Formula 1 will finally get a new video game title in 2009, three years since the last official F1 game made by Sony. Formula One Management were reported to be demanding up to $200m for the rights.
First, the good news: the game won’t be exclusive to a single machine, and is expected to be available for ‘major home consoles’ (presumably PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii), PC and other formats. This is very important and I’m sure Codemasters’ expertise in producing cross-format titles helped them win the contract over the likes of Sony.
But the news isn’t all good I’m afraid.
The game will apparently be based on Codemasters’ EGO Engine software which powers Colin McRae: DIRT and the Race Driver series including the forthcoming title “Race Driver: GRID”.
I’ve not been very impressed with the recent versions of either of these games. The last Race Driver game had am impressive breadth of racing disciplines and circuits, but didn’t give a realistic impression of any of them.
The last Colin McRae game went for much the same approach: loads of different series and tracks but very short events, unconvincing physics and no depth.
I don’t want to pre-judge the new game before it comes out and Codemasters have made some excellent racing games in the past. Earlier instalments of both these series such as Colin McRae Rally 2 and TOCA 2 were excellent because they were chiefly based on a single discipline (world Rally Cars and British Touring Cars respectively).
Hopefully Codemasters will produce a 2009 F1 game closer to these classic titles and not just some disposable, short attention span trash that doesn’t deserve to have the F1 logo on it.
What do you want from a new F1 game?
I listed “make a decent F1 game” in the “Ten jobs for Bernie Ecclestone to do” article last year. Click here to read the other nine points on his “to-do” list.