The Formula One game license has been handled by a variety of different publishers in the past 15 years, including EA and now defunct Psygnosis. In more recent memory the licence has been held, fairly persistently, by Sony Computer Entertainment and developed by Studio Liverpool (formerly Psygnosis).
As well as making licensed F1 games naturally exclusive to the Sony platforms, it's also meant we've not seen what another set of developers might do with the licence - especially one with the heritage and driving expertise of Codemasters and their Ego engine, used for the stellar Colin McRae: Dirt and Race Driver: GRID games. This already superior game engine has been further tweaked to recreate the aerodynamics and handling of the 200+mph F1 cars.
Codemasters has now released two 'Work in progress' high-definition shots from the PS3/360/PC version of the game F1 2010, which show the visual direction they are taking with the licence.
We thought it was only proper to compare these two new screens with two similar screens from Sony's last game on PS3, Formula One: Championship Edition, a launch game for the console in early 2007, to see what they’re doing differently. Click the images to embiggen, if you wish to inspect like a pedant.
Above: F1 2010 (The new Codemasters game)
Above: Formula One: Championship Edition (Sony' s last PS3 version)
Above: F1 2010 again (Codemasters)
Above: Formula One: Championship Edition again (Sony)
Some things we have noticed:
- These screens were supplied in 1080p format, which may be an indication that this game will run in 1080p - unlike the Sony game which lacked support for 1080i and 1080p output resolutions. That’s not confirmed though.
- At first glance, the Codemasters game appears to have taken a more naturalistic tone when it comes to lighting.
- While the Sony game had a fairly sterile, Gran Turismo-style look, the F1 2010 shots look to have more detailed texture on the road and have managed to pull off the trick of making the cars appear stuck to the track rather than floating just above it.
- It's difficult to say for sure, but the Codesmaster's shots suggest a more advanced level of detail in the weather and water effects - especially in relation to spray and surface water - the official press information promises a ‘fully dynamic weather system’ and a ‘highly advanced damage model’.
- The cars aren't representative of the new season vehicles so we can't ANALyse these yet.
- Michael Schumacher is hidden in one of the shots.
Overall, quite promising, if you can say that off the back of two WIP screenshots.. We're heading to an event next week to see Formula One 2010 at Codemasters, so expect to hear more on the game later in the month. F1 2010 will be out on PS3/360 and PC in September.
For now, let us know what you think of the new screens in the usual forums of discussion on Facebook, Twittter and below in the comments. Come on, everyone has a kneejerk reaction to new screens - jerk now!
March 10, 2010