Not long after the first screenshots were leaked this week, Codemasters have officially announced F1 2016, which will be racing onto PS4, Xbox One and PC this Summer.
It's unusual for a career mode to be one of the headline features for a racing game, but it's making a comeback in F1 2016 after being omitted in F1 2015. Codemasters say that F1 2016 will feature "most immersive career mode," spanning ten seasons which will "take you deeper into the world’s most glamorous, exciting and prestigious motorsport, both on and off the track."
F1 2016's career mode will let you create and customise your own avatar to represent yourself and choose a number to take you through your career, with options to choose and colour your helmet. You will be able to stick with your team throughout your career or earn contracts and move from team to team.
New hospitality areas for each team will act as your interactive hub, where you'll be able to spend Earned Research and Development credits on car upgrades. The hospitality areas will feature "fully captured and voice-acted Research and Development Engineer and Player Agent to develop your progress both on and off the track." F1 fans will also be able to recognise key figures from the paddock in the hospitality areas.
Adding to F1 2016's authenticity is the inclusion of the safety car, which will be joined by the Virutal Safety Car as well, "which have been written from the ground up" – again, featuring a safety car in a racing game may not sound like a particularly revolutionary feature, but it was noticeably absent in F1 2015.
The new Azerbaijan street circuit in Baku will also make its debut in F1 2016, which is the latest circuit to be added to the Formula One calendar.
There's a new practice development programme too, which allows you to take advantage of the tests done by a team on grand prix weekends. Codemasters’ new track acclimatisation tests will allow players to master each circuit, test your tyres and hone your race strategy, with the added bonus of earning valuable Research and Development points to spend on upgrading your car.
F1 2015 was a stunning looking game running on Codemasters' latest EGO engine, but F1 2016 will let you customise the look of the game with a new time of day editor, as showcased in the screenshots below.
Codemasters have also revealed the box art for F1 2016, which looks strikingly similar to F1 2015.
“F1 2016 is a massive step forward for the franchise," Principal Game Designer Lee Mather commented. "The new career mode sits at the heart of the game and allows gamers to create their own legend over a career that can span for up to a massive ten seasons."
"Beyond improving upon the fastest and most thrilling on-track racing experience in gaming, F1 2016 uniquely offers the drama and vehicle development that goes on behind the scenes. A rich car upgrade system is fully integrated into a new and deep practice development programme which mirrors the tests carried out by the teams in real life.”
F1 2016 already sounds like a more fully featured Formula One game than F1 2015, which was clearly developed as a foundation to build on – this is arguably the game F1 2015 should have been in the first place. While undoubtedly a stunning looking game, F1 2015's lack of career mode made it a very hollow expierence, while the physics left a lot to be desired. No details have been revealed on how F1 2016's driving physics compare to F1 2015 yet, but more information on F1 2016 is expected to follow at E3 in June.
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