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What's Your Favourite F1 Game?

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Hi everyone,

I'm one of the designers on the F1 team - some of you may know me from other parts of the forum or my work on GRID: Autosport - and I thought I'd poke my head in and say hello. I often come and read the threads in my lunch breaks or after work, and although it's generally tricky to respond to stuff (I can't go around promising features or anything!), I do like to keep on top of the kind of things you all are talking about. Before I started working at Codemasters I was competing in an F1 2010 racing league, so I know what it feels like from your side of the fence! :)

A lot of discussion is, naturally, focussed around either our most recent game or the next project. So I certainly know what you think about those! But we've developed 5 of these things now, so let's get some broader opinions.

So tell me: which of our F1 games is your favourite and why?

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Of the five F1 games so far, one has stood out head and shoulders above the others, and that is F1 2010.

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my perceptions on the direction F1 games and how I feel disappointed at recent editions. In it I praised F1 2010 a lot and I stressed how important player immersion is in games and how F1 2010 achieved that, but it has gone completely in recent editions. F1 2010 may not have been the best for handling or lighting or whatever but it was by far the most enjoyable, and no other game since made me play it day after day.

F1 2010 did that for me, and I feel that was mainly through player immersion such as the paddock menus, interviews and motorhomes. You are made to feel like the driver, which is what is so important in an F1 game! You are yourself in the career mode, so make it a truly personal experience. Allow you to have your own driver number, your own personal helmet design (so often you hear people say how they relate a helmet to a driver), bring back the paddock menus. Make it feel like it's me playing the game as myself, not playing as someone else!

If you could take five minutes to read what I said then I'd really appreciate that, and I hope I made some pertinent comments in my blog post.

http://thebirkettblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/the-wrong-direction-of-f1-games/

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I'll second what PeteTheDuck has said, for me F1 2010 has been CM's best F1 game to date. I wouldn't call it revolutionary, but it had a lot of cool features, such as the dynamic weather system and varying AI strategies. The 'live the life' concept was also new and it was fun to answer questions to the journalists. Continuing this theme throughout the game menus was also refreshing as it was more interesting than a generic text and image menu. 

F1 2010 was the only F1 game I bothered to collect the trophies in and it was where I experienced the most entertaining league racing I've ever had. Even though the handling was not quite right, the quality of the rest of the game was enough for me to discount that as a major flaw. It surpassed expectations and I think this built up the potential CM could achieve in future games. There have been good features from 2011-2014, for example the addition of the safety car and I really enjoy the handling of the 2014 model, but 2010 offered a racing experience that to me is undeniably better than any of its successors.

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Personally I would love the next F1 game in the series to be like the original 2010 title.
The atmosphere, The excitement and the sheer amazement that I got when I first played F1 2010 is still very vivid and I still think it's the best F1 game codemasters has made (So far).
 The 'Live the Life of a racing driver' needs a warm return, the paddock, the post-race interviews and practice 1, 2 and 3 need to be implemented.
I believe that some of the community did rather enjoy the Classic Cars that the 2013 had to offer and it reminded me of the F1 Championship edition, and like the F1CE game I think should work hard for those classic cars, instead of giving them away at the start of the game, to give the game longevity, so to speak.
I'm sure many if not most of the community have better ideas than mine, I'm deeply sorry if I shame you with my total lack of detail on which I apologize.
Best of luck for the new title and I will definitely be buying the next installment. 
 

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Yes, F1 2010 was certainly the best from a career perspective. I'd stress this above others, but since the other posters have done a good job in describing the best parts of F1 2010, I won't reiterate it again.

That being said, F1 2013 was the best from a multiplayer stand point. It seemed like the most polished and best balanced game in that regard.

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My favorite is F1 2013.

I liked the handling in F1 2013 better than in the other games, and I really liked the extra tracks, 23 tracks total, it considerably increased replay value. It would be awesome if CM released a F1 game that had every single track from every CM F1 game, from 2010-2014 there would be a total of  28 tracks. Another good thing was the return of GP mode.

F1 2011 was great in the sense that it had all practice sessions, every qualifying length & every race distance in every game mode. I prefer to play races with 1 practice session, short qualifying, and 25-50% race distance but I know other people who prefer the full race weekend, and I also have friends more on the casual side that like 3-lap races. F1 2011 catered to all of them in all game modes. In latter games some qualifying lengths & race distances were removed in career mode, I hated having to do full qualifying (only option unless you want to qualify & race without practice), and some of my friends who are more casual gave up on career mode because the minimum distance was 25%.

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It's difficult to say. There are features in most of them that I liked better in one over the others. Rather than saying my absolute favourite I will say what features I liked about each game.

2009: Honestly, the only thing I can say I enjoyed about this game is the fact that it's the 2009 season. If other seasons were to ever be brought into a game, I'd definitely choose 2009 and have 2008 and 2007 added as well (since there was never a game for those).
2010: As others have said, the live the life aspect was brilliant and something that is clearly missed by a large part of the community. I feel it certainly made the game feel more atmospheric than the later games in the series.
2010/11/12: I liked how the constructors changed tiers from season to season. It made the game feel a lot less static and actually made it feel like the R&D was worth taking the time to do. If mid season or even race to race tier changes were ever introduced it would certainly be something I'd personally greatly approve of.
2013: Obviously, the classics mode. This was a nice addition to the game and although I understand the reasoning for it's exclusion from 2014, I can't deny I was still disappointed as I was hoping to see it expanded upon personally.
2014: The AI has been greatly improved (although this should be an obvious thing to keep improving on anyway). At first I thought being able to select any team in career mode was a great idea. But after playing the game, it occurs to me that it's only a great idea if the tier changes were brought back as otherwise it's just like playing GP mode but with your own name/selected name instead of the official drivers.

Season challenge/scenarios and time attack I personally wouldn't miss if they were removed.

If I were to be asked for realistic future additions, I would personally go with a central focus on the career mode. The GP mode is fine as it is and multiplayer only really requires work on connection consistency. I personally think a large focus should be given to the R&D side of career mode, especially in that it would affect each team from race to race. To use a real season as an example; Mclaren in 2012. They started off the fastest team and as the season progressed they steadily dropped down toward the back end of the top 10 before making a turnaround and returning to the front. I feel something like this should be worked upon into the game. Add on the live the life aspects of 2010/11 and career mode will recover much of what it has lost as the series as progressed. Pre-Season testing could help shape up how the order will be in each season in career mode (so even season 1 may look different to the GP mode) and it would also give a good reason to bring back FP1 and FP2. Perhaps rather than just interviews after the races and press confenrences, perhaps even a similar interview with your team boss about where you think the R&D should go. E.g. Ron Dennis wants to know what improvements you feel you should work on: A ) Aero B ) Brakes C ) Tyre wear etc.

The only other feature I would request would be a formation lap that affects the start of the race. If you do a good job warming the tyres for example then it can aid you in getting a better start. It would also build up the tension before the race, which in turn adds to the immersion.

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Nice to see somebody from cm who writes more than 2 lines. 2010 as of live the life sense and the ai. They fought you. Some people think they are to aggressive but I liked it. 2013 was a solid game. Good handling but got stale rather fast. I feel that is down to the ai again. You catch them up and they don't put up much of a fight. Or when they are behind you, you barely have to deviate to keep them behind. 

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2012, Good graphics good AI, online was alight, didn't really care the FP1 and FP2  had been taken out. 2010 on the hardest difficulty won the championship with Toro Roso winning every race but Monaco (came second). 2011, worst AI, mediocre graphics, handling was crap. 2013 and 14 about the same as 2012 but with bad online.

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2013 even though its the one I played the least (except 2014 but that doesn't count because of the controller assist bug which makes it unplayable for me).

I enjoy the handling model especially, the car actually got loose and was a handful to drive which gave me great satisfaction and enjoyment trying to get on top of it.

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2011. Just over 2010 because it added content like the safety car. Both were awesome games, because the focus was mainly on career mode what should be priority in my opinion and i actually finsihed a few career seasons.

2012. was a disaster taking away practice session and tyre wear scaling. Cheers for letting us know that before we pre-ordered ;)

2013. had the 0 replay value scenario mode content, had that "new" feature tyre scaling, had some good classic content, think this version had 6 or 7 patches post release to fix all those bugs which didnt look good but atleast it had patches. Was an ok game.

2014. Basically a cash cow copy and paste from 2013 except you can choose any team for career.

2015 should just concentrate on career and improve a little on MP. Give us practice session back and a formation lap atleast.

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Nice to have you here Britpoint!

My personal favorite is F1 2010 as well, just because it was an entrance with a bang for Codemasters in the F1 series. It had a lot of amazing features, like the dynamic weather, the graphics looked great, the career mode with Live The Life showed some great potential for something really immersive! A close second was was F1 2013, because of the historic content. I didn't like the handling and particularly the tyre wear on the 2013 cars, but the 80's and 90's cars with the additional tracks were a nice bonus. In terms of handling, I like this years game the most (playing on a controller).

But I want the F1 series to make you feel like you're an F1 driver, and F1 2010 did that the best!

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I’ve only played F1 2011-2013 so far (I got 2014 for Christmas but haven’t had a chance to get it out the box yet!)

For variety of content 2013 is probably my favourite, I still love racing the classic cars on classic and modern tracks, even though they were never very popular online. And on the modern cars, the tyre wear, while probably a little overcooked, was fun to have to think about a lot more than in previous games. 

For general gameplay and atmosphere, 2011 was probably the best of those three though things like the full practice sessions and constructors performance changing from year to year made it feel like a genuine F1 game, rather than an arcade game that happened to have the F1 licences.

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Season challenge/scenarios and time attack I personally wouldn't miss if they were removed.

I wouldn't miss those modes either, although I think it would be more interesting to have lap time targets in time trial for every track like in F1CE instead of having time attack mode. Maybe have lap time targets for every track in the dry (for both option & prime tyres), in light rain, and in heavy rain.

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I definitely have lots of fun memories of 2010, same as many of you. There was one race in our league, and it should have been my first ever win. I wasn't the fastest driver, but I was pretty quick this time out and the guys ahead got into some sort of drama. So there I am, final lap of the Bahrain GP (remember the 2010 layout of that circuit...?) 20 seconds ahead of the pack.

...Of course I'd forgotten to turn my fuel down. Ended up running out with three corners to go! ^_^

Do you guys have any stand out memories like that from your favourites?


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F1 2010 because of the career mode and AI they made me work for posistions rather than just half hearted defending plus there was no KERS/DRS to assist you. The career content was brilliant such as the paddock it made me believe I was there the downside to the game was the auto spin kerbs and bug where the tyres where fully warmed up afrer pitting.

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kind of a little bit of 2010 and 2012 really I loved the 2012 graphics but if they had combined that with the 2010 style of career mode I think would have made for a better overall package. I think if you combine both elements into 2015 I think you'll please a lot of people here and get this series back on track. With the new consoles this shouldn't be a problem but we will see.

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Graphically, F1 2010 looked the most realistic.  F1 2011 and onward had colors that were too vibrant, and they subsequently looked a bit cartoony.  Hopefully that's remedied in F1 2015 with the new engine.  That said, we don't really care about the graphics if everything else is amazing.  Sadly, it's not....

In terms of handling/physics/setups/feedback, there's really very little to separate them.  They were all pretty much garbage, and calling them a simcade is probably overly generous.  F1 2014 with the turbos and higher torque mixed things up slightly by putting a bit more emphasis on throttle control at lower gears.  That gave it the potential to be the best, but the ridiculous disparity between gamepad and wheel, the hidden steering assist and always on TC for gamepad that was never patched made sure F1 2014 was the most flawed of all.... not to mention a bunch of features from F1 2013 had actually been removed, and not even replaced with anything else.

How do we assess which one was the best?  Do we ask which one had the least bugs?  F1 2010 started with some bugs, and some of those same ones still persist in F1 2014 while lots others have been added along the way.

When I think about each year's release, this is what comes to mind:

F1 2010: This is amazing, even with a keyboard! (last racing game I played was Mario Kart 64 so I didn't have a good point of reference)
F1 2011: Bugs, Sync Issues, Stupid AI, Unfair Penalties & added Safety Car
F1 2012: Bugs, Sync Issues, Stupid AI, Unfair Penalties & removed tire wear scaling
F1 2013: Bugs, Sync Issues, Stupid AI, Unfair Penalties & added tire wear scaling and classics
F1 2014: Bugs, Sync Issues, Stupid AI, Unfair Penalties & wheel spin, new engine sounds and removed classics.
F1 2015: New Engine & new Creative Director, so optimistic?

Despite my negativity, racing the F1 201x games all have the potential to be a lot of fun in league racing, but they also have the potential to be so much better.

Bottom line, listen to the fans, and posts like these, Britpoint, are a small step in the right direction.  Thanks

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Best game being 1, worst being 6. 
1. F1 2010, had good FPS, live the life experience, full practice, good crash physics, etc. 
2. F1 2014, fixed many problems that previous games had, but still only one practice session. 
3. F1 2011, safety car and marshals along track walls introduced and day/night transitions for Abu Dhabi were good; however it had a very poor frame rate and lots of bugs. 
4. F1 2013, good classic content, rest of the game had lots of problems. 
5. F1 2012, worst PS3/Xbox360 F1 game in the series in my opinion, lots of bugs (safety car rarely deploying being one of them), removed FP1 and FP2, removed all "live the life" features (interviews and partial menu being in the mobile team HQ)
6. F1 2009, worst Codemasters F1 game, had very poor graphics. 

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I can only echo what many have said. 2010 was an excellent start and many thought it was going to be a long road of success. I had a race in China where I was going to take my first win and podium but got a puncture with several laps left bolted a set of options on and went for it. Got a podium but it was still great to put in 7 or so qualy laps and make up a few positions. Also say full race weekend. I enjoyed 2011 up to the patch where drivers around you retired as it was well documented there were no retirements and Codies try to "fix" that but broke it and left it. 2014 has a very polished feel around the graphics, it just lacks immersion. As with all when a race is over that's it. Nothing grabs you and says otherwise. You just get a radio message. The standings and then onto FP3.

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2013 for me. Didn't play 2010. 2011 was OK, as was 2012. Only played 2014 briefly, have not bought.

Basically I think for people to keep buying the games they need to see significant features added per year, 2013 did this for me with the classics and extra tracks. 2014 has nothing to persuade me to buy it.

I think CM have got to up their game significantly on 2015. I think 2015 will sell well because it will be the first F1 game on the PS4/XB1 format - 2016 will be where the issues are.

Things I think :

i) Live the life : Never been attractive to me, but it seems that a lot of people on the forum want a more immersive experience with this sort of stuff included and expanded upon from previous attempts. Surely this should be one of the more easy things to include ?

ii) Handling : I don't know why CM keep fiddling with the handling from year to year. It's a mystery to me. And if you do fiddle with it to make it easy (as in controller F1 2014) surely allow the option of keeping the old settings.

iii) General Info. The general info on the F1 racing games seems to be very poor. I want telemetry, I want to be able to jump straight to the fastest lap of a sequence. I want to see helicopter view. I want to be able to record a fastest lap to disk. And on and on. All this seems like it should be there in a racing game where people are striving to increase their times. I have no clue why it isn't.

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dirt3joe said:

ii) Handling : I don't know why CM keep fiddling with the handling from year to year. It's a mystery to me. And if you do fiddle with it to make it easy (as in controller F1 2014) surely allow the option of keeping the old settings.

I think I can shed a bit of light on this one. I don't do the handling on F1 myself, but I did on GRID: Autosport so I know more or less how these systems work. So there are a few reasons why handling changes game to game.

Firstly, maybe we're just not quite happy with it. That's the simplest reason; you make the game, then you come back and play it a few months later and start to think that maybe the turn-in could feel more responsive, or perhaps you'd like the loss of grip beyond the limit of the tyres to be a bit more controllable. So when it's time to make the next game, you try and make those improvements.

Secondly, the F1 games try to emulate real life. So if the characteristics of the real cars change, we want to reflect that in game. The most obvious example here is 2013 to 2014, where we lost blown diffusers and V8s and gained these really torquey V6 turbos. They have a really different effect on the car. And because the cars have changed physically (different weight, different downforce levels, different wheelbases etc.), and those physical changed are simulated in the engine, we can't just have an option for 'apply 2013 settings' as that would apply settings designed for vehicles with completely different characteristics. I did that a few times while working on Autosport - accidentally applying the file for one car onto another one. The results are... well, let's just say it's not nice to drive with! :)

Finally, there are often improvements to the technology from game to game. So the physics that one game's handling was built on might be changed or more detailed for the next game. So again, the physics and older settings may not be compatible, so you have to rework them.

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Britpoint said:
dirt3joe said:

ii) Handling : I don't know why CM keep fiddling with the handling from year to year. It's a mystery to me. And if you do fiddle with it to make it easy (as in controller F1 2014) surely allow the option of keeping the old settings.

I think I can shed a bit of light on this one. I don't do the handling on F1 myself, but I did on GRID: Autosport so I know more or less how these systems work. So there are a few reasons why handling changes game to game.

Firstly, maybe we're just not quite happy with it. That's the simplest reason; you make the game, then you come back and play it a few months later and start to think that maybe the turn-in could feel more responsive, or perhaps you'd like the loss of grip beyond the limit of the tyres to be a bit more controllable. So when it's time to make the next game, you try and make those improvements.

Secondly, the F1 games try to emulate real life. So if the characteristics of the real cars change, we want to reflect that in game. The most obvious example here is 2013 to 2014, where we lost blown diffusers and V8s and gained these really torquey V6 turbos. They have a really different effect on the car. And because the cars have changed physically (different weight, different downforce levels, different wheelbases etc.), and those physical changed are simulated in the engine, we can't just have an option for 'apply 2013 settings' as that would apply settings designed for vehicles with completely different characteristics. I did that a few times while working on Autosport - accidentally applying the file for one car onto another one. The results are... well, let's just say it's not nice to drive with! :)

Finally, there are often improvements to the technology from game to game. So the physics that one game's handling was built on might be changed or more detailed for the next game. So again, the physics and older settings may not be compatible, so you have to rework them.
Thanks for answering !

I very much liked the handling on GridAutosport, so I think you did a good job there - I think many others over on the Grid thread are of the same opinion.

As regards F1, I don't use the wheel or have played 14 that much, but a few people have said that they feel the wheel was much improved on 14. The controller though hasn't been well received, at least on here as you probably know. On 13 the controller handling was good, if a bit hard. What I look for in the controller handling is something that requires some subtley, some learning in order to get right. For example you don't want to be able to floor the accelerator out of every corner without consequence. Balancing how much you can use the throttle out of the corner adds to the user skill and helps people demonstrate different skill levels. I kind of question how possible it is to translate a cars real behaviour in terms of weight/balance etc into a controller, and therefore I'm not sure it is worthwhile fiddling around with the controller settings from year to year. I think with the wheel though there is more chance to express the car characteristics more and this is worth doing.

There have been a lot of people I think unhappy with the relative performance of 14 on controller vs. wheel. I kind of understand that the two types of users are looking for different experiences, and it is probably very very difficult to make the two control methods match exactly. One of the reasons I did not end up buying 14 was because when I tried it the controller seemed too easy and not enough of a challenge compared with 13 and from the comments on here it is not possible to change the difficulty of the handling characteristics that much. I think this has been the mistake with the controller handling on 14 - some people complained that the controller was too hard on 13, and this led to it going the other way and becoming too easy on 14, rather than adding in options to make it easier and keep both camps happy.

Reading these forums for ages has taught me that opinions on handling are *very* subjective. I don't think it is ever possible to please everyone. But there does appear to be some general agreement as regards handling performance in the games. I did like the relative handling of the 2013 and the classics in F1 2013. The classics had a much different character and were harder to master, at least for me.


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