Nyyyyyommm. Nyim! Vrooooim. Those onomatopoeias, and others like them, signal the whizzing-past of both cars and announcements of annual sequels. Which can only mean that Codemasters today announced F1 2016 [official site], the next in their Formula 1 drive ’em up series. What’s new and exciting this year? Well let me tell you! It’s bringing back a car that can drive in front of you for your safety and delight. Not even a Formula 1 car – just some old Mercedes-Benz pootling about on the track when it thinks the race will get too exciting. A ‘racedad’, I think is the technical term.
The big changes this year, Codemasters say, are reintroducing the racedad and the new career mode.
The new career mode spans ten seasons, Codies say, with fun like track acclimatisation tests, upgrading your car, jumping between teams, and picking a nice colour for your helmet. Your team also gets a “hospitality area” for a hub, where voice-acted folks handle research and your career and generally mill around.
As for the racedad, principal game designer Lee Mather says “With the re-introduction of the Safety Car as well as the addition of the Virtual Safety Car for the very first time, we are creating the most complete F1 experience ever.” A virtual safety car may sound like some cool cyberdad intervening, descending from the skies in augmented reality to wag his finger at drivers but no, apparently that just means they turn some lights on. Disappointing.
F1 2016 will come this summer. No, the cars in these pictures are not final. I think Codies are waiting to see if any teams give their cars wicked cool custom sprayjobs – a gaping shark mouth on the nose, perhaps, or making it look like a smoking hot Leather Goddesses of Phobos is straddling the driver. The racedad won’t like that at all.