Codies Racing Line: June 3, 2021
Special delivery! The Codies Racing Line is here every fortnight for a first-class service of news and information on Codemasters titles – and the virtual mailbox is full to the brim once again. No spam mail or flyers for dodgy-looking local take-outs here – only the good stuff.
Without further ado, let’s dive straight into the headlines, kicking off with a heap of F1® game goodies…
From esports, to new content, to the first F1® 2021 previews, it’s been a huge week for the F1® series! Let’s take a look.
F1® 2021 First Previews and Hands-On Reaction
It’s been an exciting few weeks giving you all some early details on F1® 2021 ahead of its launch on July 16, and now the time has come to take a closer look. After a special behind-closed-doors presentation, a number of publications and content creators have been getting to grips for F1® 2021 for the first time, via an early version of the game. Earlier this week, previews and first looks began to roll out – and it’s fair to say the reaction has been overwhelming!
Keen to see gameplay? Take a look at these first impression videos from Aarava, Tiametmarduk, SLAPTrain, and AR12Gaming. The likes of Autosport, PushSquare, Dexerto, and Motorsport.com are here with detailed articles on everything from Braking Point, to new Career options, and everything in between. It’s great to see the reaction to this first hands-on time with F1® 2021 from both media and our terrific Racing Ahead creators, and we still have plenty more to show you as we build towards launch on July 16, or July 13 if you pre-order the digital Deluxe Edition.
First F1® 2021 Screenshots
Carrying on nicely from those previews, today we’ve also been showing off the very first in-game screenshots from F1® 2021 – and don’t they look good! Above and below are a couple of our brand new snaps, and you can take a look at more over here.
2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Exhibition
An exciting new step for the F1 Esports Series took place last week, as the Pro Exhibition aired live from London’s Gfinity Arena. 29 up-and-coming sim racing stars, including the fastest drivers from our Challengers series, our Women’s Wildcard winner Rebecca Morell, and more were put through their paces with four different challenges in F1® 2020.
The results from those challenges generate a driver ranking for each participant, which teams will use to inform their selections for Pro Championship. Full details on the new format are here, and the Pro Exhibition event can be watched in full here.
Thought we would power down a little in the land of DIRT 5 after the Red Bull Revolution Update? No chance! Here’s what we’ve been up to during a busy fortnight:
No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is indeed a giant Xbox-shaped fridge in the middle of a DIRT 5 Playground – courtesy of the Power Your Memes content pack, which arrived last week. This is a bonus drop for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, featuring exclusive liveries for multiple cars and, of course, the legendary Xbox Series X fridge, now immortalised in our world of Playgrounds. Owners of this pack can use the fridge as part of their custom arena creations, whilst any Xbox DIRT 5 player can race on Playgrounds that feature the fridge. On console, desktop or the app, head to Xbox Game Pass and then to the ‘Perks’ gallery to find the pack.
And now, for something completely different. We recently snuck over to the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London with the Celebrity Esports crew, as the first episode of their series used DIRT 5 as the battleground for the likes of Jimmy Carr, Chelcee Grimes, Joel Dommett, and more to try their luck behind the wheel. Trash talk and crashes galore ensued, as famous faces squared off to take the win for their team. Check out the full episode here and see who came out on top.
The Celebrity Esports crew raced with controllers, but for wheel users, we’re still hard at work further improving your DIRT 5 experience. This week, a new patch added Fanatec device support for the game on PS4 and PS5. Check out the patch notes for full details, then head to Fanatec’s channels for a giveaway to celebrate this update.
Codemasters DiRT Rally Team
Hello everyone, PJ back again with another rally update.
Codemasters DiRT Rally Team – A Punishing Portuguese Rally
Round 2 of the 2021 FIA Junior WRC season got underway a few weeks ago, with our team leading the standings after that win in Croatia.
As always, Jon Armstrong and Phil Hall put in a ton of work before the event and were hopeful of another good result on the first gravel rally of the year, maybe even another podium. The weekend started off well, with the DiRT rally car flying out of the gates, securing an early lead and multiple stage wins on Friday.
Portugal’s rough gravel was absolutely brutal, however, and after 40+ WRC competitors had gone through there earlier, Jon and Phil were navigating some really rough terrain. That resulted in a near-unavoidable puncture which cost the team four minutes, limiting the damage as multiple teams struggled with the surface.
Another stage win rounded off Friday’s running, before Jon and Phil set off on Saturday’s Stages. A similar story played out on the roads, with our car being quick and the roads being deadly. Another stage win gave the team valuable points, but a second puncture ruled us out of victory.
That would be the least of our problems, though, as the car slowed to a halt midway through the day’s longest stage. What was a suspected turbo failure (which would have meant a quick repair job at Service) turned out to be a terminal engine issue, bringing an end to our Portugal Rally.
There’s a number of positives to be taken away from the weekend, however; Jon and Phil were quick, well-prepped, and the DiRT Rally car looked amazing out on the roads (seriously, look at these photos!). Were it not for the retirement, a podium was still on the cards as everybody had major issues, and the points from the stage wins keeps the team in contention at the top of the championship.
For a full breakdown of Rally de Portugal and some behind-the-scenes insight, check out Jon’s recap vlog here. Also, TommyT999’s new series Gaming IRL is also underway, go give it a watch if you want to see him become a rally driver!
Our next event will be Rally Estonia in July, so you can expect things to be quiet from me for a while, but rest assured we’ll be going flat-out once again when the time comes!
Project CARS 3
Did you miss the Project CARS 3 Season Pass? If so, you missed some of the most astonishing cars that have ever been created in the Project CARS franchise.
Like what, you ask? Well, how about the Hennessey Venom F5 that came with the Style Pack. Simulated in Project CARS months before its real-world debut, the F5 comes with a bespoke twin-turbo 6.6L all-American V8 pushing out an astounding 1,817hp. No, that’s not a misprint, and yes, that’s seriously impressive – but not as impressive as the projected top speed of 500kmh!
If you’re after a different type of performance (and not quite as extreme), it’s time to meet the Nissan Z Proto that came with the Power Pack. This is a one-off test mule for Nissan’s soon-to-be unveiled next Nissan Z-series production car. Hype is so high on that car that the Project CARS 3 version was covered by multiple real-world motoring magazines keen to glean any clues about what the world can expect from the next “Z”. Nissan worked closely with us to get this prototype in-game, and you can read all about that process here.
And while we’re on the subject of Japanese icons, the Legends Pack came with three icons of Japanese design, including the 1994 Toyota Supra MkIV Turbo – the car that made the Supra a true legend of the road and track.
We ended the Season Pass content with the Electric Pack that contained four of the world’s fastest and most important electric vehicles. It’s tough to find just one from that essential group that symbolise all that is great about EVs, but the Audi AI:RACE is impossible to ignore.
This really is a look into the future, and the ultimate in track-day toys: a one-off concept car that Audi calls its vision for the sportscar of tomorrow. Hiding under that mix of aluminium, carbon, and multi-material composite body of this “wing car” is the all-winning Le Mans Audi R18 e-tron quattro suspension, along with three electric engines. With boost, it’s good for 765hp, and 0-100kmh in around two seconds. You can read all about how we worked with Audi to get this one in-game here.
It’s not too late to own some of the world’s most exclusive cars with the Project CARS 3 Season Pass content either. Pick up the Season Pass for instant access to all these cars and more, or purchase the packs separately.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS?
It’s Pride month, and with it comes a celebration of all things LGBTQ+. We’re proud to echo EA’s sentiments that were shared earlier this week on building a positive culture for employees and players alike in and outside of our games. You can read more about that here.