Formula 1: These games have evolved the genre

Formula 1 Game News: These Games That Pioneered the Genre Posted on 3/28/2021 at 11:46 AM, updated on 3/28/2021 at 11:50 AM Ready to roar all over again this weekend? The 72nd Formula 1 World Championship starts on Sunday in Bahrain and ends on December 12 in Abu Dhabi. This is the opportunity to publish this small list of the most important games in the history of F1 games. The single-seaters have recognized their FIA competition since 1950, and today the king’s tournament of the F1 scene has established itself as our most famous spectacle in motorsport. A boon to the video game and arcade machine developers and publishers before them who have waited 24 years to work in their paddocks and publish games of the genre.

The ancestor

It’s impossible to start this list without mentioning Gran Trak 10, the cornerstone of the racing game scene. Available on an arcade machine in 1974, it is considered by many to be the first video game of its kind. Purists will recognize the features of the arcade game developed by Atari, in which it was enough to move a white square as a vehicle on the track while avoiding oil stains. Steering wheel, levers and pedals are required. That same year, Speed ​​Race first modeled the shape of a single-seater with vertical arcade scrolling gameplay. And to find the first game with the stamp “Formula 1”, it will take two short years before F-1, which was developed by Namco on arcade machines in 1976, is scrolled vertically in Arcade again. More titles will follow this time on old-school terminals based on the Grand Prix of the World Championship. Finally, especially on that of Monaco (Monaco GP 1979, Pro Monaco GP and Monte-Carlo 1980, Monza GP 1981).

Exit the paddock of the arcade machine

The first turning point in the history of the F1 Games came in 1982 with the legendary pole position. Released on Arcade with great success, it is carried over to other supports (PC, Commodore 64, Atari 5200, etc.). A transition accompanied by a new type of gameplay, with a depth of field that has become a legion, but also the placement of products on the decor, typical of an IRL championship.

Geoff Crammond opens the DRS

Who says new decade is saying new technology and a sector gaining ground in the cultural scene. Pixelated Formula 1 took another decisive turn with the Formula 1 Grand Prix license in the early 1990s. The first title from 1992 launches the license for PC, Amiga and Atari ST, while the second adds the 3D revolution before the sequels Grand Prix 3 and 4 through 2001. The creator Geoff Crammond (MicroProse Studio) unknowingly activated the DRS of the genre. Let’s keep the second work in this series, the Grand Prix II, which is considered the legend of the F1 games.

New dimension for single-seaters

The Grand Prix thus paves the way for dozens of Formula 1 titles in 3D, but also for the license market. MicroProse does not have the rights of the FIA ​​(Fédération International de l’Automobile, which manages the championships) and it is Sony who will take the plunge into this area. Formula 1 landed on the Playstation in 1996 with the official licenses “The” racing game on PS1 at the time with the names of drivers such as Jean Alesi, sensations of speed, mythical Adelaide racetrack with a gameplay in short, a big name (The Gaming Live Oldies from 1997).

An old acquaintance bomb from the 2000s

With its exclusive services, Sony dominates the F1 title scene economically through its studio in Liverpool. But the license doesn’t really live up to quality expectations over time and goes too far in a circle (paradoxically a bad thing for an F1 game), with the first title being considered the best in the series. The biggest brightening in the sky for fan-gamers came in 2002 with the precautionary return of Microprose. Unfortunately canceled on Xbox, Grand Prix 4 is a hit on PC and marks his world in F1 simulation, even if Jihem wasn’t that convinced in his test at the time in our columns.

Power transmission

Last major turning point for the genre in 2008, the handover between Sony (14 official games) and Codemasters on the rights of the FIA. The studio remains British and after an inconclusive first test run on Wii and PSP for the F1 2009, the new era begins with the F1 2010. A success on Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC that brings purists and newbies into harmony, even if the The lack of split-screen mode marked the end of an era.

Since 2016: Codemasters holds the bar

It was believed that Codemasters would fall into the same trap as Sony, that of relying on exclusive world championships. No! The license will be increased with F1 2016 for PS4, Xbox ONE and PC returning to Career Mode and further increasing driving sensations to reach the climax of the event. The perfect ambassador of the renewal of the saga that has only made progress in recent seasons.

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From Izokay, writing from MP