Nyyoooom: F1 2014 And 2015 Announced

That's, like, SO last-gen.

In the way that mood cycles can revolve around Christmas or birthdays, do diehard game fans slip into emotional rhythms around marketing cycles? Do Call of Duty fans start to feel excited around the start of May, fidgeting and laughing more than usual, expecting the announcement of the next annualised sequel? Is E3 why I grow increasingly angry and desperate to flee to a forest over May?

Late July brings announcements from Codemasters of their next Formula 1 race ’em up, which is why you may have been anxiously checking your phone and inbox. But as well as F1 2014, today they announced another game too. One breaking the rhythm. A “next-gen” F1 game is coming earlier than usual next year. What does this mean? And how do you feel?

F1 2014 will arrive on October 17, towards the end of the Formula 1 season as these games usually are. It’s broadly the same version as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, as it often is.

But the unnamed (ha!) 2015 game is only for PC and those shiny new consoles, which presumably means it’s prettier. It’ll launch “earlier in the Formula One season” (which begins in March), Codies said in today’s announcement. They’ll update it throughout the 2015 season to reflect the competition. Beyond that, they don’t have much to say on it yet. But we do know about F1 2014.

It brings the usual selection of updated tracks and cars and whatnot, along with a handful of changes. It’s got an expanded scenario mode, a refresh of difficulty levels (including a new Very Easy setting), and a “driver evaluation system that tunes game settings to your skill level.” Which all sounds like the usual minor annual sequel touch-ups, coupled with a plan to make it less horrifying to newcomers–dandy as long as the people who fancy a challenge still have one.

But will the 2015 release pattern stick? How will people adjust to this? Will F1 fans use light therapy boxes in December to simulate the summer months when they’d usually be waiting for launch? In August, might they play behind blackout curtains to fake darkest winter lest their bodies become conflicted? Would I still be blotto all December if Christmas shifted to July?

12 Comments

  1. iainl says:

    Translation: As with seemingly everything announced for PS4 and XBone, the F1 2014 releases on those platforms have slipped by 6 months as the developer gets a better handle on how much processing power they have available and how to use that most effectively. And as a result, the “next gen” codebase wasn’t ready for the PC version, either, and it’s all slipped to the new year. At which point they might as well spend some of that extra time putting 2015 cars in there.

  2. Phinor says:

    Refresh of difficulty levels is something they’ve been struggling with every F1 game so far. Usually the fastest option is still too slow for people with wheels and that remains true in F1 2013 (or the gap from second fastest to fastest is too much). Also the AI still doesn’t know how to drive some corners, losing up to a second in specific corners or sections.

    Good old PC games(tm) often had a % slider for AI speed, say from 80% to 125% (and another slider for aggressiveness). That gave enough options for everyone. Obviously that slider shouldn’t affect straight line speed because that would be silly. Multiplatform games of today stick to offering 3-5 difficulty levels none of which is right for you. So how about it Codemasters, giving options to players? I remember one of your dirt games having nearly 10 difficulty levels so that would be a start.

    And while I’m typing, how about offering similar slider for race length? The current selection suuuucks, the gap from 5 laps to 25% to 50% to 100% race length is too much, give us something in-between with an option to choose mandatory pitstop. Or better yet, as I said, complete freedom with options. If consoles are the issue here, let’s agree to not tell console gamers about the glorious PC options, agreed?

    • rpsKman says:

      These are console games. I really don’t understand your expectations. Have you tried driving these with a wheel? The mouse doesn’t even work in the menus. Dude…

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      Joshua says:

      But why would the issue be consoles? A 0 to 100 slider is just as easily controlled with a pad as it is with a mouse and keyboard. Use D pad for 1% incrementals, use analog stick for broad strokes.

      • Phinor says:

        I just feel like it’s a console generation issue. You rarely see that many options in console games, developers want to keep the games and options as simple as possible. Obviously it’s not a console limitation or anything like that, just a mindset that developers seem to follow. Maybe even enforced by Sony/MS?

        • rpsKman says:

          Exactly. These are pick-up-and-play games. You’re expected to want to win rather than have a realistic experience. All the ISI-based games still have that if you’re into more hardcore stuff.

  3. Mud says:

    Preorder bonus: the never fixed bugs since 2010.

    • kevmscotland says:

      Thats not fair, you also get new bugs too!

      All that said, I actually like the games.

  4. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Still not enough body jiggle.
    Need Car Jiggle Physics.

  5. Tom Servo says:

    I think they did actually fix the 2010 bug where your car would randomly spin out when going over an edge border. I do like these games but they definitely have some issues.

  6. Gargenville says:

    I never got why they’d release these near the end of the F1 season anyway, I’m usually bored to tears with the whole circus by that point.