F1 2017 game: Classic cars, Monaco at night and more

The first gameplay trailer for F1 2017 game has just been revealed. The game, due out in August, will see the return of classic cars after a four-year absence.

Codemasters, the company behind the F1 series since 2009, has confirmed that players will be able to get behind the wheel of 12 classic cars in F1 2017 after the mode was axed from the franchise four years ago.

Gamers will also be able to play as all 20 drivers in the current F1 field, including three-times world champion Lewis Hamilton and McLaren debutant Stoffel Vandoorne. All 10 teams, from Ferrari to Sauber, will also be present.

More details are expected closer to the game’s launch in late August, but here’s everything we know so far about the new F1 game:

Classic cars are back

Classic cars debuted in F1 2013, although Codemasters revealed in a blog post the following year that it would drop the popular content in the 2014 game due to “masses of changes to the sport itself”. The company was also focusing its efforts on its first next-generation title – F1 2015.

However, classic cars are returning in F1 2017, many of which are championship-winning machines from the past 30 years. A total of 12 classic F1 cars, from the series’ top teams, will be drivable in the new game.

The oldest car of the group is the McLaren MP4/4 that was driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the 1988 season. This is joined by Senna’s 1991 McLaren MP4/6, Nigel Mansell’s 1992 Williams FW14 and the V12-engined Ferrari 412 T2 from 1995.

Players can also drive Damon Hill’s 1996 Williams FW16, Mika Hakkinen’s 1998 McLaren MP4/13, Michael Schumacher’s dominant Ferrari F2002 and F2004, as well as Fernando Alonso’s Renault R26 from 2006. Rounding-out the list of classics are Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari F2007, Lewis Hamilton’s chrome-painted 2008 McLaren MP4/23 and Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull RB6 from 2010.

Invitations to special events

During the game’s announcement, Codemasters has revealed that players will be invited to special events during their career mode that require them to drive some classic F1 machinery.

Details of how classic cars will be implemented into the career mode are scarce, but the company’s creative director Lee Mather says that classic content “fully integrates” with the gamers’ F1 campaign.

He adds: “As part of your career you will be invited to race in modern day, invitational events in the different classic F1 cars throughout the season”.

Alternative track layouts

Along with the 20 circuits on the real-world F1 calendar are four of those tracks with shorter variants. 

The company has already shown that Bahrain and Silverstone will come with shorter layouts, with the other two being revealed closer to the game’s release. 

Circuits that have shorter layouts in the real-world include the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi and Suzuka in Japan – both of which could feature in the final game.

While classic tracks were present in F1 2013, such as Brands Hatch and San Marino’s Imola, TrustedReviews says it’s “not clear whether that will happen again this time around”.

You can now drive Monaco at night

One of the more surprising new features of F1 2017 is that players can now drive the iconic Monaco street circuit at night.

While there has never been a grand prix held at night at the principality, virtual drivers will be able to battle on the streets in the dark. However, it is expected the option will only be available in quick race mode and not in the main career. 

A similar feature was available in last year’s game, where players could race the Bahrain circuit during the day even though the grand prix itself is held at night.

Better graphics for the Xbox One X

F1 2017 will be optimised for Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One X console, says GamingBolt, bringing with it better graphics and potentially smoother gameplay.

Lee Mather, the game’s creative chief, told the website the title was “already running at 4K and 60fps with HDR enabled”.

He added: “We’re going to see how far we can get to being close to a high spec PC. We’ve increased the fidelity of the mirrors so they run a higher frame rate and higher detail. Shadows can be better. Reflections can be better.”

There’s no word yet on how the game will perform on the regular Xbox One, but the last two instalments in the series have run at 1080p and 60fps. 

Release

Versions for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will be released on 25 August. Xbox One users will also be able to play the game on the One X when the console launches on 7 November. 

Pre-ordering gives players access to Ayrton Senna’s dominant McLaren MP4/4, which can also be bought separately for those who purchase F1 2017 after it releases.

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