F1 2012 REVIEW
Codemasters have really put the life back into the F1 games in recent years. Have they settled into a rut or a groove?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Oct 5, 2012 13:17 (Oct 5, 2012 13:17)
Written by: Ian
Codemasters have really put the life back into the F1 games in recent years. Have they settled into a rut or a groove? F1 2010 was amazing; last year’s game was but an incremental improvement, and was filled with broken promises that disappointed me a lot. Which category does this year’s game, "F1 2012" fit into?
The story part (or live the life, as it was once referred to) of the game has now been all but abandoned, reduced to a faceless computer screen where you read emails and just progress onto the next event. Some added authenticity has been added through the use of real team personnel, but given the actual communications from them are near-identical, scripted nonsense it could still be better.
The whole Young Driver event also feels tacked on; because it’s separate from either career mode you neither end up with any of the teams you race for, nor does it have any effect upon your first race.
The Young Driver event also happens to be one of the single most patronising tutorials I have ever had the misfortune of playing through. Some of the events are fine- but others force you to sit through 2-3 minutes of video which anyone who has watched more than about 3 races of F1 in the last 2 years should know by now.
The career mode now has two options to it- the classic career, with all 20 races, or the more arcade season challenge, with 10 races, lots of potential to move around the paddock, and one-lap qualifying. Unfortunately, for the average busy person out there, Codemasters has now ruined the whole experience. SC feels too much like an arcade experience, and you miss half the races, but career now has a minimum of 25% race distance required, which means races last about 20-40 minutes depending on the track. That’s just too long for most people, especially when you add qualifying on top of that.
Thankfully some of the new modes (kind of) save the day. The time trial trophies are fun to go after, and Champions mode puts you up against the 6 former world champions on the grid in a series of challenges. There’s probably only a couple of hours content here, but it was the most fun I had with the game.
Sadly though, glitches and errors continue to compound the experience. The current list includes the fact that wheels don’t work properly with the 360 version, the racing line being broken in Germany, some challenges failing to register you beating them (which I experience all of) whilst others have some save-game issues amongst others. For a game in its 3rd iteration, this is pretty poor, and it seems to be increasingly clear that the studio just doesn’t have the resources in order to make the improvements or do the level of QA that the game deserves, which is a real shame because the core racing experience is the best of any of Codemasters’ current racing line-up.
It’s a magnificent blend of skittishness, performance, power, and when you really nail a lap right on the edge it’s an exhilarating experience, but one that anyone can enjoy thanks to the well-implemented driver aids.