It’s a fascinating proposition: a Unity-based version of the Formula 1 circus, complete with official teams, intricate customisation options and true-to-life Championships playable in your browser. All from the development team that brought us PC and console racing classics such as Micro Machines, TOCA, Colin McRae Rally and Dirt.
Surprisingly it’s the earliest of these influences that is most immediately obvious in F1 Online. You may not be racing in between tea-cups and pencils on a makeshift track carved through the family home, but the top-down viewpoint and highly responsive controls are pure Micro Machines.
Publicly launched this week, the game has been in Beta for over 6 months, time that’s been used to tighten up what is a pretty expansive proposition. As well as online multiplayer races, leaderboards, time trials and full championships you can become boss of your own team, design the car’s livery, choose your upgrades and even build your own headquarters.
There’s more complexity to the racing itself that meets the eye too and, for that reason, the game’s best played with a mouse rather than a track-pad. While this is a free-to-play proposition, micro-transactions have been integrated in such a way that is sympathetic to the core design rather than, in contrast to yesterday’s CSR Racing, driving it.
Head across to the official site here. You can even play through the tutorial without having to enter your details to see whether or not it’s for you.