F1 Online: The Game now available to all via open beta
|30th June 2012||Matt Bailey|
Last year at Gamescom we got to take a look at Codemasters' browser-based free-to-play F1 management/racing game F1 Online: The Game. At that stage things were quite early in development - there weren't even any other cars on the track and they were using old data for demonstration purposes. But they were able to detail the game's split-personality as both a game where you can build your own team, manage them and take control of your own car on track, or where you can drive for one of the real F1 teams on licenced tracks using data from their main F1 series.
The game has progressed quite a bit in the months since that demo, with a closed beta taking place in recent months, and now right in the middle of one of the most exciting F1 seasons Codemasters have opened up the beta so that now anyone can join in and give it a go. If you head over to the official website you can sign up to create your own team and join in with multiplayer races.
As we originally saw, F1 Online: The Game features top-down racing gameplay, using the mouse to provide a more simplified controls than the more sim-like main series of F1 games. There's a bunch of different modes featuring online multiplayer races as well as challenges and time trials, and these take places across a range of custom and licensed circuits. You can also create your own team, choose their name, create a livery, upgrade the car, expand the HQ, etc.
Unlike F1 2012, which uses Codemasters' own EGO Engine, F1 Online: The Game is built using the increasingly popular Unity game engine so it can provide 3D graphics even while running in a browser. This also makes it a Windows PC and Mac-only affair right now (with Linux support hopefully not too far away), but with the continued expansion of Unity maybe we'll see it on smartphones and tablets in the not too distant future.