Codemasters is a company which is in the gaming industry for 31 years, through the years they have developed and published many games of different genres. The franchise that no one else can make better is the Formula 1 games. In this article, we will take a trip to the F1 games developed and published by Codemasters since 2010. Each game obviously has different features and technical components.
F1 2010 was the first Formula 1 game to release on the seventh generation of consoles and PC. Codemasters made a great job adapting the Formula 1 2010 season into a videogame. It included the Career Mode that all players know and love in the franchise where players start with lower-spec cars their season and make their way to highest-spec cars in a regular F1 season in Practice, Qualifying, and Race. It included a Grand Pix mode where players could create custom races, also the now classic Time Trial and Time Attack modes. The game also included Multiplayer which is a ghost town obviously as players moved to the latest games. The handling style was alright for the 2010 title, but it has been improved thanks to the changes of the cars and technology throughout the years. The game also featured interviews, where the media was asking questions and players had to choose one from the options given to them. They could damage their reputation in their team if they gave answers to the media that aren’t suitable for them and the player. The menus were pretty interesting as well in the early games which took place in the paddock and the truck where you had an agent who gave you update on contracts/offers and stats for the other teams and drivers. Players could also check their emails which show information on tracks and weather for their session, etc, thanks to a PC in there. The menu also offered the option to players to pick their own helmet and finally they could start the session from there. F1 2010 was and it’s still is a very great game for its time and it’s aged pretty well!
A year later, Codemasters has released the F1 2011 game. They have refined the game audio, visuals and handling much further and they have added all the teams, cars, drivers, tracks and rules of the F1 2011 season. The two features that stood out in the gameplay were the introduction of the DRS and now discontinued optional for teams KERS system in the game. The KERS system is now equipped on the cars for the current time, and it’s automatic. It’s not up to drivers to use it like it was before. The game featured the same Paddock menus like on F1 2010, but it included much more enhanced rooms for this release. The game featured the classic Career, Grand Prix, Time Trial, Time Attack and Multiplayer modes. The newest addition to the game was the CO-OP Championship mode where players could pick a friend or a random person online and race a season together as a team. The damage model was much more improved than its predecessor and it offered a great simulation of the season then. F1 2011 has definitely improved on what it’s the predecessor introduced and it made way for more changes and additions in the next games.
After F1 2011’s release, Codemasters got back to work to develop the next F1 title for the 2012 F1 season. F1 2012 offered many changes and improvements than its predecessors. The game featured the classic Career, Quick Race, Time Trial, Time Attack, Multiplayer modes, but the 2012 game also included new modes as well. The Young Driver Test mode offered new and previous players of the franchise a series of objectives and videos which could help them to learn how to drive the F1 cars and learn the rules of the Motorsport. The Champions mode offered to players the chance to beat F1 champions in a set of different scenarios. The Season Challenge mode consisted of 10 races on which players chose a rival and tried to beat them by completing objectives. The reward for beating the rivals was their seat. Codemasters made major changes in the franchise starting with this game such as upgrades on the audio, the graphics, details, like rain effects and the damage model. The studio got rid of the paddock menus and the interviews as they wanted a much simpler approach to access to the game’s content. Codemasters have made an incredible work on this title and the major additions have started from this title for the franchise.
A year later, the next F1 game has been released. F1 2013 featured all modes from the past games such as Young Driver Test, Season Challenge, Career, Time Trial, Time Attack and Multiplayer modes. The game also introduced new modes such as the Scenario Mode which is like the Champions mode which made its appearance in the F1 2012 game, the only difference in this game is that the scenarios are different and more drivers other than champions take part to them. The next mode which was introduced, is the F1 Classics which featured 10 Legends of the F1 Motorsport (Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mika Hakkinen, Satora Nakajima and much more), 5 F1 classic cars (Team Lotus 100T, Williams FW12, Team Lotus 98T, Williams FW07B and Ferrari F1-87/88C), 2 Classic F1 circuits (Brands Hatch and Jerez) and it was narrated by the legendary commentator Murray Walker. Players could take those F1 rides on all tracks of F1 2013 calendar as well. Codemasters made some changes in the handling of the cars once again and the model for the handling on classic cars was pure awesomeness. They have added visual filters for the F1 classics mode and they made a new HUD for them as well which could time travel some players to the 80’s F1 racing. The mode also featured Grand Prix, Time Trial, Time Attack modes and it’s own Scenario mode. Codemasters made an astonishing work on delivering the F1 2013 season and some classic moments of the Motorsport into a game.
The biggest change in the Motorsport happened to the F1 2014 season and that is the change of the F1 engines from V8 engines to hybrid turbocharged ones which result in changes to how the F1 cars sound. The cars sound is low, calm and stealthy. However, in the next few seasons, the sound has been improved, thankfully. Codemasters made all the necessary changes to replicate the F1 2014 season into the game and they have added all the teams, cars, drivers, rules and tracks of the season. The game included all the classic modes from the past games except the F1 Classics which made an appearance in the F1 2013 game. The only one new mode on this game was the Evaluation Test which is the replacement of the Young Driver Test. In this mode, players had to complete a lap to set the game to their level. Codemasters wasn’t able to add more modes in this game as they were working to get the F1 2014 season changes right and they were working on the next-gen F1 game as well. However, the game delivers great graphics and the handling model has been upgraded for the last F1 game on the seventh generation of consoles.
F1 2015 was a huge step-back for the series as it was lacking many modes and features that were introduced to the past games and a Career mode. However, it was a big change in the franchise as it was the first game on next-gen consoles and it shipped with many upgrades on the engine. The game featured all F1 2015 and F1 2014 teams, cars, drivers, and tracks. The game introduced two new modes Championship Season and Pro Season. The Championship Season is the replacement of the Season Challenge of the previous game and it’s the same mode, but it’s a full season in F1 2015. The Pro Season is the hardest mode ever happened to the franchise, you had to complete a full season in 100% full races with all assists off and using the cockpit camera. The game also featured the Multiplayer mode and the new addition to it were the Online Practice session. The developers for the first time made the team radio more engaging, as players can use a headset or the Kinect (on Xbox One) and say some of the commands that are on there and if players don’t have one, they can use the controller’s D-Pad. Codemasters may have shipped a very light version of an F1 game lacking modes and features, but it was the start of something very powerful and better than ever before for the franchise.
Codemasters has made the best F1 game than ever before with the F1 2016. They have broken the boundaries of simulation on the motorsport. The Career mode made its comeback after its absence from the F1 2015 with many changes. It’s much more engaging thanks to the addition of your agent and the return of the paddock in a much more better way than 2010 and 2011 releases. The hospitality areas made their first appearance in the game as well which added more quality to the game. Codemasters made the Practice sessions fun thanks to a variety of programmes that help the car development. Players could upgrade the car components thanks to the research points that players could earn completing sessions. Pro Career and Championship Season modes made their comeback from the 2015 release as well. The 2016 release also brought reworks on the game’s multiplayer and they have fixed the long-haunting issues that chased the developers for years. CO-OP Championship returned to this release as well with a name change called Multiplayer Championship where you can pick a random person or a friend online and try to conquer the championship. The game also introduced for the first time Formation Laps and Manual Race Starts which made the experience much more realistic than ever before. Codemasters made the greatest F1 game and they have improved on that in the new release, F1 2017.
In case you missed my review on F1 2016, you can read it here and read the game features in-depth.
Codemasters has released F1 2017 today (on August 25th) and they have brought more content and changes to the F1 franchise. I haven’t been able to play it yet, but stay tuned for more information here. You can read the game’s features below:
Massively Expanded Career:
Players can make history as they hone their skills and develop their car over multiple seasons in the Career. First, they create their driver by selecting from a range of avatars, including female drivers for the first time, helmet design (including community created versions), race number and then the team they want to begin their career with. The Research & Development system is heavily expanded, with 115 upgrades now available, while the player also has to manage their engine and gearbox. Earn resource points by taking part in new Practice Programmes including ‘Fuel Management’ and ‘Race Pace’. The classic cars also take center stage in the enhanced career mode as players are invited to race them in the new Invitational events.
New Championships Mode and Gameplay Types:
Championship mode allows players to experience unique race events following different rules and structures from the official Championship in both modern and classic cars. For example, the Classic Street Series sees you race the iconic cars around the six streets circuits on the calendar.
New Classic F1 Cars:
Get behind the wheel of 12* iconic F1 cars from the history of the sport. The classic cars are also integrated into the career mode and can be raced in both Single Class and Multi Class Races. Players can race the following cars:
- 1988 McLaren MP4/4*
- 1991 McLaren MP4/6
- 1992 Williams FW14B
- 1995 Ferrari 412 T2
- 1996 Williams FW18
- 1998 McLaren MP4-13
- 2002 Ferrari F2002
- 2004 Ferrari F2004
- 2006 Renault R26
- 2007 Ferrari F2007
- 2008 McLaren MP4-23
- 2010 Red Bull Racing RB6
*If you pre-order or purchase Day One copies of F1 2017 you will have exclusive access to the iconic 1988 McLaren MP4/4, as part of the F1 2017 Special Edition, though the McLaren MP4/4 car will be available to be purchased individually at a later date. The eleven other classic cars are available in all editions of the game.
Alternative Track Layouts:
As well as the 20 official 2017 circuits, there are four additional shortened track layouts in the game for the first time: Britain, Bahrain, USA, and Japan. Players can also race the stunning Monaco circuit at night.
Race either the modern or classic cars online with a full grid of 20 players in both public and private sessions. The game now offers two dedicated “spectator” spots as well as improved multiplayer matchmaking, new online stats and leveling system, and all multiplayer session types.
That’s the end of our trip on Codemasters F1 games since 2010. Codemasters has evolved the game franchise so much that now it’s a complete simulation of the F1 Motorsport. Stay tuned here for more F1 content.
Note: I want to thank Codemasters who sent me the F1 game copies and have replaced my collection which was stolen.