Why F1 2017 is a must-have for any F1 Fan!

With F1 2017, Codemasters will publish their 8th official F1 game. We will show you why the game is a must have for every F1 fan, and for everyone who is in love with racing games. With the NDA of the closed beta ending on Tuesday, you will get also my very own opinion and review as a long term F1 player.

Bildergebnis für f1 2017 game

The 25th of August in this year is not only the day when the F1 World Championship’s summer break ends with free practice at the Belgian GP, and Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton continue their fight for the title—it’s the day when Codemasters publish their new F1 game. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

New features:

Career Mode: Realistic engine rules:

The Career Mode in the F1 games reached a new level on last year’s game, when Codemasters finally introduced a real atmosphere with a paddock, your own starting number, a career mode that lasts 10 seasons and the all-new feature to improve the team’s car with updates on different areas, that helps you to catch up with your rivals.

But in this year’s game, the whole thing is reaching another level again.  Like you see in the trailer above Codemasters didn’t only improve the R&D system massively, they also implemented F1’s restriction on engine parts.

Like in real life you have to manage your whole power unit package now. Not only the ICE (internal combustion engine), but also the many other parts of the complex current V6-hybrid engines. And on top of that, also your gearbox which you are only able to change every six races without a penalty.

That means that you are not able to push your car to hell on every weekend of the season like last year—especially when you sitting in a McLaren-Honda or other less reliable cars, you have to look after the car as in real life or get hurt by an engine penalty.

Massive R&D system:

As mentioned in the beginning of the article and also seen on the video trailer above, the R&D system is now way more complex. The players are now able to improve very specific parts of the car and, as British Youtuber “aarava” called in one of his videos, there is a whole “tree” of improvements of the car now.

And also here the player have to decide what section of the car should be improved. This section could be again be payed with Resource points, that the player is earning with the practice sessions, that are more intense in this year’s game than last year.

Like in real and like in F1 2016 each car has his very own specific strengths and weaknesses.  To the last year’s sections of engine, chassis and more comes the point of reliability. Yes, in F1 2017 there are finally real car issues, like an engine failure or as mentioned before failures of the engine parts. A big plus for every fan that loves the details of the sport!

Classic Cars:

If you don’t live under a rock, you probably already know that Codemasters is bringing the Classic Cars back into the new game. The first—and also last—time we saw this was in F1 2013. Now there are not only more Classic Cars—they will also be implemented into the career mode.

But first let’s see what kind of cars are in there:

Ferrari:
1995 Ferrari 412 T2
2002 Ferrari F2002
2004 Ferrari F2004
2007 Ferrari F2007

McLaren:                    
1988 McLaren MP4/4
1991 McLaren MP4/6
1998 McLaren MP4-13
2008 McLaren MP4-23

Williams:
1992 Williams FW14B
1996 Williams FW18

Renault:
2006 Renault R26

Red Bull:
2010 Red Bull RB6

Well then, how will the classic cars work in career mode?

Screenshot zu F1 2017 (PS4) - Screenshots

Simple. According to Creative Director Lee Mather there is a rich guy called “Jonathan” who owns some classic cars and during the career mode he runs certain events: letting the player jump in a faster modern Renault R26, for example, and with that the player has to catch slower cars that start the race before you.

Screenshot zu F1 2017 (PS4) - Screenshots

But next to the career mode there are also some special game modes with the classic cars and the player is able to use them in time trial for example.

A little mention here, like you saw maybe in the video from McLaren’s Lando Norris above: with the 1988 McLaren MP4/4, which is only available in the limited edition of the game, you are able to use a h-gearshift next to your wheel, like the car had in real life back in this time. A very cool feature, we think!

Beta Review – my very own opinion:

Thankfully as a longtime F1 player and the head of the biggest German F1 league I was invited for the second time for Codemasters Beta this year, after they started their beta programme one year ago with F1 2016.

The beta took part in different phases, each phase with different game modes or improving things from the last phase.

The Driving:

This year showed a massive change of aerodynamic regulations in F1. The cars are wider, the tyres are much bigger and the times are faster than in every F1 year before. Most of the real drivers are saying currently that the 2017 cars are much more fun and much more difficult to drive.

And you will feel this immediately in the game, no matter if you play with a wheel or a control pad. The cars are much faster in the corners and you will be able to push the car to every section of the circuit, especially with the wheel. Like in reality the tyre wear is much less than in the previous years, so you can push more, but:

Managing of the car:

As mentioned above with the reliability, you also have to manage the car with the fuel like in real life.  Fuel saving is much more important in this year’s game and you will probably not finish a race if you drive with the “Standard Fuel Mix” for the whole time. So you need to drive some slow laps now, using Fuel Mix 1 or just lift and coast. Some races will definitely be decided by that factor.

Graphics:

I played the game only on the Xbox version, but i have to admit that the graphics, especially of the cars, seems to be much better. Everything looks more realistic and the colour schemes are just insane. But have a look at your own in Codemasters’ gameplay videos.

Classic Cars:

In the beta you were able to test some classic cars in the first weeks. To be honest I didn’t play too long with those cars, but the lovely V10 sound of the Ferrari F2002 I enjoyed that for hours, and I don’t talk trash: compare it to a real onboard and you could not hear a difference between that and the game. Definitely a really sweet part of the game, that you will enjoy!

Racing against AI:

The AI is just awesome in F1 2017. Simple to say. Sure in the beta there were some strange moments here and there, which is pretty normal for a beta. But the racing against the AI in my opinion was no doubt as good as in any other game before. I had some fights with them which I normally only get when I play against my league colleagues. They are fighting back, racing against you in the corners and with the new “AI slider” you are finally able to decide for your own how strong the AI should be and this worked perfect for me.

With the new manual pitlimiter and manual exit of the pitbox there are also new driving assists that makes the game more realistic.

Multiplayer:

For me as a league driver, the multiplayer online mode is probably the most important point in the F1 games. Any long term player will know that Codemasters had some real issues in the last games. With F1 2016 they had done already a big step.

But with F1 2017 there will definitely be more happy faces for every league driver—especially as Codemasters gave every beta tester the opportunity to test the first multiplayer beta for some weeks. And with that, I’m also able to tell you something about that:

First of all the wheel to wheel racing and when both cars touches each other: While on some games in the last years there were horrible strange situations, taking the other player with a little touch on the sidepod 500 metres into the wall, there is now a really real responsibility of the cars. You can now really race against your friends or against your rivals in the league without have any thoughts about things like mentioned above.  Also Codemasters fixed many glitches from last year game, that makes the online feeling more enjoyable.

Mention for all Xbox players: the game finally has the session list from previous games back and the hopper system from the last two games are away.

F1 2017 –  A must have?

For me as an F1-Fan, a league driver who is going into his seventh season, and a lover of racing games since my childhood—definitely yes! But for a casual gamer, a normal F1 fan?

I would say: yes! Because this year’s game is not only an improved version of the very good F1 2016, it has so many more features and the cars are just a lot more fun to drive. Also, there are so many things that are like in reality now, for example you see the new intros of the races in the gameplay above which is exactly the one that F1 fans know from the TV broadcast of the real race weekends, the new whole story about the engine party and managing of the car—details that makes the game much more realistic.

In my opinion F1 2017 will be the best F1 game yet and everyone who was in love with F1 2016, will like F1 2017 much more!

F1 2017 will be released on August 25th on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Motorsport gaming in 2017: a look ahead

 

Gaming is one of the most talked about things in the world, and with the annual global gaming event E3 just around the corner, we felt it was time to look at the gaming market for motorsport. Whilst the Pit Crew Online largely focuses on the real-life view of racing, we felt it was time to broaden our horizons and look at the electronic view too. 2017 looks like a fantastic year for games, so stay tuned for some reviews throughout the calendar year, but here are a few to keep an eye out for.

DiRT 4:

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Release Date: 9 June 2017

DiRT 4 is the twelfth edition of the evolved Colin McRae Rally series, being the sixth game in the series to have the DiRT title. Focused on rallying as from the late great Colin McRae it carries on this with asphalt, dirt and snow with different weather conditions. This year DiRT and Codemasters have gained the FIA RallyCross Championship license, and Norwegian Rally/Rallycross expert Petter Solberg has been helping them with the handling model. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any aspects of the current World Rally Championship but has many cars across the last 30 years. The game is about to be released, so stay tuned for a review in the forthcoming days.

MotoGP 17:

Developer: Milestone S.R.L
Publisher: Milestone S.R.L
Release Date: 15 June 2017

Building upon the release of Valentino Rossi: The Game in 2016, Milestone is back with MotoGP 17. Having had the official contract since 2013 this is Milestone’s fifth annual release, which concentrates on the three series of Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP, as well as the feeder series before Moto3, the Red Bull Rookies. You can see that this has one career mode not for the faint-hearted. It has many legendary bikes and riders from throughout the years in the game too. Milestone are well renowned for their Superbike gaming, and the game has come leaps and bounds, with now 60 FPS (frames per second) and authentic sounding bikes it most definitely looks like the best one yet.

F1 2017:

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Release Date: 25 August 2017

Codemasters are one of the biggest players in the racing game market, with many series to their name, and the official Formula 1 video game is another in their locker. Taking the series to new heights ever since 2009 on the Wii, and 2010 on other consoles the game year upon year looks more stunning and has a breath of fresh air over it. This year Codemasters have gone retro, and gone back through the years to classic cars, a first since 2013. They have finally managed to get the iconic McLaren MP4/4 and listening to the scream of that engine up the hill of Monaco will sound beautiful. They currently have agreed on 12 cars in that classic selection and most recently announced the Red Bull RB6, with which Sebastian Vettel won his first Championship. Known for its great depth in career and balance online racing Codemasters look like they are raising the series to even greater heights than before.

Project CARS 2:

Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher: Slightly Mad Studios
Release Date: 22 September 2017

Slightly Mad Studios are back, with their second installment in the series, aptly named Project CARS 2. Slightly Mad are in one competitive market with the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo, serious realistic driving simulators, that have been doing it for many years. They have reviewed the first game as a success and didn’t hesitate on announcing that they were working on a second game. The Indy 500 was very popular this year due to Fernando Alonso taking part. They have lucratively managed to get licensing for Dallara Honda/Chevorlet 2016 Indycars, mixing with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, making them the only game that could theoretically do the Indy 500 in. This franchise doesn’t do things half-baked, with an estimated 150+ cars on launch and 60+ tracks, many licensed whilst some improvised versions of tracks they failed to get licensing for.

Gran Turismo Sport:

Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive
Release Date: TBC (Originally Early 2017)

Polyphony are racing simulator gods, returning for the thirteenth time using the Gran Turismo name first used back in 1997. Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are the two giants in the racing simulation world, albeit locked to a console each—Gran Turismo being a Playstation exclusive whilst Forza is a Microsoft exclusive. It has a major partnership with the FIA, official Gran Turismo FIA Championships are taking place, as a result winners will be invited to their annual prize awards in Paris. eSports is something that is evolving and growing, and they have jumped on the opportunity especially with such a lucrative deal. A much more compact version of recent Gran Turismo games in terms of concentrating on three game modes on/offline, focusing on the core of the game, which is the racing. EA, more known for their sports games, lost the rights to a Porsche deal, so will be a first that the German manufacturer will be in the franchise. Polyphony are known for their delay in releasing games, as of yet we still have no idea of release date.

Others:

So far, Forza have yet to show their hand: their last release, Forza Horizon 3, was September 2016, so it seems some news is due on a new game, as they have annually been releasing since 2011’s Forza Motorsport 4. E3 is traditionally the big gaming event of the year, and each time Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo take the stage for a few hours showing off what is to look forward to in the year ahead of their consoles. We wouldn’t put it past Microsoft announcing something when the stage is theirs.

Codemasters are at it again, albeit with a more fun and friendly racing game, not as hardcore as their Dirt and Formula 1 games. Micro Machines World Series, the original creators of the franchise releasing a first game since 2006 having a more relaxed version of racing. Racing amongst pool tables and breakfast in attempt to wipe your friends and rivals off the map looks like a right laugh—although for the competitive people amongst you, there are also world championships to take part in.

The Pit Crew across the future will be looking at the big upcoming games, and future games that are announced to not only bring you the news of current motorsport news, but how you could possibly recreate it in your own living room.

Chris Lord, F1 Correspondent
8 June 2017

DiRT 4 Review

June 11, 2017

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Developer and publisher Codemasters is back with the DiRT series, which evolved from the Colin McRae rally series way back on the Playstation 1 in 1998. Twelfth in the overall series, and the sixth to contain the DiRT name. Rally legend McRae passed away in 2007, but his name was used up until the release of DiRT 3 on console. The series has come leaps and bounds since, across all four generations of consoles since, currently on Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC. Between DiRT 3 and DiRT 4 there have been three games all offering unique opinions towards rallying.

Build up to the game

DiRT 4 was announced early in 2017 in January with June as the expected release date, which Codemasters has managed to abide by.

Norwegian Rally and Rallycross legend Petter Solberg has been a key asset to Codemasters in the sense of handling and the noise of the cars, and his feedback has been crucial for the developer to make DiRT 4 such a brilliant game. No wonder, as Solberg is an all time great, winning with the works Subaru team in 2003 in the World Rally Championship before moving to Rallycross and winning the 2014 and ’15 championships with Citroen in 2014 & 2015.

Game Features:

Career Mode

As per any racing game, there is a career mode within the game, and DiRT4’s has quite a unique aspect. With career you create your own driver from scratch and can select the particular disciplines in which you wish to compete. You can choose sponsors and develop your team with own livery development as well as a garage full of cars that are suitable for each individual series you can participate in, from rallying across the three types of surface—asphalt, gravel and snow—and Rallycross, which is a combination.

DiRT 4 has the official FIA Rallycross license, with 5 areas at which the events are based; by all means this can be done in single player, but is a substantial part of the career mode, very enjoyable and and with settings that can be amended corresponding to your driving skills. There are two types of handling: a fun arcade side, as well as a hardcore simulation mode—driving on the simulation mode in career gives a true reflection of how difficult it is but when finding the sweet spot it makes it so exciting to play.

Dirt Academy

The DirtFish Rally School is based in Washington and gives people a way to learn the skills of a rally driver via joy riding and time attack events, to then put towards Career and Multiplayer modes. It gives you a chance to develop skills to maybe push the levels of difficulty in career and quick modes as well as pushing yourself up the global leaderboard to become the very best. Events in this mode are rather enjoyable, especially the time attack scenarios across the area, and jumping up objects and smashing cardboard boxes—who doesn’t loves causing carnage to the environment!

Multiplayer

RaceNet has once more been developed further by Codemasters for this game, which sets an array of tables and events to partake in. You have access to this via the game as well as the website and this will give you the facility to view cross-platform leaderboards, with specific tournaments that can be completed throughout the game’s life span. DiRT 4’s challenges are tiered in terms of daily, weekly, and monthly which can be quite competitive and enjoyable to complete. Each individual event is different, and will never be same thanks to the stage creator they have on the game. You can take part in events with up to eight people online in terms of racing, but in terms of offline play the game has no split-screen facility.

Sound and Visuals

DiRT 4’s visuals are outstanding: the lighting in particular is brilliant, and the shadows in the morning and at time of sunset in the forest areas cannot be beaten. The cars’ characteristics in terms of damage to certain extent is limited but throughout career and Rallycross modes, you have a select amount of time to fix any problems with your car such as dampers to help handling. The cars look slick and through mud for example it doesn’t brush away, if it is wet on a gravel stage, the car becomes caked in mud. Driving at night is difficult but when you master how to drive the sense of accomplishment makes you push even further to great success.

The Co-Driver—which had work from the professional co-drivers of Jen Horsey and Nicky Grist—sounds clear and specific with how the information is given, such as the tighter the turns are the smaller the number is shouted to prepare yourself in advance. The cars sound so realistic, the engine revving if you don’t shift as well as the popping of the exhaust gives you a true version of the cars. The natural noises, for example jumping through the air whilst landing and going through water puddles, sound excellent.


Overall opinion

DiRT 4 is most definitely the best game yet in the series, returning to the good old days of the early 2000s of Colin McRae 2005, the buzz that all the game modes give as well as the noise that in first person gives you the feeling you are in control. It is wheel supported which is a true challenge, albeit a pad still gives you a thrill. The sheer amount of features in the game truly does not limit what you can do. The stage creator always gives you something new, and will be never be the same—choose a destination, difficulty and length of the stage, and off you go.

The first game reviewed with The Pit Crew Online and we score it highly, albeit a few things it does lack which holds back a perfect ten. The fact that we have no split screen for offline racing for people that wish to battle in their own living room and that when it comes to livery creator in career mode it is very limited in what can be amended. The Rallycross only has five of the series’ destinations, but at the end of the day these are small drawbacks. The variety of what can be done in career and online is astonishing with the sound, always advise to turn it up to hear the exhaust pop going around hairpins. Visually it’s amazing, which with graphics nowadays is hard to stand out amongst rivals, but definitely the best looking off-road game.

A solid 9/10 rating.

Chris Lord, F1 Correspondent