We’re now a third of the way into 2020 and not a single real-life Formula 1 race has been held, but on July 10 you’ll be able to relive the F1 season that never was with Codemasters’ F1 2020.
It’s a tricky situation for UK company Codemasters. Development of F1 2020 would have been well underway long before the decision was made to cancel the opening round of this year’s Formula 1 season in Melbourne due to the COVID-19 emergency, and since then the series has made do with a virtual substitute using F1 2019 and a grid bereft of actual F1 pilots.
That’s hardly the fault of Codemasters, but with the outlook for a resumption of the 2020 F1 season looking nigh-on impossible, it means F1 2020 has the dubious distinction of being a racing sim that simulates something which never happened.
But that shouldn’t really matter if the game is good, so what can we expect? Well, in addition to the Hanoi street circuit and Circuit Zandvoort that were supposed to host their first F1 races this year, there are tweaks to the gameplay along with the expected tweaks to cars, drivers and liveries.
The biggest change will be the addition of a ‘My Team’ mode, where players can don their team manager hat and create their own Formula 1 team to battle the real-world teams represented in the game. That’s on top of the changes to career mode that see shorter season lengths of 10 or 16 races as options to the standard 22-race full season.
Two-player split screen also makes a return, while a Michael Schumacher special edition of F1 2020 can also be had from launch.
Besides giving players access to the game three days prior to the official launch, the Schumacher edition includes special liveries, player animations and other driver customisations, as well as four iconic cars from Schumacher’s career. Ever wanted to have a steer of his Jordan 191, Benetton B194 or B195, or his Ferrari F1-2000? Here’s your chance.
Right now there’s no gameplay footage or in-game screenshots of F1 2020, so we can’t make a call on whether there are any graphical improvements relative to F1 2019. We should find out more in the run-up to 2020’s launch on July 10.