First off, let me open by disagreeing with most people's statements of "it's just 2013 but with new engine sounds/team rosters/tracks" while yes, on the surface, it seems that way, however, when you dig a little deeper, it's oh so much more.
for this review, I'll begin with Pros/Cons, then go through each of the main focuses of negative comments about the game.
-New Turbo engine sounds are awesome (in my opinion)
-The handling rework has made the game so much more about skill now. 2013 required a lot of skill to drive, but 2014 makes you re-learn all the tracks with added braking zones due to the new car physics.
-The AI is now extremely competitive, and will give you an even greater challenge while racing.
-Young Driver Test: out, single lap of Monza with the option to skip: in. Frankly, I found the test to be both rewarding and infuriating in 2013. most challenges in it were fairly simple and easy, however, when it came to getting that one silver medal converted into gold to unlock all the teams at the start of career, it got rather frustrating when it got to a point where I simply couldn't squeeze any more time out of the lap. This game, however, has you driving a single lap around the Italian GP circuit of Monza which you can even skip and select the game difficulty yourself.
-Career mode now has the option of Short/Medium/Long career featuring 7/12/19 races respectively. So if you want to race an F1 career, but don't have the patience for the entire calendar, then you can miss 7 or 12 races out if you like.
-Codemasters is very limited (much in the same way as EA is with Fifa) that they are contractually obliged to release a new F1 game every season, no matter how much/little has changed, which explains why 2013 and 2014 are extremely similar.
-Some would've liked to see a new UI (I'm fine with re-using the old one, I'd rather not have to re-learn where everything is in menus as well as having to re-learn how to drive properly)
-Mercedes is stupidly OP compared to all other teams.
-Still no formation lap prior to the race and no podium scenes
-No F1 Classics this season
Now the Pros and Cons are out of the way, time for some issue addressing.
-"It's Exactly the same as F1 2013"
Wrong. it isn't. Why don't you go ahead and do a lap of Monza on F1 2013, then play 2014 and try driving the exact same lines at the exact same speed as the previous game. I guarantee that 100% of the time, you'll massively understeer at the first of the Lesmo turns. The lower downforce on the 2014 cars is really shown in the game, and credit to Codemasters for their execution of how different the handling has been this year. Additionally, as I stated above, Codemasters (or whoever holds the contract) is obliged to make a new game for the franchise EVERY year, no matter how much has changed within the sport, so you can't always expect a game that's drastically different to the previous installment.
-"There's no KERS"
Wrong again. What F1 2013 fans know as KERS, is now one half of the new ERS (Energy Recovery System) The KERS part is now known as MGU-K which draws energy under braking, and MGU-H draws energy from exhaust heat. While in 2013, the drivers could choose when to deploy their KERS energy, in 2014, from what I can tell, it's all controlled by the onboard ECU chip in the engine, which utilises the additional 33 seconds of increased horsepower as and when it needs to. So before you go moaning about the lack of deployable KERS, try watching an actual race and see if the drivers are even in control of their energy deployment.
-"The menus are exactly the same"
Yes... they are, but as the saying goes, if it isn't broke, don't fix it.
-"The Williams livery isn't right"
No, it isn't, this is because Codemasters were unable to secure the rights to use the Williams Martini livery, so they used the alternate livery from races where advertising alcohol is banned.
-"What happened to F1 Classics mode?"
This was asked on the official forums, and the response was "Because this year's cars are so drastically different in performance from the old cars, we have chosen not to include classics in F1 2014"
This is about all I can think of for now, but if I can think of anything more than just needs to be mentioned, then I'll be sure to edit the review (mainly after I start playing multiplayer more)