Codemasters have recently announced the next iteration of the Formula 1 franchise with F1 2014 coming in October, and to coincide with the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa this weekend they’ve released a new video showing a hot lap of the circuit in the rain. It’s all looking very pretty, though it might be safe to assume that the footage is from the PC version and not the PS3 or Xbox 360 (though let us know if we’ve got that wrong!).
So what’s new with this years game? Obviously, there have been a number of changes in the rules of the sport, the most noticeable being the use of V6 turbo engines which has had many people up in arms because “they don’t sound the same”. No, they don’t, but it hasn’t stopped the racing action so it shouldn’t impact the game. ERS (Energy Recovery System) also makes an appearance and will provide additional overtaking grunt when you’re in a position to use it. There are two new tracks in Russia’s Sochi and Austria’s Spielberg (though that’s a re-introduction in terms of the sport), and Bahrain is now a day-into-night race, so that full transition is being provided when you play.
The driver evaluation system has been updated for F1 2014 and will quickly work out your skill and style and suggests the game settings to meet your needs. That’s not to say there’s no challenge, there’s very likely to be the tuneable settings we’ve seen before so you can work out your own difficulty. The default settings have been regraded and a very easy mode added in an effort to make the game more accessible to newcomers to the series. We’ve yet to see what the multiplayer features will be, though the nature of Formula 1 means we know what to expect there.
What is interesting is that this game will not be on the new generation consoles, there will be a new one in 2015 for them, and in a change from the norm it will be released earlier in the season instead of near the end. That’s one thing that has always bugged me about F1 games, if you’re a fan during the season it’s pretty much over by the time the game comes out and (I feel) things are not capitalised on when there’s excitement for the sport in the early stages. Maybe next year will be a bit different.
F1 2014 will be released on 17th October in the EU for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 by Codemasters.