Here’s what we want to see in next year’s official Formula 1 game.
Photo credit: Codemasters
Codemasters have added several long-requested features over the past couple of their officially licensed Formula 1 games, from Formula 2 to the MyTeam career mode. However, there’s still plenty of features that we’d like to see in F1 2021. The game is set to be the first on the next-generation consoles and the 13th instalment since Codemasters released F1 2009.
1. A more stable online platform
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the F1 Esports drivers to compete in the latest Pro Series from home, rather than in the Gfinity Arena. This has exposed a number of issues with F1 2020’s online platform. As many would argue, it has negatively influenced a number of races this year. With $750,000 in prize money at stake, it’s hardly an insignificant issue.
Of course, it’s not just F1 Esports drivers it affects, it’s a consistent annoyance for many gamers. While Codemasters have undoubtedly improved the online servers in recent year, problems with de-sync and disconnections remain.
For many hardcore fans of the franchise, the number one priority is for the game to feature a stable online server that is fully functioning and allows people to race cleanly. They’d take that any day over any new fancy feature or addition.
2. Bonus classic tracks
One of the best things about the real-world F1 2020 season was the addition of classic tracks such as Imola and Nürburgring as last-minute replacements. Codemasters should consider adding these circuits as bonus tracks in F1 2021.
F1 2020 already gives you the option to edit which races are featured in a shortened 10 or 16-race season in career mode, and these bonus tracks would give the player even more flexibility. It would also help to make each season of career mode feel unique. Having the chance to race around Istanbul Park for the first time since F1 2011 would also be pretty special.
There’s also endless scope for the developer to look outside of those tracks featured during the real-world F1 2020 season. They should consider adding some tracks that are included in their sister titles such as Project Cars 3.
If they want to go down the DLC route, Codemasters could make bonus packs available post-launch which feature a selection of classic tracks, drivers and cars for a small price. However, some of these should be available at launch.
3. Classic seasons
It’s fair to say that Codemasters have struggled to integrate the classic content into F1 games in a fashion that makes gamers want to keep coming back to it long after release day. For most, it’s a section of the game that’s quickly forgotten and skipped every time it crops up in career mode. Why is that? Is it because nobody cares about the legends of F1? No. People love to replicate the past, and given the right chance, classic content can massively increase the shelf-life of an F1 game.
The classic content would greatly benefit from having such names as Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, rather than the fictional drivers that operate the classic cars in F1 2020. Legendary drivers were last featured in F1 2013, but one way to bring them back properly is by replicating a classic F1 season.
This would be a huge undertaking for Codemasters but it would make the classic content far more worthwhile. They could pick any season – whether it be in the 90s or even more recently to F1 2012, which may prove easier to license.
Replicating the calendars may be tricky and licensing can be difficult if drivers have passed away or teams have gone bust, but even with some creative interpretations, a classic season would be a great addition to the franchise. Even if F1 2021 may be too soon to add such a huge feature.
4. FIA F3
Following the successful introduction of Formula 2 into the franchise in 2019, the next natural step would be to add FIA Formula 3 – the third-tier on grand prix weekends. The cars are easier to drive than the F2 cars, which would provide an easy first stepping stone in career mode.
Having the FIA F3 content would also increase the pool of official drivers in career mode, which then increases the longevity of the career and provides more options in MyTeam. The racing is just as fast and frenetic as F2, but the 30-car grid may provide a big obstacle to Codemasters including the series considering they never featured a grid bigger than 24 in one of their titles.
There’s also the fact that they still haven’t added the 2020 F2 season to F1 2020, suggesting that they’re already quite pushed to capacity.
5. W Series
The latest addition to the real-world Formula 1 support bill deserves a place in the virtual franchise as well. W Series is an international all-female single-seater series that will host a race on eight F1 weekends in 2021. The series uses identical Tatuus F3 T-318 cars, which means Codemasters would only have to produce a physics model for one car.
The addition of the series would be keeping in line with F1’s own push for wider diversity within the championship and its #WeRaceAsOne initiative. The tracks on W Series’ eight-race 2021 calendar will all-feature on the game anyway, and the championship would surely be keen for the extra promotion.
W Series could provide an extra rung on the ladder in career mode for female sim racers, and its drivers would progress up the ranks to race alongside you through Formula 2/ FIA F3 and eventually, F1. It also features a comparatively smaller grid of 20 cars compared to FIA F3.
6. VR Support
It’s a feature long-requested and probably long-overdue considering it has been available in its sister DiRT franchise for a number of years. Yes, the absence of VR support doesn’t affect the vast majority of gamers, but it can completely deter those who do use VR from buying the game.
Introducing it for the first F1 game on the next-gen consoles would make a lot of sense too.
What new features would you like to see Codemasters include in F1 2021? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!