What I expect and want to see in the Codemasters F1 2018 videogame.
The Formula 1 gamer community had a glimpse of what they can expect from the F1 2018 videogame with a video staring Charles Leclerc in a lap around the Monaco circuit and even with the fact that only the track action could be seen in that video, some new stuff were noticed by the more watchful viewers and now we already know that we will have things like the ERS to watch out, that the classic car features will continue and that we can expect an deeper story mode but nothing beyond that, so as Formula One (and general motorsports) fan and little experienced F1 gamer, there are some of the things that I would like to see in the upcoming Formula One game.
More classic cars and tracks.
The classic car list is great! I love to play with Ayrton's 1988 MP4/4, one of the most successful cars of all time and I also love to play with Michael's Ferrari F2002, with Mika's 1998 McLaren MP4-13, with Sebastian's 2010 Red Bull RB6 and so on. I love all of them and I could list all of them over here, but the article would be quite big because of a list of Formula One cars that anyone can see here.
The fact is: It is really nice to have access to not only the cars of the main season, but also to the classic ones. It started in F1 2013 with a really nice classic car list, but with a weird driver choice for each one of them, like Fittipaldi in the '86 Lotus and Scheckter in an early 2000's Ferrari, a car that were driven by Michael Schumacher (who were fitted into a 1988 Ferrari for some reason) and Rubens Barrichello in real life, just to give a few examples and a quite shy classic track list, with Jerez, Brands Hatch, Imola and Estoril. The classic car feature came back for the 2017 game with a new car list, but the classic tracks didn’t, and I wonder why. It would be nice to drive around Nordschleife, Imola, Valencia, Indianapolis, Jarama or Detroit in one of those classic cars or even with Vettel's current car, so please Codemasters - bring them back!
Yeah, I know... the classic cars came back strongly in the latest title and they will came back for the 2018 game, but taking all the classic cars from F1 2013 and from F1 2018, the oldest ones will be from the early 80's and it would be nice to see cars like the 1972 Lotus that Fittipaldi drove in the year of his first F1 championship, the McLaren M23, famous for the titles of Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974 and James Hunt in 1976, the Ferrari 312T that Niki Lauda drove in the same season (in a battle against Hunt that became so famous that even Hollywood got interested), the Lotus 78 ("the wing car"), the unusual Tyrell P-34 ("the six wheeler") and why not the cars from Fangio, Clark, Hill etc? All of them have their own history, their own sound and because of that, they deserve a space in the game and the gamers deserves to drive them!
Free to play events.
Codemasters created some interesting challenges in F1 2017, with races against the clock for example and races with certain track conditions, continents etc but I missed one that are really interesting even if it is already there.
One of them are the Weekend GP event, a challenge that always follows the real-life GP, so as the current race event are the Monaco GP, the event in the game are the Monaco GP challenge, but where's the big thing in it? It's really simple: you have to end a race as some real-life driver instead of simply doing the whole thing or a percentage of it, so you always have a predetermined challenge to accomplish under a certain context, so using the current challenge as an example, the player has only five laps to take Ricciardo for a P2 in Monaco after a late pitstop.
The main problem with it? The player don't have the choice of when he wants to play it, the driver to play with, the track or the race context... he have to wait for the next F1 race weekend to do it under the Formula 1 Esports Series, so if you really like it... you have to wait weeks until the next one and that's not cool, it is actually worse when we think about the F1 time break (the so called Silly Season) between the Hungarian GP, that will happen in July 29 and the Belgian GP, in August 26 - that's almost one month without F1!
Car handling variantion.
Having cars from different eras, having a feeling of how each of them deals with the corners would be interesting (without considering the fact that each of them have their own noises, what helps a lot - obviously). From my personal gaming experience, I could notice that the different accelerations already give a little bit of it, but the 1988 MP4/4 handles almost the same as a 2017 Mercedes W07 Hybrid, so a deeper feeling of each car would be very well welcomed, mainly for those who plays with a sensitive steering wheel.
Visual damages improved.
One of the biggest dramas in a Formula One race are the possibility and the results of a crash. Mad and sad drivers after a retiring, yellow flags, strategy changings and of course... damaged cars. Sometimes are only a broken wing and a damaged suspension, sometimes the damages are worse... and the F1 games haven't brought it exactly how it should. An improve in the visual damage would help in the game immersion and also would be quite fun to play with in the free times (yeah, I know that you do it!).
Yeah, I know that there are a lot of secrets in Formula One, a lot of internal components that the teams keep as a secret in the best way they can to keep their vantage over their rivals, but a generic inside component wouldn't be a problem, would it? I'm not asking for a tragedy in the game, just more realistic damages that goes beyond a broken wing, a broken suspension and scratched sidepods! The only thing that I think that goes against this possibility are the team sponsors in each car. A bigger damage could mean a smaller visibility of the logo of that expensive sponsor and even though it seems a bit ridiculous, I don't think that the teams and sponsors would like it but still... there are some ways to improve it without bothering anyone.
More realistic crashes.
Keeping in the crash/damage topic, I would like to see more realistic crashes. the thing is: when someone else's car retires, the car just disappears from the track in front of you! fades out! - That doesn't help to keep a immersive connection with the game, because sometimes the crash could be bigger, changing the race scenario even more, but that doesn't happen because that retiring car disappears just after the upcoming of another car that could have minor damages or even retire of the race too, changing the whole race, challenging the gamer even more.
Seems like the Career mode on F1 2018 are already improved, with a bigger focus on the driver reputation through press interviews and track results and that's cool, but I would also like a deeper interaction of the gamer with the first-person mode, with a paddock walk around, why not? I thought about a free to play area, where the player/driver could really walk through, going to the motorhome, the paddock, the team boxes, the press conference room etc and maybe... journalists in the way to ask them questions over there, just like the real-life and... I know what you are thinking about it: "It is a racing game!", yes, a Formula One game and all that stuff are part of the life of a Formula One driver during a Grand Prix weekend and some of that stuff are already there, but static. A first-person interaction during those moments would be interesting and well... Eden Games did something like it with Test Drive Unlimited 2 at almost teen years ago and it is still a pretty good racing game, even in the current days.
Driver's personalities represented.
As we know, the Formula One driver is (despite the great abilities with a steering wheel) still a human, so they have their own personalities and I miss that in the Formula 1 game franchise. When Ricciardo wins, we see his traditional Shoey, when Hamilton wins, we can wait for some selfie, when Raikkonen wins... we expect nothing more, nothing less than the Ice Man being the Ice Man, but we don't see that in the game podiums. All of them does the same thing all the time. The race winner has one sequence of movements, the second one has another and the third one, another sequence - normally, escaping from the Champagne of the winner, that appears waving for the public a little bit later, nothing natural there, and I want the shoey, I want to see Hamilton doing his selfies saying, "I have the best fans here!".
More natural commentators.
As it is a sound question, I can't use a photo to illustrate it, so... here it goes a moment when it comes in.
One thing that improved through the last F1 games were the commentator part, being more and more deeper to become closer to a real TV broadcast, but it is still quite artificial. In the first experiences, the before and after race commentaries are very cool and immersive, but they become repetitive after a while and also, quite generic. Everyone knows after a while that Ocon manages his tires very well and that Magnussen are an unespected choise for the driver of the day but it always ends as the choise of Antony Davidson and talking as an brazilian F1 gamer, the version in brazilian portuguese are even worse because as the voice actor were changed for the last game and some of his lines came from F1 2016, he have two voices, and he aren't the only one, because the engineer have two voices too and that takes me to the last topic:
The radio is a cool feature on the Formula One games, and it really helps in some moments, but I think that it can be improved too. One thing that can be the minor of them, but I think that should happen are the answer to "who's in front of me?" during free practices, because the game until now only considers the ranking positions, so in a free practice it tells you who were faster than you on the clock, but there's not an option to tell you who's in front of you on the track, what could be really useful in some moments.
With the entry of Liberty Media with a complete different view of the sport, 2017 and 2018 have been years of change to Formula One, its drivers and fans. We saw the beginning of F1 own streaming service, the F1TV, a service that brings live broadcasts with live timings and also the road shows with the F1 Live London, an event that are promised to happen again this year and in the next ones in other cities, making Formula One closer to the fans and we also saw the late but not less important entry of Formula One into the social media. Facebook, Twitter and a massive YouTube action... things that we couldn’t see a couple of years ago that are very important to the survive and relevance of Formula One and of course the videogame is one big step into that reinventing moment. Yes, we have Formula One games for decades, but no moment is better than now to make a more immersive experience to the fans of Formula One. There are certain words that are quite a cliché to describe motor racing… emotion, adrenalin, drama, challenge. We can’t have none of them in the same way as Lewis Hamilton have, but at least can have a little taste of it and a lot of fun with a Formula One video game and feel, at least for fifty minutes as a real racing driver and there’s no better way to find future fans and why not, the future world champion?