Formula 1 fans have been promised the most immersive experience ever produced in a grand prix game by Codemasters, the makers of F1 2010, as the company revealed the first details of its forthcoming multi-platform title, set to be released to the public in September.
During the official reveal of the game in London on Wednesday, the company unveiled its innovative new career system as well as a new dynamic weather aspect and a brand-new approach to car handling, in F1's first true HD simulation to be made available on X-box 360, PC and PlayStation 3.
Based on Codemasters' Ego physics engine, used to power its successful Grid and Dirt titles, graphically the game already promises to be a step ahead of anything previously seen in F1 consumer simulation.
Using the mantra "Be the driver, live the life," the game's senior producer Paul Jeal explained that the development team had not focused on specifically building a simulator or an arcade game, but concentrated on creating an "immersive experience that gave the player a deeper, richer experience of what it's like to be an F1 driver."
Early code available at the event indicated that the car's handling is simple to grasp but hard to master and will allow players to build on their experience and therefore an understanding of where their mistakes had cost them time.
In addition to that the "Active Track" system the game employs will deepen the realism significantly and take into account key aspects of race-changing factors such as tire degradation and flat spots, green to rubbered-in circuits and dynamic weather that will re-calculate the saturation of a wet track every 30cm.
The detail level is matched during pit stops with all 24 cars featuring motion captured crews, that populate the pits and paddock constantly adding the "live" feel of the game. Off the circuit, the aim at realism continues with a comprehensive career system that approaches a Formula 1 season from a driver's perspective.
Chief game designer Stephen Hood explained: "We wanted to give players insight into what it feels like to be in the paddock, and take part in some of the things you have seen on television but never get to play a part in."
These things include interacting with the press, including post-race press conferences, dealing with agents, team engineers and negotiating with rival teams for better drives.
Significant emphasis is also placed on car development and the player is pitted against his teammate, with success measured by which car receives the latest updates and whether the driver is given further tasks to improve the car. The player is actively encouraged to win the team's favor over to their side of the garage.
A multiple-year career also allows players to carry the benefits of this development through to the next season, with the amount of resource available based on previous success.
Codemasters promises to include an in-depth multi-player system with upward of 12 players per race, and the game will include all the 2010 drivers and teams. Download packs are being considered for future release but details were not available at Codesmasters' event.
The company has already confirmed that the game will not feature safety cars, formation laps or a feeder series.