It’s time to put your racing helmet on and strap yourself into that carbon fibre race car again. Yes, it’s that time of year, it’s time for this year’s Formula One game by Codemasters. It’s only been a year since the last instalment, but this time round they’ve managed to go one better.
Formula One 2012 (F1 2012), has been redesigned from the ground up and is designed to be more accessible for Formula One fans and racing game enthusiasts. You will see and feel the speed and glory of F1 racing. Whether you want to play as a beginner or if you are a die-hard enthusiast who loves the most realistic racing game settings. This game ticks all the boxes.
The first thing you will notice when you start the game are the graphics. I don’t know how they do it, but every year they seem to get better and better. The game mechanics are better than ever. In the wet you really do notice the difference in handling. The whole game has had a major face lift compared to last year. As you whiz around your favourite track in a car that many could only dream of driving, you really get the feeling of speed. This game has been so gorgeously designed. The tracks are all very detailed and look just like the real thing. I don’t know how the developers manage it, but each annual release, they get better and better. There is even localised weather, where you can be driving on a dry track, then a mile down the road it can be raining. This makes for some serious tyre type choices as you try to beat your fastest time.
This year we have an all new circuit located in Austin, Texas. This is a 3.427 mile circuit that includes 20 turns and some dramatic elevation changes of up to 40 meters. F1 2012 features all the tracks from the 2012 calendar year, including the return of Germany’s Hockenheimring. These tracks all have their own challenges and make for some great gameplay. Talking about gameplay, although you can use the keyboard or a gamepad for the controls, this game is best played with a steering wheel. This is the best option as it means you can really get that feeling of driving and adds to the enjoyment. If you do choose to use a steering wheel, then stick with it. If you are not used to it like me (I just bought mine), then at first it can feel quite tricky and you will find yourself spinning off the track often. However, after a while you will start getting better and better.
There are a few different modes to be had in F1 2012. We have the Champions Mode which features six World Champions - Kimi Räikkönen, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. In this mode you are thrown into the heat of the action and are pitted against each of the individual champions to prove yourself and become the ultimate Formula One champion. Then, we have Season Mode. In this mode you start off at a low ranking team and select a rival racing driver that you think you can beat. As you beat your rival in a series of races you will win your seat in a better car. This all happens in ten five lap races.
There are also multiplayer options where you can race against people from all over the world. This is nothing new, but it still is a great part of the game. I played this mode for a good number of hours and never got board of making my opponents smell my petrol fumes as I race past them. F1 2012 also features lap tutorials where Codemasters technical consultant, Anthony Davidson, will talk you through a lap of each of the 20 circuits. Here he highlights the braking places, turns and gearing options to help you along the way towards beating your fastest time.
F1 2012 is a fantastic game. You can see that so much work has been put into it. It’s not just another annual game where you may get new drivers and tracks. This time round they really have added so much it shows. If you are a fan of Formula One games then this is for you. You really can’t go wrong. If you own last year’s game then you may be thinking that there is no point in the upgrade. Well, I can tell you this is one you should buy. You will not regret it.
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