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F1 2019 game on PS4 and Xbox One: graphics improvements revealed

Published: 28 May 2019

► Two months earlier than usual
► Regulation car included
► More info soon 

Codemasters releases a new F1 game ever year, and it’s very often hard to tell just how much of an improvement there’s been on the graphics front. So, to help build F1 2019’s case, and give you more reasons to pick up a copy this year, Codemasters has released comparison shots of the new game compared to the old one.

Current gaming hardware has been around for a few years now, and that means – much like F1, we’re now down to incremental upgrades – but you can still make out the changes to detail, and most notably lighting.

Surfaces on the cars and tracks appear to be more reflective at the Monaco circuit used, and the overall result is something that looks a little more realistic than before – and less cartoon-like.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

F1 2019 game: trailer

The new F1 2019 game is being released sooner this year, and that means we’ve now got a fresh trailer from the Codemasters team. It features no surprises as such, but the video does gives us a better look at the graphics and general presentation of the new F1 2019 game.

Watch the trailer above and you’ll see a mixture of new cars, as well as some of the classic racers promised by Codemasters in the run-up to release. There’s also some F2 racing in there, which is a first for a Codemasters F1 game. 

Best racing games in 2019

On the whole, it’s a good looking game, but whether it’s near GT Sport, Forza Horizon or even DiRT Rally 2.0? We’re not so sure. And wait, is that a Ferrari nose on the Mercedes? 

Still, there is some time before release to polish things further, and also finalise the car models.

You can relive Senna vs Prost in F1 2019 Legends

F1 2019 game: preview

2010 was a big year for Formula One. After the shock of Brawn GP and Jenson Button's title win in 2009, this was the start of the dominance of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel. Michael Schumacher returned for a few years of racing in silver, and there were three new teams joining the sport to give the drivers at the front more back-markers to pass. Oh, and we also had the first F1 video game from Codemasters.

Ten years on and a lot has changed, both in the sport and the games. Codemasters has struggled to get up to speed on the current generation of consoles, but the developer has really hit its stride over the last few years. Not only is it releasing F1 2019 earlier in the year than ever before – it's out on 28th June for PS4, Xbox One and PC – but the new game is heading in some new and interesting directions, some of which aren't even Formula 1!

F1 2019 game previewed

A tale of two formulas

That's right, for the first time there's more than just the main F1 championship in the game. With the exciting trio of Alexander Albon, George Russell and Lando Norris all stepping up to F1, this game actually lets us see what they were getting up to last season, featuring the full Formula 2 2018 championship, all of its drivers and all ten of its teams. Later this year, Codemasters will also add the 2019 season as a free update, though the cars aren't changing, it's mainly going to be cosmetic.

The Dallara F2/18 used throughout Formula 2 has a lot in common with F1 cars, from the cockpit halo to having a V6 turbo in the back and a spot of DRS to help with overtaking. The main difference? You don't have an energy recovery system to think about.

That means there's a little less strategic thinking (and certainly less mid-race menu fiddling), so you can focus more on how having a bit less downforce makes it a bit trickier to drive. You might want to be just a touch lighter on the throttle to avoid lighting up the rears out of corners.

It gets pretty feisty out on track thanks to some fun AI that might live up to the junior formula's reputation. There's plenty of close, fun, scrappy racing in the real world, and so it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise when AI Alex Albon wildly swung from the outside to the inside line to try and pass the car in front, only managing to avoid my front wing by a few inches.

You can race in F2 in a few ways, as a standalone championship, or as the new introduction for the career mode. Here it comes with its own cutscenes, characters and budding rivalries which will spill over into the following F1 seasons, getting you a bit of a reputation and affecting the racing opportunities you might get.

Senna vs Prost

The last few F1 games have done a great job of bringing classic cars into the game, and F1 2019 is celebrating the tenth anniversary with the 2010 Ferrari F10 and McLaren MP4-25, joining the Red Bull RB6 that's already in the game. But they'll also be going further back.

Earlier this week was the twenty fifth anniversary of the tragic loss of perhaps the greatest drivers ever to grace this planet, and Codemasters has decided that now is the time to honour the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. There's a special Legends edition of the game featuring the two drivers with in-game character models, their respective 1990 McLaren MP4/5B and Ferrari F1-90, and some scenarios based around their battles.

We've had these kind of racing scenarios in F1 games before, but it still feels odd that the example we got to try was a simple overtake challenge, tasking you with passing a bunch of identical and slow Lotus 79s... Eventually you catch up to the other half of the rivalry at the front of the train, trying to pass them within the time limit, but given the iconic pairing, the full game really needs to do much more to do them justice.

eSports is even more of a factor in F1 2019

Formula eSports

F1 fans love looking to the past, reminiscing about how good the old days of racing were, but part of its future is all digital (and if you're Lucas di Grassi, it's a future that's already beating you!). F1 2017 saw the debut of the Formula One eSports Series, and F1 2019 is taking this and the series' multiplayer as a whole to the next level.

A dedicated esports hub is popping up, where you can take part in qualifying events, catch up on results and watch races or highlights. The esports championship will now race using the F1 2019 spec car, which can be given custom liveries, unlike all of the official team cars in the game, letting racers have a bit more individuality on track. That rolls over into the rest of the game's multiplayer as well, which where there's more weekly events to take part in and the ability to set up custom leagues that have tons of options for those running them, from setting the race schedule to having votes on changes to the league and having trophies awarded for the winners.

F1 2019: release date

The new Formula One season is just one race in, but we already have details about the official game of the 2019 championship – and there's good and bad news. According to a new announcement today, F1 2019 will be released on 28 June this year – around two months earlier than usual. That means it’ll be landing on PS4, Xbox One and PC around the time of the Austrian GP, not the much later but more interesting British GP.

And one more thing...

Among the new tracks and cars, Codemasters says the new game will feature a generic, 2019-spec chassis designed by F1’s technical team – which includes Pat Symonds and Ross Brawn among others – and it offers a telling look at how the sport is honing new regulations.

The F1 technical team’s main goal is to improve overtaking, and it’s been creating regulations that do that. In this case, by reducing the amount of aerodynamic wake cars make for chasing competitors. The more turbulence, the less aerodynamically-generated grip for the following car, and the harder it is for them to overtake.

In previous years, F1 teams would work together to come up with a new set of rules, but for this season and 2021, generic, rule-abiding cars were made by F1’s technical teams instead – to test and confirm the new regulations. And that’s what appears to be in this year’s game.

‘The exciting collaboration with Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds has created new levels of player personalisation in F1 2019 through the inclusion of the new regulation car,’ said Lee Mather, the game's director at Codemasters. ‘With the continued growth of the F series, it’s great to give players more control and new levels of car and driver customisation and we can’t wait to talk more about this alongside the new multiplayer features in the coming months.’