F1 2013 was a game-changer for Codemasters.
Upon its release in October 2013, it was lauded for being a massive improvement on its predecessor - the frankly quite boring F1 2012.
The cars handled terrifically, the game's visuals were stunning, and there was something brand new to enjoy, too. The F1 Classics section - now a staple of Codies’ F1 games - was new here, with different scenarios and mini-games that include classic cars and tracks from yesteryear.
And with those classic cars and circuits came the much-welcomed return of the voice of Murray Walker.
Unless I'm very much mistaken…
For F1 fans of a certain age, Murray will always be the voice of the sport. He was famous for his ‘pants on fire’ approach to commentating and infectious enthusiasm for motor racing.
His commentary was the backdrop to some of the sport’s most memorable moments; from Nigel Mansell’s brilliant win at Silverstone in 1987, to the heart-stopping clashes between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Best of all was perhaps his iconic words as Damon Hill became the 1996 world champion.
Naturally, he lent his voice to the world of F1 video games too. He was the in-game commentator for the groundbreaking 1996 game Formula 1, and he could also be found in Formula One 99 and Formula One 2001.
Having hung up his microphone towards the end of the 2001 F1 season after a 23-year run on television, it was a very pleasant surprise when he made his brief return to video games with F1 2013.
Brief, but charming
While certainly memorable, Murray’s role in the game is actually relatively small.
For realism’s sake, the game’s main career mode comes with commentary from Sky Sports F1's David Croft. Murray is there only for the classic content, where he introduces the Classic Mode section, and explains the various in-game scenarios and features. It’s fun, light-hearted, and very well done, and makes revisiting F1 2013 worthwhile.
Murray lives on in F1 racing, and the way he brought the sport to life for millions. His role as commentator in some of the earliest F1 games will also be fondly remembered, and his last hurrah in F1 2013 makes this particular title unique, special and precious.