Codemasters add retro cars and tracks to F1 2013

F1 Game

Codemasters F1 2013 Work in progress screenshot: 1988 Williams-Judd FW12By their own admission, one of the main aims of Codemasters for the first three years of producing their F1 series was to secure the exclusive rights to make the official games into 2014 and beyond. Once that was achieved, they said, they would be able to make bigger, better and more exciting games.

So what does F1 2013 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the first new game since Codemasters received that all-important rights extension from Bernie Ecclestone ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ have to offer the sport’s millions of fans around the world that previous games did not?

The answer is the most exciting new addition to the series to date. And by ‘new’, I should really say ‘old’.

Classic mode

Yes, the fans’ most requested feature ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ classic grand prix cars ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ is the major new addition to the official F1 game series for this year. And Codemasters envisage it being a much more extensive offering than what was found in previous official games which included older cars, such as Sony’s 2007 release Formula One: Championship Edition.

Instead of throwing random cars from F1 history into the game Codemasters have focused on two decades that will likely strike the most nostalgic chords with their target audience ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the eighties and nineties. The Classic mode is split between the two decades and allows players to jump behind the wheel of five classic cars from the eighties and nineties.

The first batch of cars includes the 1988 Lotus 100T (pictured top), Williams cars such as Alan Jones?σΤιΌΤδσs FW07 and some yet-to-be-announced Ferraris. Screenshots also suggest the 1988 Williams-Judd FW12 will feature.

A further six classic Williams and Ferrari cars from the nineties are on offer including Nigel Mansell?σΤιΌΤδσs 1992 championship winning FW14B, Damon Hill?σΤιΌΤδσs FW18 from 1996 and the Ferrari F399 as driven by Eddie Irvine to the runner-up spot in 1999. Advertising restrictions mean they are depicted in non-tobacco liveries.

While some may have hoped for a greater number and wider variety of vehicles, that will likely be forgotten once players reintroduce these retired greats to the race track once again. And with classic cars come classic circuits as Codemasters will include fully modelled retro versions of Jerez, Brands Hatch, Imola and Estoril to drive in the game ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ all in their classic 1980s and 1990s glory without a single chicane, tarmac run-off or DRS zone in sight.

Codemasters F1 2013 Work in progress screenshot: 1988 Williams-Judd FW12With fat tyres, less aerodynamic efficiency and – in some cases – screaming turbo engines, the classics are tremendous fun and require real roughneck driving to lower lap times. The FW07B and 100T can be thrown into the corners like over-sized, over-powered go-karts as you feel the car starting to slide at the limit of adhesion. While the FW14B has all the phenomenal mechanical grip and stability you?σΤιΌΤδσd expect from a car famed for its advanced active suspension system. Hanging a Lotus 100T on the ragged edge through the high-speed turns of pre-chicane Jerez bathed in beautiful lighting with the whine of the turbo engine as it kicks through the gears is immensely satisfying.

The Classic mode is littered with small touches that will no doubt be appreciated by hardcore F1 fans. The heads-up display for the eighties cars has been redesigned to reflect the basic yellow graphics overlay from F1 broadcasts of the time (if you?σΤιΌΤδσve seen the film Senna you?σΤιΌΤδσll recognise them). The HUD for nineties cars has been designed as a homage to the blue and yellow overlay graphics that were used in FOM?σΤιΌΤδσs digital coverage of the sport from the late 1990s to 2002.

Each car has a unique tachometer, working cockpit views with basic LED rev counters and both gear and brake-balance changing animations. While the 2013 cars sit in modern pit areas with laptops and monitors on the main home screen, enter Classic mode and the cars sit in old-style garages surrounded by toolboxes. Players will also be introduced to the mode in a series of videos narrated by the iconic voice of Murray Walker, which adds immensely to its nostalgic appeal.

But the best news about the Classic mode isn?σΤιΌΤδσt that players will get to drive the cars ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ but that they?σΤιΌΤδσll also get to race them. Properly. All cars can be raced in a variety of modes, both online and offline, including Grand Prix mode, Quick Race, in a custom championship as well as in online and split-screen multiplayer.

One disappointing limitation is that players are forbidden from mixing cars from different eras ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ so no pitting a Williams FW07 against an FW14B or this year?σΤιΌΤδσs Ferrari against its 1999 ancestor. However players will be able to drive and race any car ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 1980s, 1990s and 2013 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ on any circuit, modern or classic.

The identities of several famous past racers also appear: Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti and Gerhard Berger are the first of ten Formula One greats who players can race against in 1980s cars while Alain Prost, David Coulthard, Jacques Villeneuve and Eddie Irvine have been announced as the first confirmed drivers in 1990s cars. Expect more big names to be announced as the game nears its autumn release.

In a first for Codemasters’ F1 titles, this year’s game will be released in two editions. The standard version will include the 1980s cars plus Jerez and Brands Hatch circuits, with the 1990s cars, Imola and Estoril available to purchase via download after release. F1 2013 Classic Edition features all the classic cars and tracks.

The 2013 game

Those expecting revolutionary changes to the real meat of the game ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the 2013 season ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ will likely be disappointed. The core experience to be had in F1 2013 seems little changed from previous editions, aside from all the expected team, driver and track updates.

Car setup parameters, options, cameras, menu system and game modes remain virtually identical to 2012, A new addition to the Proving Grounds mode is yet to be detailed. As far as the main career mode is concerned, no mention has been made yet of any significant changes and while it is claimed the Young Driver Test tutorial mode at the Yas Marina circuit has been expanded, it?σΤιΌΤδσs not yet known how.

Handling feels similar but refined compared to last year. Even with no driving assists and the use of an Xbox 360 controller, it was relatively easy to push from the very first lap of the game around Silverstone in Time Trial mode in Nico Hulkenberg?σΤιΌΤδσs Sauber without spinning. With a Fanatec wheel and pedals set-up the handling felt precise and fun, but no more challenging or removed from 2012. Unfortunately, it still seems at this early stage as though unrealistically extreme setups ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ ultra-low ride heights and super-stiff springs ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ offer the best reduction in lap times with minimal impact on balance.

Codemasters F1 2013 Work in progress screenshotWhile it?σΤιΌΤδσs easy to assume this means Codemasters have put all their efforts into the classic mode for this year and neglected the 2013 experience, there are certainly some positive additions to the 2013 aspect of the game. In a welcome move, cockpit mirrors have an increased depth of vision ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ meaning they are now actually useful, whilst players now have the option to save mid-session, which will surely please 100% race distance enthusiasts. In an attempt to improve AI balancing in single player, F1 2013 now has five difficulty settings ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ Amateur, Intermediate, Professional, Expert and Legend ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ each with its own AI speed level to suit.

Tyre wear scaling to race distance makes a return to the series, as does the ability to race a full or custom championship season with any licensed driver in Grand Prix mode. Codemasters claim to have improved the penalty system – which had been criticised by some – and AI driver aggression, making your computer rivals more inclined to attack you. However the demonstration builds that were tested were locked to Time Trial mode, so we’ll have to wait for the finished product to see how successful they have been.

The game?σΤιΌΤδσs audio has been also been improved, with the addition of a satisfying gearbox backfire sound under downshifting and higher-pitched external engine sounds making the cars sound more pleasant when passing. In terms of the online experience, players should not expect anything too different from what they are used to already, although hosts do now have the ability to turn off the penalty system in races ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ which will surely be music to the ears of those who organise online championships.

With more to be announced as the game nears release, this is likely to prove the most hotly-anticipated Codemasters F1 game since they took over the franchise. We await the arrival of definitive game eager to discover whether the addition of old-style cars and tracks is what Codemasters needed to breathe new life into their exclusive F1 game series.

F1 2013 screenshots

F1 2013 versions at a glance

F1 2013 Classic Edition PS3Release date: TBC (Autumn)
Formats (both editions): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC

F1 2013: Classic Edition

  • Limited edition release
  • 1980s pack ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ ten former drivers including Mansell, Andretti and Berger with more to be announced, five classic cars, Circuito De Jerez and Brands Hatch
  • 1990s pack ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ former drivers including Coulthard, Villeneuve, Irvine and Prost with more to be announced and six classic cars
  • Classic Tracks pack: Imola and Estoril
  • Full 2013 season content

F1 2013

  • 1980s pack ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ ten former drivers including Mansell, Andretti and Berger with more to be announced, five classic cars, Circuito De Jerez and Brands Hatch
  • Full 2013 season content
  • 1990s pack and Classic Tracks pack available as paid download soon after release

Pre-order F1 2013

Pre-order F1 2013 Classic Edition (PS3)

Pre-order F1 2013 Classic Edition (Xbox 360)

Pre-order F1 2013 (PS3)

Pre-order F1 2013 (Xbox 360)

Pre-order F1 2013 (PC)

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95 comments on Codemasters add retro cars and tracks to F1 2013

  1. Bookoi (@bookoi) said on 15th July 2013, 22:29

    Brands Hatch?

    Sold!

  2. Chu said on 15th July 2013, 23:33

    Errrrrr…i’ll stay with rFactor.

  3. leon martin said on 16th July 2013, 9:11

    “the fans’ most requested feature”
    They are so many features that codemasters should include first… :
    - manual race start with warm-up lap
    - fuel consumption and tire wear adapted to the lenght of the race
    - more damages and more settings about (it’s not normal that games released in 90′s are better than a game of 10′s at this level)
    - tire degradation when you stay too long close behind your opponent.
    - return of 3 practices by grand-prix
    - save (more than) a race in progress
    - run Abu Dhabi at night whenever you want
    - settings about disable kers and DRS during any session.
    - a true TV coverage when you abort your race or during pactice/qualifying session.
    - see humidity puddles on the asphalt (I don’t know about pc version)
    - don’t invest money in retro cars, invest in AI and simulation development !!!

    I hope at least we will able to run the old Hockenheim and why not Magny-Cours, Imola, Dijon, real Nurburgring and few other great tracks.

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 16th July 2013, 9:53

    I wasn’t going to buy F12013 after not really being impressed by 2012…but I will now. And I’m going to spend all my time in the classic cars!

  5. Looking forward to this one the most out of the lot! Classic mode should be epic! Can’t wait! Would have been good to race a classic McLaren, but still sounds good. Also warm up lap would be a good small feature to introduce. Maybe next year we could see more features pre race such as driving to the grid/media/fans or even race commentry. Great work so far, really looking forward to F1 2013

  6. I’m really looking forward to this. I hope that in time they can add some more classic circuits, such as the old Hockenheimring, the Osterreichring and an early 80′s/90′s version of Spa. I can’t wait to here the full list of classic cars to be implemented.

  7. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 16th July 2013, 11:23

    I just think they should make 2 games a year, one that’s an arcade style game that they can make quickly and have it on the shelves by May and then a simulation game for the f1 fanatic to come out later in the year. Instead they go for something in the middle and although it is good, it’s not fantastic and it never quite quenches my thirst for feeling the realistic balance of a Grand Prix car, as I’m sure everybody using a wheel with no assists would agree.

  8. Harrison (@speedas) said on 16th July 2013, 12:01

    Why exactly people think F1 2012 is not a sim ? I know Codemasters want make an easier game to make more money but I’ve played GPL, GTR2, Racer and the gap is not that huge. I never drive any single-seater (except at karting) but even if I prefer classic sims (especially GPL), the physics are fair and I would not be able to explain why F1 2012 would be so arcade in terms of physics and handling. Notice that if GPL and co had not exist, people would think F1 2012 is a true sim.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th July 2013, 12:52

    A lot of people curious, but almost every other comment mentions doubts about having gotten rid of the bugs, do I see a common theme here?

    Must have been pretty good trying @willwood, I would think after all your experience with the previous games it must have been a wonderfull opportunity to get to meet the team and see what they had in store.

  10. Just One Question : “Where is Senna”???

  11. Mrcheesums said on 23rd September 2013, 9:41

    What about Adelaide in retro tracks?

  12. Elsmert said on 28th September 2013, 19:10

    did they finally add career mode in split screen mode? not just race but all P Qs and Rs like you can in single player mode?

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