The F1 franchise from codemasters has improved year-on-year, with the exception of bugs and glitches etc but this year F1 2012 is a HUGE improvement on 2011 and 2010. Virtually everything that was F1 2011 has been torn down and replaced with elegance and a much more professional feel. So, far so good.
The Good Points
- The Safety car remains in F1 2012.
- The Legend AI difficulty has been ramped up so that now until this game has been truly mastered by the online perfectionists, the offline gameplay is enough to challenge you significantly and even outpace you if your internet router is having a bad day. No more 3 seconds a lap faster than legend AI like in 2011!
-Expanded and improved online game modes like...
Champions Mode: Each world champion has a unique scenario challenge in which you must beat them within a few laps in a short race or the conclusion of a long one. e.g. You're on wets every one else is on inters. Beat Jenson Button in the last few laps of the British grand prix. It is a challenging game mode but I fear that once it is completed, it will be rarely used until the release of F1 2013. It's good but that's about it.
Season Challenge: Now, this on the other hand is much, much better and the longevity is there too. This is more of an arcadey twist on the long career mode. Instead of 100 races over 5 seasons, there is just 10. You start with either caterham, HRT or Marussia and have to pick a rival driver and outrace them over the best of 3 races. Win and you take their seat. You work your way up the grid to win the world title. Short, snappy 5 lap races are much more appealing than the long career and more fun too and also better for those of you with not too much time on your hands. However, there are little improvements to the main career.
- There is a new glossy feel to the Main menu too, making the game feel more sleek and presentable.
- The handling model has, in my opinion, reverted to a similar one that was used in 2010. The cars are more difficult to control, which is a better thing, as this made F1 2011 boring. You have to be careful not to slam your foot flat to the floor out of slow corners.
- The Austin circuit is one of the most fun on the game and immensley tricky too.
- Now, if you make an illegal overtake, you are given 7 seconds to return the position rather than just a straight penalty.
- Young driver test. A great little tutorial. For returning fans it may seem long and tedious but it does add to the realism of the game.
- One lap qualifying. Ever been bored having to sit through 10 minutes of online quali after crashing. Well, if your lucky and the host has chosen one-lap quali, then every one gets one shot at pole.
- The weather system is STUNNING. Remember the 2011 British Grand Prix? Wet on one half, dry on the other? well that's in F1 2012. Even more dynamic weather which makes wet/dry races, really, really fun!
There is a lot more, trust me but I feel I'm losing interest so I'll move on to the Bad and Ugly.
- Tyre wear scaling has been removed. All races, no matter what distance race you do, its on tyre wear from 100% races.
- You cannot select multiple races in online Custom GPs and offline Grand Prix modes.
- Penalties just as rubbish as they were last year and 2010.
- Time attack mode is still in the game and to be brutally honest, I dont see what it adds
Overall, though a fantastic game with no glitches I have so far come across. A vast imprvement on its predecessors and just an all round fantastic game, which I'm sure any F1 fan would reccomend as a true simulation game. Better than 2010 and 2011 combined.
If you want it, in my opinion, buy it.
Graphics: 7/10 (much the same as 2011)
Game mode variety: 9.5/10
Realism and simulation of F1: 10/10