Lovers of car racing games and motor sport in general would know that around this time of year for the last five years the Codemasters F1 game franchise produces the latest update to the popular F1 series – in 2013, something bigger is coming. EFTM has gone hands on with the latest and quite easily greatest Formula 1 simulation available.
I grew up watching champions and household names like Andretti, Berger, Fittipaldi, Mansell, Alesi, Schumacher, Hill, Irvine, Villeneuve, Coulthard to name just a few. Never before have I had the chance to be them, to drive their cars, and to relive those glory days of F1 – until now.
F1 2013 is, like every year, a great simulation, taking in the teams, the drivers and the tracks from the current F1 season. This year the graphics have taken another step forward, as has the simulation. Driving around my favourite track – Albert Park in Melbourne – which I do mainly because I know it back to front and it gives me the best chance to actually do some hot lap tops, I noticed an improved level of detail around the track, and on the track. The actual Albert Park road markings and parking spot markings that appear on the track around the place are more accurate and realistic than i’ve seen before.
In the team garage as you’re called into your car, rather than just ‘appearing’ in the car, you see yourself step into the cockpit and slip down into the seat – it is the little features like that which take you further toward a realistic experience.
But, as lovers of this game will know, the real reason to buy the game each year again after the year before is to get the latest season of drivers and team vehicles. It’s important to true fans, but it’s also a possible reason to just get the game every second year.
In 2013, Codemasters have pulled a masterstroke. This year when you buy F1 2013 you get the 2013 season plus a new F1 Classics mode. That enables some amazing content from the 1980’s which means you can take a step back in time and race alongside some of those amazing names I mentioned earlier.
Cars in the 80’s Classic edition include the 1980 Williams FW07B which Alan Jones drove to the World Championship, driven by either Alan Jones or Williams “Team Legend” Alain Prost, The 1986 Team Lotus 98t with Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi, 1988 Ferrari with Gerhard Berger and Ferrari “Team Legend” Michael Schumacher.
The Legends of each team might not be from the original era you’re racing in, but having these huge names on the grid is a fantastic sight to see.
Classic 80’s vehicles have a completely different driving dynamic to the modern F1 car – as they do in real life. The sound, the gear shifts, and the fast but loose feeling of grip is as real as you could expect.
A week ago, we joined Aussie World Champion Alan Jones recently to preview the game in both modern and classic mode. Let me tell you driving the Williams around Brands Hatch – one of two classic circuits included with the game – with Alan Jones himself looking over my shoulder was nothing short of daunting. I didn’t want to put the thing into the wall.
Brands Hatch and Jerez are represented in the game in with the same meticulous detail as the modern circuits are, Alan Jones while watching us play spoke of the turns the undulations and the intricacies of the Brands Hatch circuit. If it’s good enough for the man himself, it’s good enough for me.
The 1980’s content comes with the standard F1 2013 purchase. Alternatively there is a F1 2013 Classic Edition which comes with a download code for a whole range of 1990’s classic F1 content also.
In the 90’s edition you will find Ferrari and Williams’s cars from ’92, ’96 and ’99, along with a whole host of Legends and the original drivers from those years.
If you buy the standard F1 2013 you will be able to purchase the additional 90’s content so don’t worry if someone buys you the standard version and you’re keen on the lot.
Without doubt this is the best release of the F1 game from Codemasters yet, the graphics are improved, you have the best of both worlds, literally. 2013 content is introduced and commentated by Sky Sports David Croft – who is the voice of commentary on the local Channel Ten coverage, while the 80’s and 90’s content features the legendary voice of Murray Walker.
Jumping from classic racing to modern racing is something very very different in the simulation, so put your head into gear when you jump back in time – the slides, the acceleration and the grip is very very different and makes the classic 80’s racing a heap of fun.
Driving cars in some of the best car games is fun. But tuning your car through engine, gearbox and aerodynamic intricacies really means that F1 2013 is by far the best driving simulation you’ll experience.
Available October 3 in stores, this is a must have for F1 fans and car lovers alike.