Codemasters says F1 2016 will be “a massive step forward” for its long-running petrol-huffing franchise, built around an all-new career mode that stretches across ten seasons of racing. The game will also see the addition of the Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car, and drivers will take to the streets on a new circuit set in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“The new career mode sits at the heart of the game and allows gamers to create their own legend over a career that can span for up to a massive ten seasons,” Principal Game Designer Lee Mather said. “Beyond improving upon the fastest and most thrilling on-track racing experience in gaming, F1 2016 uniquely offers the drama and vehicle development that goes on behind the scenes. A rich car upgrade system is fully integrated into a new and deep practice development program which mirrors the tests carried out by the teams in real life.”
Career mode will enable players to drive for the F1 team of their choice, each with its own unique priorities and goals: It will be more difficult to win with a lower-ranked team, for instance, but also easier to achieve, or exceed, expectations. There will also be “stunning hospitality areas” for each team, from which drivers will advance their careers with the help of motion-captured, voiced-acted Research and Design Engineer and a Player Agent. R&D credits earned during practice sessions, qualifying, and races can be spent on upgrades for your car.
The focus on career mode is a dramatic change of direction from last year's version of the game, which did away with player-created drivers entirely and restricted the action to a single season. The net result, as we said in our review, was not great: A solid on-track experience, but not much else. Hopefully, F1 2016 will address those shortcomings.
There's currently no release date, but Codemasters said more information is coming “very soon.” In the meantime, I give you screens.