F1 2013 (PC) Preview

F1 2013 (PC) Preview

F1 2013 (PC) Preview

F1 games are like buses. You wait ages for one and then two come along at the same time… I’ve been waiting years to use that line in a game review! Anyway… Today we are going to take a look at the upcoming F1 2013, an annual refresh of Codemasters Racing’s F1 franchise. This time though, there are two editions of the game, not in the same way that other developers may publish with a deluxe fancy edition with random extras. No, this is all about content and how much the end user loves classic F1.

Whats it all about?
By now everyone should be familiar with the Codemasters F1 games but the basic outline is that this racing game has very thorough licencing with the F1 brand allowing the team complete freedom to use the official tracks, art, driver/team names and so on. Added to that we have a game engine which has been through many years of evolution, scaling with technology to offer advances in weather, rules, AI, physics and the like.

Now in 2013 we get the latest rule tweaks and tyre changes along with an expansion to the young driver test. This was a mode in the last game which allowed new gamers to the franchise a way of learning key game mechanics rather than being thrown into a season and getting completely hammered by the other cars. The Proving Grounds area of the game also offers some lighter challenges for new users with task based scenarios which don’t require us to win in order to succeed. We can for example try to recover a few places after a late pit stop or beat our team-mate in the final race standings.

Of course we also get the full season mode for 2013 with up to date track and teams which allow us to dip in to single races, seasons and careers as we see fit. Scenario and time trial racing is also present as is online multiplayer and split screen but key to this years release is classic content.

This is where the two editions of the game come into play. With the standard edition we get all of the normal content expected of a F1 game including Racenet, the online hub for our F1 experience but added to that is the Classic 1980s content. That’s 10 iconic drivers, 5 classic cars and two circuits (Brands Hatch and Circuito De Jerez). Then with Classic edition the content is expanded with the addition of seven 1990s drivers, six more cars and two additional tracks (Imola and Estoril).

1980s Cars & Drivers 1990s Content
(F1 2013: CLASSIC EDITION)
1980 Williams FW07B 1992 Ferrari F92 A
  • Original Driver: Alan Jones
  • Team Legend: Alain Prost
  • Original Driver: Jean Alesi
  • Team Legend: TBC
1986 Team Lotus 98T 1992 Williams FW14B
  • Original Driver: Mario Andretti
  • Team Legend: Emerson Fittipaldi
  • Original Driver: Nigel Mansell
  • Team Legend: David Coulthard
1988 Ferrari F1-87/88C 1996 Ferrari F310
  • Original Driver: Gerhard Berger
  • Team Legend: Michael Schumacher
  • Original Driver: Michael Schumacher
  • Team Legend: Gerhard Berger
1988 Team Lotus 100T 1996 Williams FW18
  • Original Driver: Satoru Nakajima
  • Team Legend: Mika Hakkinen
  • Original Driver: Damon Hill
  • Team Legend: Jacques Villeneuve
1988 Williams FW12 1999 Ferrari F399
  • Original Driver: Nigel Mansell
  • Team Legend: Damon Hill
  • Original Driver: Eddie Irvine
  • Team Legend: Jody Scheckter
  1999 Williams FW21
  • Original Driver: TBC
  • Team Legend: Alain Prost
Classic Tracks Pack (F1 2013: CLASSIC EDITION only)
  • Imola – former host of the San Marino GRAND PRIX
  • Estoril – former home of the Portuguese GRAND PRIX

Preview Code thoughts…
So we have been playing about a bit with the latest press build of F1 2013 and unsurprisingly our first stop on the initial boot was the Classic Mode and past that, right into a classic Williams car made famous by the likes of Nigel Mansell. That’s this writers first F1 era but not only that, some of the first memorable racing games were based around this time (the likes of Nigel Mansell’s World Championship on Amiga).

Codemasters really do pile on the nostalgia from the beginning in classic mode with Murray Walker voicing the game and the graphics receiving a change in style to reflect the era. Once we are in the game there is absolutely a distinct feel to the older cars and how they drive which is ideal because players will also be able to mix and match, for example taking the old cars out on current season tracks.

Elsewhere from our time with the game we can see that the same, solid gameplay is present but we’ll give our overall opinions on that along with the new modes when we can talk more in depth about the game as a whole in a few weeks time… is the classic mode more style than substance? Just an add-on bolted in to the main game? Or should there only be one edition rather than two? What about the lack of next gen versions… is that holding back the PC edition? All this and more will be answered then but for now we need to nip back to the 80s…

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