For those of you who weren’t happy about how the 2016 F1 racing season has progressed thus far, rejoice! There may be a chance to make Jenson Button relevant again as you play through the season in Codemaster’s latest installment in the series, F1 2016. Or perhaps you’d prefer David Coulthard, in a strange retro throwback where you’re transported into an alternate universe where he actually wins the driver’s championship. Anyway, F1 2016 is coming this year, and it’s set to return the series to its roots after F1 2014 and F1 2015 failed to set fan’s hearts racing.
Being Codemaster’s only yearly franchise, the pressure is always on to come out with something good, and while F1 2014 and F1 2015 had the technical feel and minute details down, it lacked a sense of passion, often feeling rather mechanical and a “me too” sort of deal when considered alongside Assetto Corsa and Project Cars.
Like F1 2015, F1 2016 will start players off by choosing their avatar and picking which team you want to race for. Unlike previous games, which just let you pick and somehow put Sauber into the lead in the constructor’s championship, F1 2016 will have goals and expectations that the team sets upon you, and you either have to meet those goals, or exceed them only when required. For extra realism, starting at the bottom of the rungs with the current weakest team, Manor-Mercedes, might be fun this time around.
The setup reminds me of Ridge Racer Type 4, where the various teams in the game had requirements for you as their driver, and consecutive wins in different stages of the driver’s championship would earn the team more money, or access to better gear.
Among other features promised is the ability to upgrade your car, which is achieved by completing trial runs, learning the layout of various tracks, and testing the grip limits of new tires that the team is considering. These actions gain you R&D points towards upgrades for the car, which might help contribute to the feeling of progress while the championship is underway. Often teams will find new ways of exceeding the car’s limits in real life, and this aspect has been missing in past titles.
No release date for the game has been announced, and Codemasters hasn’t commented on whether the game is finally DirectX 12 compatible. The game is listed on Steamdb as a hidden title, and the update history suggests that the game has been in development for the past ten months.
F1 2016 will launch later this year for the Windows PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 platforms.