F1 2012 Review
To get the obvious out the way, if you’re an F1 fan, you’re going to be a F1 2012 fan.
It has the teams, courses and attention to detail that the most demanding of fans will be after.
You can turn all the driving aids off so the slightest bit of oversteer in the rain sends you spinning off the track, so only those with superhuman concentration make it through to the end in one piece.
It has DRS, KERS, WTF, LMAO and other acronyms. It waves flags and shouts PENALTY at you for the smallest of infractions. The graphics sometimes look a little ropier than you’d like but the overall presentation is slick enough that it compensates.
Fans are very well treated and the way the in-car view bobbles and rattles as your speed increases is brilliant. This is packed with nice touches like that.
The bigger question is what if you’re not that good at driving games? What if you aren’t that big an F1 fan? NBA 2K12 is an example of a sports game that you can love without being a huge fan of the subject matter.
Does F1 capture that one-for-all spirit? It very, very nearly does. Codemasters has wisely broken down the demanding slog of an F1 season into different difficulties and different lengths.
You can play as a young driver learning the ropes before trying your hand at the real thing, with everything from kinds of tyres to driving in the wet explained to you.
F1 2012 really wants to entice racing fans that have never played an F1 game before.
There are also some nice in-game cut-scenes breaking everything up, showing pained reactions at poor races, for example, and challenges that help break up any danger of the racing boring your brain.
The problem with drawing newcomers in isn’t anything to do with Codemasters but rather, the sport itself.
Even if you’re not a fan of basketball or American football or ice hockey, you’ll still nurture lofty aspirations of violent slam-dunks or 80-yard touchdown runs or miracle slapshot goals in your mind.
Formula One just doesn’t have those air-punching moments in the same way and to keep things authentic, Codemasters doesn’t push out any truly original or ground-breaking ideas (which is no doubt why F1 Race Stars is in development).
So it comes close but ultimately, this is an F1 game for F1 fans. They’ll be the ones most impressed by the package here and the authenticity on show.
Those who aren’t F1 fans will have a more enjoyable time than previous games allowed thanks to the modes with softer difficulty, but this doesn’t go quite far enough for us to give a whole-hearted recommendation.
Just a semi-hearted one.