There's always got to be a reason to buy the next iteration of a games series. Sometimes it's just through habit, with games seeing no real improvement (such as FIFA back in the late 2000's) in either physics or aesthetics. To be fair to Codemasters, they have generally made improvements on all fronts with the F1 series, particularly over the previous four iterations in particular. F1 2019 is looking no different, showing changes and improvements.
One area where Codemasters really wants to emphasise where they've improved is on the visual side. They're looking to highlight this by taking you to Monaco and showing you the changes in a side-by-side comparison to last year.
Stuart Campbell, Art Director of F1 2019, has this to say regarding the game:
After the big visual improvements across the board in F1® 2018, this year the art team has focussed on a number of circuits, including Monaco which is the flagship event in the F1® calendar. We have increased the building fidelity with higher resolution geometry and a lot of the previously textured elements now have a full geometry pass, which is perfectly demonstrated in turn one heading up to the casino. We’ve increased object placement and crowd density which provides more interest and realism and brings greater depth so the player gets a better sense of the atmosphere during the race weekend. From a surface perspective, new scan-based tarmac adds to the realism by giving better light response on the track surface. We are incredibly proud of the work the team has put in and we know our players will notice and appreciate the difference when they play F1® 2019 in a month’s time.
Looking at the images, there are certainly some notable changes. In particular, there is a clear improvement in quality when it comes to the environment, the buildings in the background and even such as the grass on the side of the course. This is best seen in the second set of images. There's also little doubt that, looking at the fourth set of comparison images, shadows are clearly more complex and layered here than in last years version of the game.
I would also have to agree with the statement given by Stuart Campbell on the actual tarmac, though not so much on the fact that light reflects from it more realistically, what I notice most of all are marks left from racing. Now, what will make this matter the most is if these are left in-race and not permanent marks each and every time you race on a track, letting you see a growing, mix-match of tyre marks as you see the lines you and the other racers have taken.
There's no doubt that F1 2019 and when I saw it last month, I had this to say about the game:
The most notable change this year is with the lighting and reflections. The cars look as good as ever, with the audio quality being as fantastic as always, something I pointed out two years ago. What has notably changed is how light and reflections are shown, increasing the visual fidelity of the car and the driver. All of this is highlighted even more during different weather conditions too.
As I said at the start, Codemasters is a studio that’s almost guaranteed to deliver a quality product and from my recent hands-on with F1 2019, it’s a trend that looks to be staying with the team and results in a game that I’m looking forward to playing when it comes out on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on June the 28th.