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21 Jun 2019

Customisation is the future for motorsport games

Welcome to a new weekly feature, "RealOpinions", a place where our columnists will offer the latest takes on the world of gaming.

June has been a good month for motorsport fans, with MotoGP 19 released early in the month and F1 2019 hitting the shelves next week. While both have greatly improved gameplay and visuals, and F1 2019 boasts a superb career mode story, there is one feature that is set to dominate the future of motorsport games: Customisation.

More than an avatar

For years you have been able to select your drivers face. That was nice, even if you rarely saw your actual face, but fans have been begging for more beyond the limited helmet choices they have usually had. Which is what makes this year so important for motorsport gamers.

MotoGP 19's customisation impressed me. As a regular F1 player and rare MotoGP one the ability to put logos onto the helmet was a really nice touch, and one that I played with for an age trying to get my look just right. And it's not just the helmet. You can customise your gloves, your rider stickers, and even create your own bike number.

It's a great way of feeling ownership of your career mode rider. But F1 2019 has taken it a step further. They invested in the technical brilliance of Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds to provide a multiplayer-only car that can then be customised with pre-made liveries and used in online play as well as weekly events.

F1 2019 customisation

The depth of customisation options in F1 2019 is staggering. From your race suit to the gloves and helmet, that will be present in all modes of the game, to the livery of your own car, F1 2019 has put players in a dream scenario of creating and racing as an individual rather than just jumping into a branded and ready-made machine.

All of this work is just the beginning, the future of these games is fully custom cars on track with the real deal. We are talking your own build and branded car being added to the career mode as an 11th team in F1. We are talking a "RealSport Racing" team in DIRT or MotoGP 20.

It may seem unthinkable now, but we never thought we would see real driver transfers in F1 games and they are now a feature. With games like Motorsport Manager putting you in the hot seat and PC mods continuing to rule the roost developers can only continue to give freedom to their players. Freedom to be a modern day Jack Brabham and own the car you win your championship in.

Motorsport games continue to make remarkable leaps forward in realism and gameplay, and the next gen consoles will only improve the visuals even more. However, if they want to stay competitive in a world where the next hot piece of entertainment is only a click away they will have to keep opening the creative door to their users and offer something that other sports games don't.

F1 2019 will be a big hit for Codemasters, just as MotoGP 19 has been for Milestone. To continue that success into the next gen era both will need to provide even deeper customisation to gamers.

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