Gaming Hype: Falken Tire Car Pack DLC Launches For Forza Horizon 2 (With Video)

Posted on 11.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


The DLC train keeps on rolling for Forza Horizon 2 as their latest DLC drops today in the form of the Falken Tire Car Pack.  For only $5 bucks you can get six cars that would probably cost over $300k in real life.  That is a pretty darn good deal if you ask me!  So what’s included?  Allow me to fill you in!  In the Falken Tire Car Pack players will get access to the following:

-2014 Alfa Romeo 4C
-2014 BMW M4 Coupe
-2014 Chevrolet SS
-1988 Lamborghini Jalpa
-1969 Toyota 2000 GT
-1990 Subaru Legacy RS

I am personally looking forward to hooning a pristine 2000GT all over Europe!  For the official trailer for the car pack check out the video below.  If you want to grab this DLC for yourself its available NOW for $5 in the Xbox Live Marketplace.  If you bought the “Car Pass” when you got Forza Horizon 2 then this Car Pack is already yours!

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Demo Out Today On Xbox Live. Launch Pack DLC, VIP Membership Benefits, Car Pass Announced.

Posted on 09.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Forza horizon 2 releases in just two weeks but starting today you can try it out for yourself by downloading the demo on Xbox Live.  To further entice potential Forza addicts Turn 10 studios has also announced the details of Forza Horizon VIP membership.  If that weren’t enough they also announced 8 free DLC cars that will be available at launch!  If they actually offer a kitchen sink I think I might be sold…  Anyway, lets get into the details of the goodies shall we?

First off is the 8 free DLC cars that will be available at launch.  Seriously, Forza has been giving away so many cars its like they’re Oprah (I’ve waited a long time to use that joke so make with the lol’s!).  Anyway here is the list of cars that players can get their hands on right away: 2003 Ford Focus RS, 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, 1993 Clio Williams, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 1987 Buick Regal GNX, 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV, 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse, 1956 Ford F-100.  A pretty eclectic mix if you ask me.  You have a hot hatch in the Focus RS, Muscle in the ’15 Mustang GT, and obscure classic in the Abarth 595 esseesse (how the heck is “esseesse” pronounced?!?!).  On paper the DLC sounds like a nice starting point to play in Forza Horizon 2’s open world.

Next up is the new VIP membership.  Since Forza Horizon is always based around a “festival” style event they are likening VIP membership as something of a “backstage pass.”  VIP membership provides access to “exclusive benefits” in Forza Horizon 2.  The first of which is a 5 car DLC pack which includes the 2012 Lamborghini Urus, 2014 Tesla Model S, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1949 Mercury Coupe, and the 2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO.  VIP members also get “2x player in-game reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition.”  VIP membership will set players back $19.95.  However, current Forza Motorsport 5 VIP members can buy Horizon 2 VIP membership for half off at $9.99.

If you are already firmly in the Forza Horizon 2 camp and for sure going to pick it up then you might be interested in the “Car Pass”.  This basically nets players all of the future DLC (at least 31 cars according to Turn 10) over the next six months in one pre-purchase for $24.95.  Purchase of the Car Pass will also include the 2010 Nobile M600 as a bonus exclusive car.

Whew, is that everything? Oh, wait!  Anyone who has already decided they want to buy Forza Horizon 2 and really eager to have their copy ASAP can “pre-download” it starting today.  Basically, a player would use their Xbox Live account, purchase the game as a download, download the entire game to their console, and then be given instant access to it on the release date (September 30th, 2014).

Ok, I think that covers it all.  Forza Horizon 2 is really shaping up to be a pretty big release this year.  If things work out I will give you my first hand account of Forza Horizon 2 in the form of a review.  I will keep you all posted!  In the meantime I encourage anyone curious about the game to download the demo and get a first impression!  For more info hit up the Forza Horizon 2 website.

Press Release:

Eight Free Downloadable Cars Coming to Forza Horizon 2 at Launch

Bonus DLC Car Pack bringing 2015 Mustang GT and more to game

Forza Horizon 2 is just weeks away and, soon, Forza fans the world over will be exploring the wide-open high-speed highways and breakneck back roads of southern Europe. By now, you’re probably aware that Forza Horizon 2 will ship with more than 200 amazing cars, all built from the ground up on Xbox One. Forza has always been about bringing fans the best content, whether that’s world debut cars like Roll-Royce Wraith or track add-ons like Long Beach, Road America, and the Nürburgring.

As is the case with all Forza games, we’ll constantly be updating Forza Horizon 2 with fresh new content. Beginning on Sept. 30 to coincide with the release of Forza Horizon 2, we’ll be launching a brand new pack for the game: the Forza Horizon 2 Launch Bonus Car Pack. This car pack will feature eight cars representing the awesome variety that can be found in the Forza Horizon 2 car roster – from rough-and-tumble trucks like the 1956 Ford F-100 to the raw power represented by the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The Launch Bonus Pack will include three never-before-seen vehicles in the Forza franchise: the 2003 Ford Focus RS, the 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, and the 1993 Clio Williams. Best of all, all eight of the cars featured in the Launch Bonus Car Pack will be available to all Forza Horizon 2 players at launch for no additional cost.

Here’s the full list of cars in the Launch Bonus Car Pack:

  • 2003 Ford Focus RS
  • 1997 Land Rover Defender 90
  • 1993 Clio Williams
  • 2015 Ford Mustang GT
  • 1987 Buick Regal GNX
  • 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse
  • 1956 Ford F-100

In addition to the Launch Bonus Car Pack, today we’re also announcing the details for Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership (discounted for current Forza Motorpsort 5 VIPs) and the Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass. As in Forza Motorsport 5, each purchased add-on car can be added to your in-game garage one time for free – without additional in-game credits.

VIP Membership

Forza Horizon 2 VIP Membership (regular $19.99; 50 percent off or $9.99 for Forza Motorsport 5 VIP members) is like a backstage pass at the Horizon Festival, giving you access to cool content you can only get here. VIP members will receive exclusive benefits in Forza Horizon 2, including the VIP Car Pack, featuring five cars (four of which are brand new to the Forza franchise). These five cars include the 2012 Lamborghini Urus, 2014 Tesla Model S, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1949 Mercury Coupe, and the 2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO. VIP membership also awards with 2x player in-game reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition. Current Forza Motorsport 5 VIPs receive a $10 discount on digital purchases of Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership or any Forza Horizon 2 digital offer that includes VIP membership. (Note that this discount only applies to digital offers of Forza Horizon 2.)

Car Pass

The Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass ($24.99) gets you access to six monthly pack add-ons beginning in October, with each pack featuring five amazing cars. That’s six monthly car packs for the price of five! Plus, Car Pass owners will receive an exclusive bonus car for free: the 2010 Noble M600. That’s 31 cars to collect, race, and customize in Forza Horizon 2! Look for more details on the first monthly car pack for Forza Horizon 2 coming soon!

Demo/Pre-Download Available Now

We’ve saved the best for last: the Forza Horizon 2 demo for Xbox One is here! Starting today you can download the demo for the game on Xbox Live and get a tantalizing taste for the game we’ll all be playing starting on Sept. 30. In addition the game is now available for pre-order at your local retailer and for pre-order/pre-download in the Xbox Store.

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Launch Trailer Drops. Is Full Of Shiny Cars, EDM, And Awesome

Posted on 09.11.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Forza Horizon 2 will arrive on store shelves at the end of this month (September 30th) so the launch party is starting to get rolling.  It kicked off with a bright, shiny, EDM-fueled trailer that just released a few moments ago.  The new trailer shows off most of what we can expect from the next Horizon game featuring everything from crazy off roading with Rally Fighters to racing trains with WRX’s.  If you avoid blinking you can see a sample of all the cars that will make an appearance in the game but if you want a full list of all 210 cars that will be available at launch hit up the Forza Horizon website.

In addition to the trailer Turn 10 Studios also released some information on how the “Forza Rewards” system will work with Forza Horizon 2.  Essentially, the “Forza Rewards” program will gift free cars to players who have earned x amount of points just from playing Forza games.  According to Turn 10 players started earning Forza Reward points way back in the Forza Motorsport 2 days.  Points are earned by playing and/or doing different things in each Forza game.  In Forza Motorsport 5 points are rewarded based on how many cars a player owns, how many miles they have driven, etc.  The amount of points a player has will determine what “tier” they are in.

Based on the tier a player falls into they will be able to choose up to 5 (non-DLC) cars to add to their Forza Horizon 2 garage right away.  It breaks down like so:

Tier Level Car
2 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
3 2013 Viper GTS
4 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
5 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter
6 2013 McLaren P1

Nice line up right?  Still, there may be some out there who have never played the first Forza Horizon game and might be on the fence about this new one.  To those people I would suggest trying out the Forza Horizon 2 demo which comes out for Xbox One on September 16th (next Tuesday).  Anyone that is still on the fence after that can check out our full review of Forza Horizon 2 to get our take on it.

For now check out the new launch trailer below and stay tuned for more Forza Horizon 2 updates!

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Gaming Hype: Tons Of Codemasters F1 2014 Gameplay Video!

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


The next Formula One game from Codemasters is coming this October (a month earlier than usual) and we are going to present to you four reasons why we have high hopes for this game.  Check out the four “hot lap” videos below taken from actual game play as a preview of things to come.  Naturally, should we get a copy we will do a full review of F1 2014 and let you know if its worth purchasing.  For now we are pretty optimistic!  Now stop reading and start watching below!

Sochi Hot Lap:

Spa Hot Lap:

Red Bull Ring Hot Lap:

Bahrain Hot Lap:

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Gaming Hype: Codemasters Reveals F1 2014 Gameplay Footage, Plans For The Future

Posted on 08.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


One of my favorite driving franchises is the F1 series from the gang at Codemasters.  To some controversy their last game F1 2013 was released on what is technically “last gen” consoles (Xbox 360, PS3).  Well, it looks like Codemasters may be sparking some of that controversy again as they have announced that F1 2014 will also be released on the “last gen” consoles.  However, they have also promised that F1 2014 will be their last F1 game that is exclusive to Xbox 360 and PS3 and they have also promised that F1 2014 will be a fitting send-off.

To quell any interweb-rage about F1 2014 not coming to Xbox One or PS4, Codemasters gave a little preview of what we can expect in F1 2015.  One of the biggest tidbits is that the release cycle will likely change. Typically, Codemasters releases their F1 games at the end of the season and before the next season.  This is because Codemasters doesn’t know what new tracks, teams, or drivers will be added to F1 before the season starts so they have to wait until it all shakes out and then make their game.

However, starting with F1 2015  Codemasters will look to release their F1 games earlier in the season rather than the end.  This is because due to the architecture of Xbox One and PS4 it is easier to release content like new teams, tracks, and drivers via DLC (downloadable content) as the season unfolds.  So far, that is all we know about their future plans but Codemasters’ has hinted that they will reveal more about their next gen F1 games once F1 2014 is released this October (October 21st, 2014 to be exact).

I personally can’t wait to see what the team will do with the new consoles.  But I am equally excited for F1 2014!  If you share that sentiment then feel free to scroll down and check out the official gameplay trailer!

[Source: Codemasters Blog]

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Gaming Hype: We Get Our Hands On Forza Horizon 2 And Ask The Hard Questions! (With Video)

Posted on 06.12.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


A few days ago E3 2014 kicked off in downtown LA With Xbox’s official press conference.  At the event Forza Horizon 2 got its grand debut in front of a ground of thousands at the event and millions more watching online.  However, once the cool intro, pretty lights, and theatrical trailer was over there still were not many details revealed other than its release date: September 30th 2014.  Luckly, I was invited to a much smaller event right after the Xbox press conference to get some hands-on time with Forza Horizon 2.  I also had the chance to interview Ralph Fulton, director of Playground Games, the studio behind both Forza Horizon games.  During my time with Ralph I asked him some pressing questions.

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Although these questions weren’t from me but questions we selected from the official Forza Motorsport forums!  How did Ralph handle the tough questions from the hardest of the hardcore fans?  Like a ninja back flipping in the shadows!  Check out the video below to see what I mean.  There is also a video of my impression of Forza Horizon 2 after playing AND a short interview with Dan Greenawalt on the new Nurburgring Forza Motorsport 5 DLC.  You can also click on any of the thumbnails in this post to get enlarged screen shots from Forza Horizon 2!

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Interview with Ralph Fulton:

Gameplay Impressions:

Interview With Dan Greenawalt:

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Gaming Hype: New GRID Autosport Trailer Provides Buffet Of Touring Car Racing Goodness (Video)

Posted on 05.15.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Codemasters promises that the upcoming GRID Autosport will be a more professional-minded take on the GRID series focusing more on organized motorsport disciplines and in their latest trailer they are driving that point home with a deep look at how Touring Car racing will be represented in GRID Autosport.  It looks amazing and it seems like that is at least in part due to some real world input from BTCC drivers!  Check out the trailer below to see for yourself!

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Gaming Hype: Codemasters Is Taking The “GRID” Series Pro In “GRID Autosport” (With Video)

Posted on 04.25.14 | William Johnson No Comments

GRID_Autosport_Small With E3 coming up in a little more than a month all of the studios are starting to tease and announce new games and projects so for people like me who love racing games this is a pretty exciting time of year.  One of the first big announcements out of the gate is the Codemasters team announcing a new GRID game.  Called “GRID Autosport” this new installment of the series seems to have an even greater focus on pro racing than GRID 4 did.  It seems like they really want to hit all major motorsports disciplines: rally, touring, drifting, and even open wheel!  While the guys from Codemasters say that GRID Autosport wont be a full on sim like Forza or Gran Turismo they say it will have a more realistic feel than previous GRID games.  I suppose it will fall somewhere in between.  Either way based on some of the game play visuals in the trailer below. The other big tid bit is that it appears that this game will not be released on the next gen consoles AKA Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  That bit of news was kind of a bummer at first but in the long run its probably better that Codemasters goes the current gen route rather than rushing the game out to get it on next-gen hardware.  Also, rumor has it that Codemasters has been playing around with the next gen hardware and are currently working on the next version of their EGO game engine.  Hopefully this means we may hear something at E3 this year about oh I don’t know…F1 2014 for next gen?  All just speculation for now but that would be awesome!  Speaking of E3 you can expect GRID Autosport to come out just a little while after E3 on June 24th 2014 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In the meantime check out the first official GRID Autosport trailer below as well as some screen shots and official box art.

jarama_02 GRID_Autosport_BoxArt_small sanfran_01 sepang_05 yas_03

GRID Autpsort trailer:

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Gaming Hype: Codemasters F1 2013 Classic Edition Gives Us A Hot Lap With Emerson Fittipaldi (Video)

Posted on 09.26.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The guys from Codemasters have been dropping hot lap videos left and right from the next F1 2013 game but this particular hot lap is special.  In the video below we get to ride along with F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi as he takes a lap around the equally legendary Brands Hatch circuit in the 1986 Team Lotus 98T.  Scroll down for some seriously sweet eye candy!

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Gaming Hype: I Pester The Codemasters Team About F1 2013. Ayrton Senna Question Answered!

Posted on 09.06.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

In two days and month from now, Codemasters’ F1 2013 will finally be available for purchase!  I think I can speak for a lot of F1 fans when I say that excitement grows as the release date draws near.  However, this time around things are different.  Codemasters announced “classic content” and with that came a lot of questions.  Including one very big query: What of Ayrton Senna?

Also, in all the hype about the classic cars, tracks, and drivers, the message of what is to be expected of the modern content may have been lost to some.  Luckily, I was invited to interview Steve Hood (Creative Director of F1 2013) and Paul Jeal (Game Director) of Codemasters to find out what’s new, the Senna status, and more.  So scroll down and get all the info straight from the source!

MotorworldHype: OK, first things first: What exactly is new about F1 2013?

Paul Jeal: F1 2013 is our fourth interation of the Formula One series on the current new generation of consoles. The big standout new feature this year will be “classic content” and that’s historical cars, tracks, and drivers from two different decades (the 80s and 90s). We are releasing two versions of the game this year: the “classic edition” and the “standard edition.” The classic edition has all of the content, the standard edition is the 2013 game with the 1980’s classic stuff and I think two weeks after launch there will be DLC-I mean that is certainly the time for Europe. I’m not sure when the DLC will release for other markets.

In terms of other new features we’ve added to the game; we’ve got a scenario mode now which replaces the “champions mode” from last year. We’ve got 23 sets of scenarios which kind of take drivers through a journey from their very first race on the grid through some key moments in their career on their way to the world title. We’ve got a mid-session save this year. One thing that makes Formula One quite unique are the longer race experiences where you get to appreciate all the little nuances that make F1 racing unique: weather changing, strategy components, managing fuel levels and tires, all these types of things. With the mid-session saving that enables more people to complete longer races and just kind of do it in their times that suit them because you can save a race at any point as many times as you want.

We’ve got a little more RaceNet support this year in terms of feeding in challenges into the race post-launch based on Grand Prixs or whatever the conditions are for set challenges throughout the game. We’ve got Grand Prix mode coming back which basically means playing through the entire 2013 Formula One season as a licensed driver.

There are just loads of little improvements that you would expect from a franchise which is moving forward year on year in terms of AI, in terms of weather, handling improvements, and driver updates to coincide with the season. In graphics we have taken a fairly significant step forward this year two real huge reasons for that is that we have a new art director on the project and he’s been able to focus on the key areas in places where we may have been lacking last year. Also because we’re one team lighter this year. There are only 11 teams on the grid this year instead of 12 which free’d up a little bit of memory.

So now we’re literally right there now at this generation of consoles where we’re squeezing every last ounce of power out of it!

MotorworldHype: I am going to ask the question that many people had as soon as they found out about the “Classic” content: Will Ayrton Senna be in F1 2013 at any point? If not, why?

Paul Jeal: We were reasonably hopeful on that. Around January we had to make a call on whether or not we were going to pursue this for this year or if we weren’t. We had to kind of eliminate some of the risk because there were so many open ends across the board. With Senna in particular we came to two difficulties; the first being that McLaren had kind of indicated that they had an exclusive deal with a couple of other people and having Senna without McLaren would have been less than ideal. It wouldn’t have absolutely been a deal-breaker but there is also a Brazilian PC developer whom I think was planning a Senna game that was to release this year but I guess that might not happen anymore. So, we had to go to the Senna foundation and talk to them about negotiating extra rights and other various bits and pieces.

The talks are progressing but it was far too much risk to try and get it into the content for this year. Also the way that the design was shaping up was in a way that we wanted to-Well, when you approach these guys they are super competitive as you can imagine so all of the drivers want us to re-create the years when they were dominating and winning the most amount of races. So, to get more of the guys injected and get the kind of design that we wanted, we went for a feel of celebration and re-creation of classic events. It also kind of needs to be based around the current F1 circuits as well and Senna was the only name we had on the list that did not fit with the drivers we had and with design direction we were going.

So, all together it didn’t quite fit with the vision and combined with the other two licensing issues we came to the conclusion that we had to put that idea back, lower the risk, and then try to do something in the future. We want the “classic” content to be a staple of all of our games going forward and we think we can do something very specific around a name as strong as Senna. We’re fans of the sport as well and we love him so we really want to get him involved and we hope to do that in the future.

Steve Hood: Keeping on that I think externally, a lot of people thought we just overlooked Senna and that could not be further from the truth. Obviously, he is an absolute legend in the sport! It would be worth noting as well that when I managed to somehow get my job at Codemasters, on one of my original communications with the company I detailed all the things I wanted to do with the Formula 1 series and I included an image of Senna’s helmet in that document because he is such a huge part of Formula 1! So, he has been there since day one! Although, one of the things we always wanted to do was not go for the easy option that’s all about “now”. We could have gone with Senna before and we knew that including him would have boosted sales by a lot but I think we could do even better if we do justice to the Senna name and everything that he brought to Formula 1. I think in order to do that we need to take our time and do it right further down the line.

MotorworldHype: So, the final message is we aren’t getting him yet but fans can expect to see him in the future for sure?

Paul Jeal: That is definitely our intention, but until contracts are signed and various bits and pieces are taken care of things are still technically up in the air. However, we have a map of where we want to take F1 and he is definitely a part of that.

MotorworldHype: My next question is about the box art. In F1 2012 you had actual drivers on the cover but for F1 2013 you seem to have gone back to the Stig-like nameless driver that was used in the first two games. Why the switch?

Paul Jeal: Haha! Well really 2012 was probably our most successful box art reaction ever and fans were really responsive on our Facebook page but all the behind the scenes hurdles to make that work nearly killed our guys! So, with the classics being a late edition combined with the teams allowing even less access with rule changes going into next year, we just felt that it was too much work this time around. We know many people liked our box art from last year so the decision to go back to the previous style was not taken lightly for sure!

MotorworldHype: Ok, here are my last questions. First, was there anything that you could not do in F1 2013 that you really hope to do in F1 2014? Also, can you say with any certainty that the next F1 game will be on the next gen consoles (Xbox One, Playstation 4)?

Paul Jeal: Haha! Well, anyone that works with Steve and I know that we’re kind of perfectionists so we are never totally happy with any stage of game development all the way through. Certainly with the classic content there were highs and lows. Obviously, making the decision on Senna was difficult from the start. For my part, I am decently happy with the things we have managed to do for this year’s game.

For your second question, while we can’t confirm 100%, we are looking at the next gen consoles already. From a company perspective, this is a good point to take stock and look at the EGO engine and see which bits can be re-written in order to do the next-gen technology justice.

From a content point of view we wanted to maximize everything we could on this year’s game. Certainly, for any game that will be on next gen we won’t start with just this year’s game and make it a basis for the next. We are going to take certain elements across from all of our games like our weather system for example which was developed exclusively here at Codemasters Birmingham. Although, there are other areas where we are going to wind things back to the start and re-write it, so the next-gen will be quite a radical step for us.

When we signed the license back in 2008 we made the difficult decision at the time not to go with then current generation of consoles in 2009 because we needed that two-year run up to the next gen. That made it a little easier for Steve and I to convince the powers that be that any attempt on the next-gen needs to be when we are ready and we’re confident to make a full step up to next-gen rather than some kind of PC port across.

Steve Hood: It was also just too early for us to be thinking about next-gen when there was still so much we could still do with the current generation. Adding classics was something that people have been asking for since day one and it has been fantastic to be able to finally bring that to them. I think F1 2013 is really the combination of all the work we have put in since 2009 when we first started working on the technology.

When we look back at it now, there is so much stuff in this game (F1 2013) that you just don’t see in other racing games; like our weather system, the pit stop stuff, the cinematic camera views to make it feel like that broadcast Formula 1 experience that fans get on TV. It is expected of us now to be able to replicate that experience. Adding stuff like mid-race save means that a lot of people get to experience things that only a few of us in the office have because we’re playing it day in and day out.

Most people have time constraints in the real world so they’re playing short races. To get that Formula 1 magic that we keep banging on about players need to playing the game without worrying about the time and now we have given players the ability to do that.

At the end of the day I think next-gen will be like a new chapter starting fresh while F1 2013 is giving players everything we’ve dreamed of to-date. It is our greatest achievement and I am looking forward to it selling millions of copies! Haha!


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