F1 2015 Preview

Run the good race.

With Bandai Namco publishing Project C.A.R.S. as well as the newly-announced Sebastian Loeb Rally Evo, Codemasters might be feeling the heat. But a little friendly competition never hurts and with the F1 series coming to the new-gen consoles for the first time, the upcoming F1 2015 is primed for an upgrade and ready for the current F1 season.

In terms of graphical prowess, F1 2015 has been built on a brand new game engine with an updated physics system for vehicle handling that can run at a clean 60fps (or at least that's the expectation). The light reflections off the car's shiny paint and the water droplets pelting the asphalt, especially if you set the weather to its most stormy setting, brings the simulation to life. As the tires shake over the ground, so will the rumbles of the controller, particularly the triggers on the Xbox One controller.

Racing around in the demo on the twisty-turvy track in Singapore was difficult, but judging the corners was a breeze over time with the racing line. I took seventh in my first attempt, then first two times over. While realistic car damage is still dented, so to speak, due to licensing by the various car manufacturers, getting nicked a few too many times will make your F1 speedster unwieldy. And cause too many accidents, and you'll be forced off the course.

Another point of note, which F1 fans will notice, is that F1 2015's release date of June 2015 is slated right in the middle of the official season instead of being at the typical tail-end of the season. Codemasters plans to update the game continuously over the course of the racing calendar, for free of course, giving the game more relevance and capitalizing on the height of the F1 Grand Prix. The new season mode will include the alliance between Honda and McLaren, Sebastien Vettel's move to Ferrari, and the return of the Mexican Grand Prix to the calendar after a 23-year hiatus.

As another addition, you will now be able to communicate with the pit crew by issuing voice commands through a headset. Hardcore F1 players who race without the hub information and will delve into the Pro Season, which turns on all of the game's most realistic settings, will appreciate being able to receive information as if they were an actual driver. Moreover, the new Championship Season will comes with new grid introductions and broadcast-style presentation, if you opt to select them, and the Online Practice session will give you the ability to challenge rivals before heading to the 16-player Online Multiplayer.

F1 2015 speeds onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in June 2015. I asked the developers whether the game would be compatible with Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus, and we can expect more details in future titles in the series after they've solidifed the foundation of F1 2015.