F1 is back for another year, bringing with it the kind of realistic action that you’d expect from watching the real thing. This includes realistic handling, aggressive AI and races that will see you sitting down for the long haul. This is certainly a game for fans of F1, a game which leaves no stone unturned when it comes to replicating one of the most popular motor-sports around.
This year Codemasters have decided to try and mix things up a little by adding in a few new features. Gamers will come for the main event, however thanks to the game appealing to their sense of nostalgia, they may also stick around for the brand new F1 Classics feature, which gives gamers a chance to take part in Granx Prix and other modes using cars and drivers from a by gone era. This gives gamers a chance to pit these classic racers against the modern day heroes and settle the score as to who is the best once and for all.
Our preview build included racers and cars from the 1980’s as well as classic tracks such as Jerez and Brands Hatch. However those purchasing the Classic Edition will also get drivers and cars from the 1990‘s, while those who don’t will have the option to download these as an extra. For those more into realism, all of this year’s tracks are also included within the game. So whether your favorite track is Australia, China, Italy or one of the others appearing in this years F1 Championship, you are well catered for.
Looking at the main game, Codemasters seems to have packed in plenty of choices to keep you busy until F1 2014. A new Scenario Mode gives you predefined race scenarios to take part in, starting you out as a rookie all the way up to a World Championship challenger. This is a great addition as it provides a more byte sized challenge, rather than the long haul that is the Grand Prix. Other modes to keep you busy include Time Trial and Time Attack, although there is more, such as the ever present Career Mode, which is likely the most appealing to those who’d rather build a reputation for themselves from controller.
Looking at the F1 Classics Option you are met with many of the same modes as the main game. Once again you have access to Grand Prix, Career and the Time Trial and Time Attack options, but it’s the Scenario Mode which really stands out. Here you are given three predefined race conditions that you’ll need to carry out to succeed. Some are based on real-life events, while others are thrown in for fun. One such scenario sees you trying to win a race by having you and your team-mate remain in front of two mode powerful cars, while another asks you to start in third place and stick as close as you can to the leaders, both of whom have penalties to their name. This mode adds a sense of fun to the game, providing players with something a different challenge that than of the other modes.
As for the racing itself, it seems from our preview build that car handling and driver AI is as realistic as ever. There are five difficulty levels and plenty of options to tweak your car to your liking. There is also a penalty system, which was something I certainly found out early on as I took three cars off the track. All in though, everything just seems more realistic than ever - be it the cars, opponents or the tracks. It’s a bit hard to fault Codemasters when it comes to realism. If only there was a way they could be me a better driver, because for all my skills in other racing games, in F1 2013 I am well and truly a rookie.
Of course I haven’t even mentioned some of the features which will be included in the final version of the game, such as the Five Year Career Mode and of course Racenet and Multiplayer, which will no doubt add double the value to the longevity of the game. Unfortunately we were unable to test out any of these for ourselves, but you can bet that the quality here will match that of what I’ve covered so far.
If you were a fan of last year’s game them you’ll no doubt be looking forward to this one. Though you may want to brush up on your history of F1 as this year’s version becomes classic.