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May 15, 2013 • Gaming, Reviews

F1: 2012 Review for PlayStation 3

With the 64th Formula One Season well underway and the Grand Prix de Monaco coming on May 26, racing fans should definitely try out F1 2012, which lets players experience the 2012 F1 season and/or compete online or offline against other players. Indianapolis 500 fans can also get an exciting experience from this quality game, which captures this racing worldwide experience very well.

The Hype

The glamour. The exhilaration. The intensity. The speed. With drivers cruising a smooth 200 mph — minimum — and cutthroat teams carving out dynasties of speed, Formula One is the most elite racing circle in the world and the most thrilling motorsport tearing up the tracks. Every curve of the track, every control on the dashboard and every strategy in the pit lane is of utmost importance in this intensified world — and it’s all re-created in stunning detail. Let breakneck speeds and ultra responsive cars transport you to the glamorous world of Formula One as you race toward the finish line.

Get behind the wheel and experience the new Circuit of the Americas before its real-life debut with this breathtaking game. This dramatic new track features 20-turn circuits that take inspiration from some of the world’s most difficult corners, including Silverstone’s Becketts and Istanbul Park’s Turn 8, and boasts elevation changes of up to 133 feet. An advanced weather system produces localized weather that can leave sections of the track wet while others stay dry for a dramatic and unpredictable race experience.

Take part in training tutorials, such as the all-new Young Driver’s Test at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina, to become familiar with the nuances of F1 racing and learn how to get the most speed out of your car. The new Lap Tutorials feature can help you perfect your car’s performance, as F1 test driver Anthony Davis walks you through a lap of each of the 20 circuits, offering expert advice. Do you have what it takes to handle the world’s toughest race circuits and steer your car to victory?

The Reality

In F1 2012, racing fans get an in-depth Formula One racing experience with refined game modes and numerous experiences for new players. This racing game has recovered well after noticeable glitches after the initial release, the fourth installment in this game series from Codemasters.

F1 2012 lets players experience the 2012 season that involves 12 teams and 24 drivers. Customization options are extensive and include mid-season changes. Races include 20 circuits and Grand Prix including the circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The young drivers test provides a great tutorial for novice players and greatly reduces the learning curve that intimidates many players in F1 games. Here players can immediately learn, get on team or drive in a non-pressure environment.

Once the skills are set, then starts earning medal and championship points or try the proving grounds. The time trial lets players race against friends, ghost cars or selected rivals created by the best players in the world. The time attack offers various scenarios where players conquer three different challenges to earn a medal.

Constant adjustment and button pushing is the name of the game here, so memorize the control scheme as soon as possible. The custom race options are a great feature allowing for players to choose race location and length.

The dynamic weather condition scenarios and graphics are impressive while the convenient  flashback option help players avoid restarts when they make mistakes. Use the flashbacks wisely because they are in limited supply.

F1 2012 still has strong challenges, but the various driving assistance options really help novice players ease their way into a great experience as they learn what they might have been missing (myself included).

The graphics have amazing details as the cars, drivers, and tracks reflect the game’s strong physics. Specific details like tire degradation factor into the gameplay, so players have to be “tuned into” all the variables for optimal success.

The lighting, shadows, and sun shimmers provide the extra details for an immersive experience while the heads-up display items and related on-screen information are clear without blocking the graphics.

The game modes offer several gameplay options and can overwhelm at first. New game modes includes a full career experience for up to five seasons (Grand Prix mode is out) and shorter session options among the modes – a nice option when some full races are about movie length (one hour and a half or more). The one-shot qualifying experience gives players a chance in a single lap race to qualify for formal races.

The new season challenge mode  features preset conditions in a ten race season while working their way up the ranks from a lower ranked team. Players can select a rival to beat and then beat that rival to earn a nice reward – use of the rival’s car.

The new champions mode features six world champions competing throughout the 2012 season – Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Räikkönen, Michael Schumacher, and Sebastian Vettel.

The online mode uses the Codemasters RACE NET service (VIP pass – single use online access code) for quick online races with random players plus the standard leader boards. match making, and lobbies.

The multiplayer mode includes a co-op championship with a friend on split-screen or online. Friend invites are great for the split-screen races where players can just challenge one other players or race with a full field of AI drivers. Players can also team up with a friend to take on a season long championship as teammates and gain championship points.

The high production values, especially graphics and sound, make F1 2012 an essential racing game addition for any player. The strategy requires much more than just a “hit the gas” approach while the complexity does not overwhelm more inexperienced drivers to the point where they give up after making a mistake. Players can always continue and experience a great racing simulation where they will often forget it’s not real.

Also available on Mac/PC and Xbox 360. Requires 2125 MB of hard space.

Look for F1 2013 sometime this fall. Kids can also get in on the action in F1 Race Stars (available on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360), which features four player split-screen and 12 player online racing plus entertaining power ups.

F1: 2012

MSRP: $49.99 (Amazon.com and other stores)

What I Like:  realistic driving experience, amazing sound effects, more game modes, smaller learning curve for novices, realistic weather system, high challenge level, fixed glitches after initial release, dynamic weather conditions, excellent sound, realistic physics, custom race options

What Needs Improvement: Grand Prix mode omitted, still a sizable learning curve for novices, players at initial release experienced numerous glitches, which have largely been resolved since then

Source: Copy provided by publisher

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