New details of the upcoming F1 2019 Game by Codemasters Studios‘ have been revealed from their preview event in Germany earlier this week.
Selected journalists and publications got the opportunity to play a preview copy of the F1 2019 game, getting a glimpse of some of the new features that have been added into the game ranging from FIA Formula 2, a new career mode, online racing, classic cars and an all new highlight reel mode.
This year’s edition of the Formula 1 game is set to come out earlier than usual this year, with fans getting the copy of the game on the 28th June, 25th for those who pre-ordered the Legends Edition containing both F1 legends Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Journalists who attended the event got to taste both the 2019 Formula 1 and the 2018 FIA Formula 2 cars around the Bahrain International Circuit and the Baku City Circuit. Daniel Ricciardo‘s Renault and Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso Honda were the cars available, as well as George Russell and Lando Norris in their F2 machinery from last year.
FIA Formula 2 & Career Mode
For the first time ever, F1 fans will get to experience Formula 2 in the game as the series joins the Codemasters games, featuring the official car, teams and drivers from the 2018 F2 season. The roster of drivers include F1 2019 rookies Lando Norris, George Russell and Alexander Albon, as well as F2 drivers Jack Aitken, Nyck de Vries, Nicholas Latifi and Artem Markelov. The roster used for F2 comes from the Russian Grand Prix round, using Niko Kari in the MP Motorsport and Roberto Merhi in the Campos. The 2019 drivers, liveries and teams will be added into the game via an update post-launch.
Everything from Formula 2 you see on TV has been added fully into the game, including practice, qualifying, the two races, mandatory pit stops, correct points system and points for pole and fastest laps.
F2 will be integrated in the new career mode as a starting point for the players’ career into F1. This is an option if the player doesn’t want to start in F1 straight away. The player will get to choose which team they want to start their F2 careers with, as well for the first time, which F1 drivers’ academy they want to be a part of.
The inclusion of a drivers’ academy opens doors for the player to earn offers from F1 teams connected with the certain academy. For example, if you select Mercedes, you’ll get offers favouring towards Mercedes-powered teams including ROKiT Williams Racing, Racing Point F1 Team and even from Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.
The career mode will also welcome two fictional drivers into the game, who will follow you throughout your career and develop a rivalry with through cut scenes and interactions within the game. Team orders also become a figure within the rivalry for the first time and can create further tension between these two characters.
Completing the F2 experience is the additional commentary from Alex Jacques and Davide Valsecchi. David Croft and Anthony Davidson still deliver the commentary for the F1 side of the game.
F1 2019 Cars And Season
For the F1 side of the game, much has not changed. All 21 tracks from F1 2018 have returned, replicating the 2019 F1 calendar from real-life. The changes from the 2019 roster in terms of drivers and teams are all fitted in.
With the early release date, Codemasters Studios have created a standard-2019 F1 car that will be used in the game most likely for the launch of the game and will be added into Online Multiplayer. The full-accurate 2019 cars from each teams will most likely be added in a launch update or further into release.
The game is similar to its predecessor, but with an improved lighting and handling model. Demonstrations of this can be found through screenshots of Daniel Ricciardo around the night track of Bahrain, as the game gradually becomes more like what we see in real-life.
Codemasters have introduce new help features for new players to understand the complicated nature of Formula 1 with its rules and regulations. The help guide presents videos explaining concepts such as ERS, tyre rules etc., helping those new players out before heading onto the track. These features won’t get into the way of players who have played the Codemasters’ games before.
Updates have been made to the graphics and interior of the game, with the official on-screen graphics now integrated into the game, as well as the ERS lights and the new sheen on fresh set of Pirelli tyres.
The standard 2019 car is designed in collaboration with Formula One Management‘s design team, headed by Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds. The car will also be used in Multiplayer, and will be opened for customisation for the players, allowing them to fully create their own identity in the game.
Customisation for F1 2019 includes custom designed liveries with a range of designs and colours to use. Continuing on from F1 2016, the player can customise their own helmet designs for career mode and Online, but also have the ability to create your own race suit, gloves and badge design for Multiplayer.
The new customisation allows seasoned players and newcomers to create an identity of themselves against their fellow competitors. A useful platform for Esports racers or content creators to showcase when competing online.
Online & Multiplayer
Multiplayer is a key aspect of the F1 games, especially with the F1 Esports Series growing every year. League racing as a whole since the first Codemasters F1 game in 2010, have been a place for racers to compete one another.
For F1 2019, Codemasters have helped those who want to join League racing but can’t find a platform to join in, with an all-new search system within Multiplayer. The search system helps Leagues such as Apex Online Racing to find new drivers who are interested in joining their collection of leagues they host within the F1 games.
An online superlicence was first introduced into F1 2018 to allow players and league organisers see what grade and level players are like when racing on track. In 2019, this gets further updated with a new ‘attendance’ record on the players’ licence. The aim to help league organisers see how reliable the player is on turning up to league races and whether they can be trusted into joining their league.
A requested feature that has finally seen the light of day is a highlights reel of the races you’ve completed. Often or not, gamers have created stunning passes or there was a spectacular crash during a career mode race. Those who can afford recording devices can save those clips in the past, but now Codemasters have added a theatre mode and highlights package into the races you competed in. Whether this will be included online isn’t confirmed yet, but it would be a handy tool for league organisers to see what happened in an accident during a league race.
There have been reports over updates relating to the multiplayer code in a bid to improve performance and connectivity. Partial problems over the multiplayer have been highlighted during release of the new F1 games, but Codemasters are keen to address this issue by installing a new team to fix the network code.
The F1 Esports Series has been growing ever since its formation in 2017 and will once again, run for another year on the F1 2019 game. Qualifications for this year’s series will take place on the F1 2018 game, but for users who are looking to enter in the near future, have a chance to unlock some extra editions for multiplayer such as skins, designs etc.
Classic Content & Senna Vs Prost
One of the main new features of F1 2019 is the inclusion of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, fully licence into the game alongside their cars from the 1990 F1 season. The McLaren MP4-5 and the Ferrari F1-90 will be added into the game alongside the current roster of classic F1 cars from F1 2017 and 2018. These two cars in particular will include in eight different scenario modes involving both Senna and Prost.
Early impression reported from the event indicate that the mode presented was an overtake scenario, where the last car was either Senna or Prost, depending on the player’s choice. Similar scenarios were presented in F1 2017 and 2018 through invitational events that were included in the career mode or in their own game mode. Whether the remaining seven challenges will follow the same principal is unclear, but the first impressions from the journalists who attended left still with some questions about the new mode.
The game mode is still in development however, and the mode was not filmed as a result. Further details of the Senna vs Prost feature will be released overtime.
Two more classic cars will be added into the roster and to celebrate ten years of creating F1 games, Codemasters have brought two cars from their first title, F1 2010 into the game with the McLaren MP4-25 and the Ferrari F10. The two cars will join alongside the Red Bull RB6, which was added into the game in F1 2017.
F1 2019 Early Verdict So Far
Early impressions indicate that this is no doubt Codemasters Studios’ most ambitious F1 title to date, both filled with content and with new features that will keep players in for the long haul. The new career mode, with the addition of F2 and driver’ academies certainly bring a new aspect of progression into the game. Early gameplay footage looks well-detailed, stunning and closest to the real-life racing we can get.
There are concerns from early impressions about the classic content, especially with Senna and Prost now integrated into the game on how they will display this classic content. Hopefully as the game reaches closest towards its release date, we will learn more details and hope it isn’t a new scenario mode fitted with two iconic legends.
Multiplayer sounds like it is getting a promising new look and fix with an improved network code, customisable liveries and avatars. The increase interest in league racing and the F1 Esports Series has pushed into a direction where online racing is becoming a crucial focus for the developers. If perfected, an increase interest in competitive racing and Esports will no doubt soon follow.
F1 2019 is set to be released on 28th June for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. More details about the game will be released prior to its launch.