F1 2012 – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation, Racing
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
Publisher: Codemasters
Platform: PC, PS3, 360

F1 2012 – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Realism, Decent career mode
Bad: No option for a shorter track duration in career mode
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

F1 2012 has been released by codemasters for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 and might give us a glimpse of what the life of a F1 driver really is like. Will this simulation game turn our sofa in to a speed machine?

1

Story:

Imagine a world where the world is dominated by F1 cars and only the chosen ones may control these majestic beings… or not.

Well I usually tend to start out with the story part of games, which would be quite useless here. It’s worth mentioning though that the developers of the game used the real drivers (well.. duuh!) and actually decided to change their starting positions on the tracks compared to how they drove there in real life. This will make sure that even the most famous drivers don’t always get the same starting position. A small detail but worth mentioning here.

Graphics:

When talking about the graphics of this game we can talk about 3 different aspects, namely: The crew, the cars and the tracks.

The crew looks nicely done and seems to have it’s own set of ’emotions’. The members look realistic (even though their faces are a bit flat) and move as they should move. Your car, and all the others ofcourse, look amazingly realistic and they will really contribute to the feeling that you’re actually driving a F1 race car and not some kind of pixelated block. Then last but not least we have the tracks, which look fairly simple but to be honest they look well enough. When looking for details on the tracks I doubt you will find that many graphical wonders but as mentioned before it’s good enough as it is. I doubt in the middle of a race you’ll ragequit because one of the trees in the background looked a little flat or less realistic than it should be. Also I doubt when you are actually racing that you will even mind the background of the tracks because you’ll have tons of others things to do to actually reach the finish line.

Note: When driving through grass or dirt you will actually see your tires getting covered with grass or dirt (and feel it too).

2

Sound: 

Again not much to say, for the ones amongst us that love F1 simulators the sound of the engines will sound pleasant and will be enough to enjoy your racing experience. For those who want a bit more there is good and bad news. Your main engineer/pit crew member has a decent voice to listen to and will not start to annoy you after a while, however it does not matter which crew you pick you will always end up with the same guy telling you what to do.

Gameplay:

Now the most defining part of this game is the gameplay. Keep in mind it’s a simulator and not a real racing game so the controls have to be as realistic as possible and not simply pleasant to work with.

First of all the game offers enough options to adjust the game to your own experience level when it comes to F1 racing. We can choose the preset difficulty levels (Easy, Medium, …) or we can make our own custom settings if you still didn’t find your pick between the preset ones. The difficulty settings will simply allow us to choose between things like brake assist, a visible racing line, cosmetic damage or real damage and so on. If you’re new to the whole F1 experience it’s probably best to work your way up between the different difficulty settings.

For those with hardly any experience with simulator games or those who simply want to refresh their old forgotten skills can start out with the ‘Young drivers test’. This test consists out of a ‘2 day’ training bootcamp which will learn you the basics in a fast and fairly fun way. It will explain things like how to take corners, how to use your Kers and DRS systems and even which tires to fit in which weather conditions. I’ll have to admit most of these will only be mastered when playing a lot in the career or quick race modes.

When you finally end up in the career mode you will notice that you will need to play a minimum of 25% of each track. Which is cool for the fans of the genre because then you’ll also need to do an occassional pitstop like as if it’s the real thing. The bad part however is that if you hardly have any time to play you won’t be able to play your career mode properly. (15+ laps tend to take some time to finish one track) Also for those who are new to the genre and want to experience a shorter playing time and a career mode combined will be dissapointed. I reckon most of them will spend their time playing quick races and/or online races.

Note: Career mode only offers you customisation parts for your car if you play full weekends.

Note²: You will play as yourself during career mode and not a famous driver.

3

Ofcourse F1 2012 offers us plenty of other modes like champions mode, in which you will have to complete several challenges presented to you by different famous drivers, or season challenge in which you simply have to win several times against the same opponent to climb the rankings and try to reach the first place. (by taking over places in other teams)

Basically if you’re a fan of simulation games and have loads of time you will spend the most part of your time playing the career mode, if you’re new or are just lacking the time to play for more than 40 minutes each session you will probably explore the other modes the most.

Now the actual driving works as it should, it feels hard to master your vehicle which I can imagine isn’t really that easy aswell in real life. Driving off track in the grass or the dirt will influence your grip when getting back on the track. (because of the dirt or grass on your tires) The penalty system tries to keep you in check but the game seems to have it’s good and bad days when it comes to handing out penalties. Sometimes you can pretty much crash another car in to oblivion and the game will not punish you while other times you will get a penalty for just looking at your opponent’s car. It doesn’t happen too often but sometimes it can be annoying, especially when you’re the one that gets pushed off the track and at the end results you see that your opponent didn’t even receive a time penalty. To make up for mistakes the game offers us a flashback option (only in single player ofcourse) in which you can rewind the time a bit and start playing again from before you crashed or received a time penalty and so on. During each time you will have the chance to perform 4 flashbacks which help you prevent dropping down the rankings. All in all the driving and the options work as they should.

 

Conclusion:

F1 2012 is great for those who have been following the series for quite some time or for those who have some experience with simulation/racing games. The game tends to be harder for those who are new to the genre or who are trying out one of their first racing games. You will be able to practise ofcourse but your career mode seems to be a little less ‘open’ for new players because of the fact you will have to spend around 40 minutes per race. Overall a great game, but look it up first to see if it suits you.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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F1 2012 - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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