When Codemasters unveiled a cutesy take on the F1 license in July, it took many by surprise. A super-deformed Jenson Button? A chibi Lewis Hamilton? Madness, surely! Not an unreasonable thought, and one that Chris Gray, Race Star’s Senior Producer, had himself. “When we went to the Formula 1 management team with this idea we genuinely were expecting to get ejected from the building.”
Look a little closer at Codemasters’ portfolio though, especially since shifting gears to being an exclusively racing-focused developer, and F1 Race Stars makes a lot of sense. With DiRT, it has an over-the-top rally series, one taken into almost super-powered territory with the recent Showdown; in Grid, it has a realistic street racer; and the prime F1 series is an authentic recreation of the sport on every level. A fun-for-all kart racer was the missing element, and luckily Gray’s pitch wasn’t laughed out of the building. Having spent some time with the game, it’s actually a little bit brilliant.
“It’s that classic board-game thing of ‘ages six to sixty’,” says Gray. “I definitely think that compared to our F1 games, which are a little intimidating to younger players and families to play together, we’re offering something that’s a little more accessible. But I think it’s as much of a post-pub game as many of these party games are. There’s skill there – depth to be found in the game – but it doesn’t exclude people who aren’t that good at this sort of game.”
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