After a rather lacklustre season so far, it’s fair to say that my interest in a Formula 1 game had slowed faster than a McLaren running a Honda engine. Last weekend saw the best race of the season at Silverstone and it’s given me something to think about. This year’s iteration of the precision driving simulator is coming much earlier than previous entries – last time we were only able to speed through Melbourne’s Albert Park at the beginning of October, and as much as I enjoyed the game, I’d have liked to have been playing alongside the unfolding events of the championship; this year we at least get to do that for half of it.
F1 2015 is the first version of the perennial racer to come to the latest console generation, and the first in many years to release earlier to coincide with the sports events. Not only is it the best looking yet, it sounds like Codemasters have really thought long and hard about what to offer both casual and hardcore gamers alike. Championship Season is the central mode to that offers a new style that aims to capture the broadcast atmosphere of a full race weekend, and one of the new features is voice recognition for communication to your pit engineer (have to say I like the sound of that). Pro Season ramps everything up to professional levels where you’ll have to compete in full length sessions and Grand Prix, with a locked cockpit view, minimal HUD and highest level AI settings. Definitely not for the faint hearted.
On top of the current season that will receive performance and livery updates as we move through the year, and including the new Mexico circuit, the full 2014 season is in there meaning you can race some of the tracks missing from this year’s championship, or recreate a season where Maldonado doesn’t crash (ha, right!). The sport might be struggling to keep everyone engaged while Mercedes dominate, but there’s potential here in the game. I think we can be confident that F1 2015 won’t be bad, let’s just hope that they’ve really nailed the excitement the sport can offer when it gets everything right.