Published on September 23rd, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
F1 2012 Review
Developer: Codemasters Burmingham
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, PC
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
Formula 1 Racing is the most popular motorsport in the world, and Codemasters have been releasing great titles for the past few years to represent the sport.
F1 2012 is the latest edition of its racing franchise, and looks to bring in novices with the new mode, Young Drivers Test. Although the game is still punishingly difficult to master, F1 2012 is an excellent edition that makes the sport shine brightly on the console platform.
The aforementioned Young Drivers Test mode is the entry level mode for those new to F1 racing. It takes players through all the steps and processes that go into an F1 race, from car tuning to how to take a proper line on the track. This was the perfect mode for me, as I’m familiar with racing games, but not so much F1. Formula 1 racing is a much faster sport than stock car racing, and speeds often exceed 200 mph.
Taking turns at the proper apex is very important in any racer, and is such the case for F1 2012. Different tires or “tyre” (as it’s referred to in-game) types and setups aid your cars performance. The game presents this mode in a very realistic fashion, making you feel like you really are going through the process of being an F1 driver through its detail in car options.
Once you are finally out on the courses, everything looks pretty realistic. The damage effects are nice. In the environments, sand will build up on your tire and the rain is especially well done. I did feel that the graphics did look a little spotty in some parts, as the backgrounds leave a lot to be desired, but for the most part everything looks good.
The game is a bit sparse in the sound department, with the main beef of it being engine noises which “growl with delight.” It sounds much like what you would expect to hear at an F1 event.
My main issue with the game is its unforgiving difficulty. The game does offer rewind moments, where you can rewind and start at a point you were at, but that only helps to a certain degree.
If you lower the difficulty to easy, the automatic brake assist kicks in, but it’s useless. Yes, you will stay on the course, but your lap times will be so atrocious that you won’t even be on the same lap as the other racers because the game will slow you down so much. Finishing a full race is a grueling task, and it just seems like the cars can be overly sensitive. Granted, you are going at an alarmingly fast rate of speed, so it’s understandable. It would have been nice to loosen the control just a tad bit.
Rounding out the game modes are Career Mode, Champions Mode, and of course, Online.
Career Mode has you joining a racing team and competing in events to rise in the ranks. Players have the ability to go from a rookie to a legend. You can be recruited by other teams if you do well enough, and eventually become an F1 legend. Champions Mode is a bit different, with real life F1 drivers such as Michael Schumacher, being “bosses” whom you have to defeat in a race style that the driver prefers or is a master in. Online Mode is standard, with races starting up quickly and feature minimal lag. One thing I noticed is how many other drivers were just as bad as I was on the courses, which makes me think I’m not the only one feeling the strain of the difficulty.
F1 2012 is a solid racing simulation that doesn’t set out to break the trend of past games, but reiterate it with solid racing mechanics and presentation. Added modes for newcomers are a nice addition, and the racing, while difficult, is still topnotch.
The presentation is well done, and the game is rather solid from top to bottom. The only pressing issue is that I don’t see many people who don’t like F1 racing to be persuaded to buy this game, even with the added modes designed for them. Consider this more a fan service to fans of Formula 1, who will love the game and all its high speed glory.
+ Realistic Formula 1 racing
+ New modes for newcomers
– Still very difficult