F1 2015: The series has been in the garage, but now it’s go, go, go… - Games Weekly

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Monday, May 11, 2015

F1 2015: The series has been in the garage, but now it’s go, go, go…

Think of Ferrari. In the past it was a dead cert, winning season after season, but it drifted from the podium over time. 2014 was particularly disappointing. But after intensive development on a new engine and chassis, the prancing horse is a winner again in 2015. Okay, now substitute Ferrari for Codemasters’ F1 series. Same pedigree, same cycle, new engine… return to form?

All signs point to yes. This year’s game is all-new on Xbox One, simulating the world of Formula 1 in unprecedented detail. It really is a simulation, too at least if you want it to be thanks to the addition of Pro Season mode. This restricts you to cockpit cam and turns off all the assists, making for a more realistic and uncompromising experience. Don’t worry: all the traditional difficulties and driving aids are available in the normal mode, so you don’t necessarily need the skills of Lewis Hamilton just to get around the first corner. Everyone will find a mode that suits their style.

As you can see, the new-gen visuals look beautiful. They’re not quite photorealistic, but exude quality in everything from the wet-weather reflections to the remodelled pit crews. The series already looked great on Xbox 360, but Xbox One makes a clear difference.
Pro Season mode restricts you to cockpit cam, with no assists
The tyre simulation has been completely overhauled, designed to feel more like a real F1 car while still remaining accessible for newbies. You’ll even be able to feel how hard you’re pushing the tyres with the Xbox One pad’s haptic feedback.

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also be able to verbally discuss such things with your pit crew using voice recognition. If you have Kinect or a compatible headset, you can radio in, requesting a different tyre compound for the next pit stop, enquiring how far ahead of Rosberg you are and even asking for a few turns on the front wing adjuster next time you’re in the garage. Gotta fix that understeer.

The online mode will now feature practice sessions, which was one of the hardcore fans’ most-requested features, and there will also be downloadable patches throughout the remainder of the 2015 F1 season to keep the game up to date, as it’s being released a few months earlier in the year than usual.

With the entirety of 2014’s season to play through as well as the new content, plus new broadcast presentation that finally gives us podium sequences (hooray!), this should be a fine new-gen debut. Whether it can beat rivals such as Forza straight away remains to be seen, but it’s certainly possible. It’s hard to think what else could be included… well, aside from better damage modelling. Fireproof-gloved fingers crossed.

Making tracks
One track’s been included before it’s even finished for real
The Mexico track hasn’t been on the real F1 calendar for over 20 years, but it’s back for 2015. The real thing has been modernised and is still being finished, but this screenshot shows it’s already in the game. That corner known as the Peraltada used to be one of the fastest and most dangerous in F1, but it’s been turned into a stadium section with a chicane/hairpin combo to make it safer. Understandable… but BOOOO!

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