In 2013 Codemasters released their fifth Formula 1 video game and it was slightly different to what preceded it and what succeeded it. Why? Well, F1 2013 contained a classic mode. *cue Beethoven’s Symphony 7*
In classic mode, players were given the option of driving classic cars from the 1980’s and ’90’s around current and classic tracks. It was a bold move from Codemasters, showing knowledge and intent to bring the classics to life, and it was extremely well received. Players enjoyed being able to hurtle around in some of Formula One’s most legendary cars. Driving the Williams FW14B from 1992, for example, was entirely different to driving the current crop of cars, its driving style forced players to adapt, adding a new immersive mode to the base game. They coupled the classic cars with beautifully rendered versions of old tracks like the infamous Imola and the legendary Brands Hatch. Classic mode elongated the lifespan of the game massively.
With the classic content so well received and so brilliantly devised and constructed, it seemed inevitable that it would be a mainstay for every subsequent game. Unfortunately, that was not the case. F1 2014, 15 and 16 all released without a whiff of classic content. Without any information as to why it was not included, fans were left to speculate.
With the announcement of F1 2017, however, classic cars have been, somewhat surprisingly, resurrected. “After an extremely successful year with the highly acclaimed F1 2016, we are delighted to be announcing F1 2017 and re-introducing classic F1 cars back to the series” Game Director, Paul Jeal said. He went on to say “Classics were incredibly well received when we included them in F1 2013, and in F1 2017 they are back and better than ever.”
The return of classic content to the Codemasters F1 series is a clever move. F1 2015 was underwhelming thanks to a perceived lack of updates, and while F1 2016 did alleviate some of the fears the series was stagnating, the reintroduction of classic cars gives the series a serious shot in the arm. It is extremely hard to improve on the annual sports games other than visuals, at least classic mode is something else players can get their teeth into.
Once again, it seems Codemasters has taken the task of adding classic content seriously. Mulling over the many legendary cars that have graced an F1 circuit. ‘With so many great cars to choose from, it was hard to decide on the final twelve, but we are delighted with our selection of some of the most successful and iconic fan favourites from the past 30 years.” Jeal said.
In the past few days, the final twelve classic cars have been revealed to be the following:
- 1988 McLaren MP4/4
- 1991 McLaren MP4/6
- 1992 Williams FW14B
- 1995 Ferrari 412 T2
- 1996 Williams FW18
- 1998 McLaren MP4-13
- 2002 Ferrari F2002
- 2004 Ferrari F2004
- 2006 Renault R26
- 2007 Ferrari F2007
- 2008 McLaren MP4-23
- 2010 Red Bull Racing RB6
For any F1 fan, the chance of driving these legendary cars on next gen consoles is mouth-watering. F1 2013 was released just before the PS4 and Xbox One hit the shelves, so was not able to take advantage of the new-gen grunt.
To drive the cars that Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Hill & Mansell drove will be hugely appealing to many players looking to emulate their heroes from yesteryear.
As before, the list also includes cars with very different styles. The McLaren MP4-23 had a screaming V8 engine and wings and winglets covering every surface of the car. By contrast, the Williams FW14B, known as the most technologically advanced F1 car ever, boasts traction control, ABS, a semi-automatic gearbox and active suspension.
Codemasters are also going to integrate the classics better. Rather than being a tacked on luxury, as they were in F1 2013, the classic cars will be available in a multitude of modes.
“For the first time ever F1 2017 fully integrates the classic experience into the main career mode,” said Lee Mather, Creative Director at Codemasters. “As part of your career you will be invited to race in modern day, invitational events in the different classic F1 cars throughout the season.”
We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the all-conquering McLaren MP4/4 and test our mettle on the new modern circuits against our friends, or try to blow the lap times out of the water with the equally dominant F2002.