F1 2019 is to be released two months sooner than expected so it's time to start looking at what a perfect game would look like. Some features, such as some unofficial liveries being available online, have already been announced and are exciting additions to the fantastic F1 2018, but what would the perfect F1 game include?
These ideas are not expected of Codemasters this year nor are they particularly realistic for them to include, but that can't stop us from dreaming. Here are our ideas for the perfect F1 game.
This is perhaps the easiest thing for Codemasters to add into the game in a small way, but adding some of the discontinued tracks could be an incredibly expensive undertaking for Codemasters and is why we haven't seen a classic track in a while.
Codemasters have done a terrific job of making the current F1 tracks as realistic as possible. The bumps of Monaco and slopes of Austria alter the feel of your car to a remarkable degree, and creating that level of realism in a track like Kyalami or Zandvoort would be a huge effort and require a lot of resources. However, there are more recent tracks like South Korea, India, and Turkey that have featured on F1 games relatively recently which means Codemasters have some sort of baseline information to build from.
There are also classic versions of current tracks that could be introduced. We already have a short-track of Silverstone, but what about a version with the classic configuration with Bridge corner that has Copse as turn 1? What about putting in the old Hockenheimring in that features huge blasts through the forest into tight chicanes? This addition might not be feasible, but it would certainly increase the longevity of the game for players and add an extra level to the game outside of career mode.
More Realistic Damage
F1 games have done a terrific job in recent years of refining the way minor, or major, front wing damage affects your car and how tyre wear creates handling issues. In F1 2018 you can even have DRS failures affect your race while in career mode using old power unit components can have a tangible effect on performance. These aspects have made career mode more rewarding than ever, however they aren't perfect. With more and more complex aerodynamic developments affecting F1 it would be nice to see the F1 game echo this and include sidepod and floor damage.
In F1 2018 your sidepod is indestructible, making divebombs into corners and aggressive swipes in online races a tactic with little downside. If you could damage the aero components on the side of your car then forcing your way through would be much more risky. Adding floor damage would make aggressive kerb-riding less appealing. We've already seen how minor damage to this seasons F1 cars floor can negatively impact performance, it would be good to see this added to F1 games.
Within this you could even include spontaneous power unit failure, such as Charles Leclerc suffered in Bahrain, that would give seasoned F1 players something to contend with but could be turned off for the newer or more casual player in the assists/gameplay settings.
Driver Transfers, Development & Retirement
This is the one thing that separates F1 games from all other sports franchises but is the one thing least likely to change any time soon. In FIFA or Madden you can move superstar players from one team to another. You can have Lionel Messi in a Real Madrid shirt or Tom Brady in a Denver Broncos one. But in F1 games drivers are locked into their teams forever with no way of moving them unless you mod the game. Leaving Hamilton in silver and Sebastian Vettel in red.
This is a huge frustration to players when it comes to career mode. After three seasons it can be annoying to see the same drivers in the same cars and driving at the same level. While F1 2018 has done a good job of adding individual traits to the drivers, and making Charles Leclerc much faster than Marcus Ericsson, the inability for that talent to develop and move up the grid leads to a lot of sameiness when you go season to season.
While Codemasters are undoubtedly restricted in this by their agreement with F1, they could certainly add a driver development model, allowing the young guns to get better as time progresses and the older drivers to fade away. Imagine a career mode where 4 seasons in Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have fallen away, overtaken as the fastest drivers on the grid by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc? That fact alone, even if they stayed in the same car, would add an extra dimension to career mode.
The other option is simply to have the real drivers retire and be replaced by regen character. Having Kimi Raikkonen still pounding the track in season 7 of career mode seems unrealistic, replacing him with a promising young driver would again add a fresh feel to the later stages of career mode.
With news that some form of custom livery is coming to F1 2019 this looks like it will be the most likely to happen at some point. F1 2018's only point of customisation was the ability to pick from a selection of preset face models and a selection of helmet designs. While you can alter the colours of the helmets, you can't create a new one from scratch. There are plenty of games that have deep customisation suites when it comes to making a logo or design.
The ability to create your own helmet design, or even recreate Ayrton Senna's or Michael Schumacher's, would be a big step for fans. Adding your teams sponsors over the top of that design would make your helmet look even more realistic.
Whether players will be unleashed to create whatever car livery they like or just have the choice of a few presets in online multiplayer is yet to be seen. The latter is a step in the right direction, but the dream is full customisation for players to go wild and give their own interpretation of what F1 cars should look like.
F1 2018 has a whole host of classic cars for you to drive, but not much to do with them. There are some series you can do in the "Championships" game mode, but you don't unlock anything or even receive an achievement/trophy for completing it. It would be nice to see Codemasters do something with all these classic cars they have put work into creating, and it looks like that something may be on the way. In their latest teaser trailer Codemasters announced that Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost will be in the game along with their McLaren MP4/5B and Ferrari F1-90. The trailer hypes up their rivalry so perhaps Codemasters will include a game type that drops you into situations from their careers in which you have to battle back, snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or alter history by claiming a win that was lost. Some sort of "story mode" is commonplace in sports games now, with FIFA's "The Journey", Madden's "Long Shot" and even WWE's "Showcase Mode". F1 has an archive of amazing rivalries and races to pick from and offer to fans with F1 2019, and it looks like we may get the most well-known of them all.
What is on your wishlist for F1 2019 and future games? What would you want to see in the perfect F1 game? Leave a comment below!