, that’s for sure, but there are now some reasons to get an Xbox One, or why not an X while you’re at it?

1. Backwards compatibility
Now, that’s a big thing if you own a massive 360 library. There are hundreds of games available there (and if you own around 50, you’ll spend some time there), and most of them look and play better than they did on the 360 (or the original Xbox). Obviously, all the Halo, Gears of War and Fable games are there, but you’ll also find gems such as Mercenaries, Knights of the Old Republic or BULLY(!!!) on there. Oh, and each and every DLC on your account will also be there, as will your save games from our 360 games if you upload them onto the cloud.

2. The X is the strongest console
Frankly, the PS4 is a bit old and frail now. The base model still runs the latest games, sure, but once you’ve accustomed to the much faster loading times as well as the better graphics and the smoother gameplay, it’s hard to return to the PS4. And if you compare the versions directly, you’ll notice massive differences at times, e.g. in newer games such as The Division 2 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, where especially the lighting alone makes a difference.

3. The One is quiet
Another problem with the PS4 is its insanely loud fan that can sound like a plane about to take off. The One on the other hand is very quiet even if running a brand-new AAA game with superb graphics and a million explosions on-screen.

4. Xbox One X Enhanced games get a nice boost
It doesn’t stop there; some games are “enhanced” for the X, which means even faster loading times, even smoother gameplay, and as a bonus, some games from the original Xbox now look amazing now, e.g. Knights of the Old Republic! The same goes for Red Dead Redemption, although weirdly enough, this game looks too clean now … And then you have a game like Just Cause 4, where the horrible motion blur, the massive pop-up issues and the weird screen tearing that are omnipresent on the PS4 are either minimised or simply not there.

5. Game Pass
Game Pass is generally seen as the Netflix of gaming, and it is pretty much that. It’ll take you years to play through all games on the list, that’s for sure. Game Pass Ultimate is also a reasonably priced option – especially with the £1 introductory offer you can combine with an active Gold subscription for up to 36 months – and having Game Pass access to future console “hits” such as Gears of War 5 (meh) or The Outer Worlds (fuck yeah!) without paying extra will hopefully make the program even better. It’s such a shame though some games will leave the system, so better play what you really want to play as quick as you can …

Bonus – You can have ALL Saints Row and Just Cause games on one console!
Sure, not everyone likes both series, but the One is the one chance to have ALL games on ONE console. Chances are you just end up playing Just Cause 2 and Saints Row 2 and 4, as they are simply the best of their respective franchises, but it’s still nice to have. Plus, the games run pretty well.

Disclaimer: Rabidgames did not get paid by Microsoft to promote the One X and Game Pass. Which in hindsight seems pretty damn stupid now.