Monday, 7 January 2013

Review: F1 2012 (360)

Having become synonymous with excellent racing games, developer Codemasters has transformed its F1 series into an auto racing Madden-esque franchise, releasing a new F1 title with each new "season" of F1 racing. And based on the top-selling titles list, gamers are clamoring for the latest iteration of F1 when it arrives. It is easy to see why after playing F1 2012, which follows directly in the tracks of its predecessor by providing a solid racing game that has every aspect of F1 racing a gamer could want, including official tracks and drivers of the F1A Formula One World Championship circuit.

As it has been known for, the game features all the driving stars, cars and circuits that were part of the 2012 F1 World Championship, including the new Circuit of the Americas, which is the home of the United State Grand Prix. There's a Drivers Test for tutorial training, the Season Challenge and Career modes and a handful of others, including a Champions Mode, which can be very frustrating, the only mode that somewhat throws gasket in F1 2012's performance.

In the Champions Mode, gamers are presented with in-race scenarios against some real-life champion drivers. But make one slight mistake on the track negotiating turns and avoiding/passing other drivers, and you might as well quit and restart, because without Flashbacks available, it is impossible to recover. Flashbacks, however, can put gamers back on the right track and "save" a mistake. With a Flashback, gamers can rewind from a driving mistake, like a crash or badly made turn, to a previous clean section of that particular race, giving them a chance to rewrite their race history from a losing effort to victorious glory.

As far as multiplayer, there is split-screen and co-op championships, and the most improved facet of F1 2012, Xbox Live online. Up to 16 individual gamers can be online in an Xbox Live session (with another eight possible AI racers). In F1 2011, the online racing was lag-filled and rife with races that never could be completed because of constant disconnecting. That is the exact opposite in F1 2012, with "clean" races that continue until the checkered flag is waved.

When it comes to graphics, F1 2012 is very appealing with a true representation of not only the F1 cars gamers will be driving but also the racetracks. Again, there are dynamic weather effects, which are a nice visual touch. Controls are also very crisp, particularly when handling the plethora of twists and turns throughout each of the racetracks.

For hard-core auto racing gamers, especially those that love Formula 1, Codemasters once again has a fuel-charged and totally immersive, realistic racing simulation in F1 2012 that has everything a F1 fanatic could want.

Lee Cieniawa

The Good:
- An F1 fan's perfect videogame, with each and every aspect of Formula 1 racing covered and enhanced even more from F1 2011, including all the drivers and racetracks from the circuit
‑ Online play has been much improved from F1 2011's heavy lagging and disconnecting during races problems

The Bad:
- One little mistake on the track during Champions Mode, where gamers undertake race scenarios against champion racers, and you might as well end the session, because it is almost impossible to recover, especially without a Flashback rewind

Score: 8.5 / 10