F1 2016 is Most Comprehensive Video Game Of Franchise

Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton lead the field at the start of the United States Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton lead the field at the start of the United States Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Beyond the Flag was treated to an early sneak-peak of the new F1 2016 video game from Codemasters, which could easily be described as the most responsive and elaborate edition yet since the franchise began in 2009.

F1 2016 is the eighth installment in the F1 video game series and it also has the most to offer Formula One fans who want to get behind the virtual wheel.

Career Mode makes its return in F1 2016 after being absent from the 2015 edition; however, it comes with a new twist. Players will be granted the ability to create an avatar for their driver, select the number they wish to race under, and can develop their driver for a career that spans up to ten seasons.

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As in previous versions, you’ll find yourself relaxing in either the paddock or the team RV between races – except now you might spot famous faces such as Maurizio Arrivabene and Christian Horner in the crowd.

On the track the player has to earn development points through each race weekend. These points can be exchanged for various updates to your car and team, and you have complete control of what area of your car to focus on.

Extra development points can be obtained through the completion of challenges during practice sessions – meaning those sessions will play an actual role in the game for the first time in the franchise’s history.

Playing through an entire race weekend has taken on a new sense as well. During practice sessions you’ll be afforded the opportunity to truly learn the best racing line on the track, without having to rely upon the dynamic 3D line. Additionally, your time on track will be stored so that when you return to the paddock, you’ll be provided with comprehensive tire and fuel usage data.

There are several new in-race features in F1 2016. Lee Mather, the Principal Games Designer for Codemasters, told Beyond the Flag the most popular request was to add the Virtual Safety Car to this year’s game. You spoke, and they listened.

The Virtual Safety Car rule has been included, and during this phase of the race, the car is under complete control of the player. A live delta update will alert you if your speed is too fast or too slow.

Incidents and retirements from the race will be more visible than in years past. You might find yourself zooming past a car as it limps its way back to the pits.

The introduction of the formation lap will officially be included in the game as well. Mather said during early testing with some of the game’s most popular players, the news caught everyone with extreme joy and incredibly off guard.

Even more exciting, the start system has been completely overhauled — players will be provided the option to control the clutch and manual revs for the race start.

For those of you who are keen to the spectacular crashes in F1, the damage model has been completely reworked, and will include wheel tethers in crashes. Be careful which damage mode you choose to race on, even the most slight of collisions with the now-flexing safety barriers will cause scraps of your wing to go flying.

There have also been a few smaller upgrades to F1 2016 as well.

Players will now have the ability to choose the time of day to hold each race – to an extent. Ever wondered what Singapore might look like in the daylight? Now you can find out. But sorry folks, daytime races can’t be switched to night.

Though the game was developed before the circuit was seen by man, F1 2016 also includes the new Baku City Circuit, which is incredibly fun to drive.

And then there’s the most exciting addition to this year’s version: online savable co-operative championships will be included, allowing would-be Formula One stars to truly go head-to-head.

Those who pre-order F1 2016 through GameStop will automatically receive a “Limited Edition” that contains a “Career Booster DLC Pack” with exclusive career helmet and laptop designs, as well as a “career research and development boost.”

F1 2016 will officially go on sale on Aug. 19 for PlayStation 4, XBox One and PC.