New Menu System: In the previous F1 games we saw the paddock being the menu system. In this game they have done away with this and instead made it more simple by displaying a random F1 car that looks fantastic when you are on the menu. Some may not like this and I agree the paddock in F1 2011 was very well done it seems a shame that they have done away with it. One thing I have noticed though is while loading up F1 2012 it's much quicker probably because the menu is more simple.
Race Mode: You can still pick any car, driver, track and weather etc and race it at any length you want. However for those who liked doing the full weekend will be sad to hear Friday practice 1 and 2 have been removed you now only do 1 practice session then qualifying and the race. I don't know why Codemasters bothered removing it because these practice sessions are part of the real sport, I know its nothing major but still.
New Weather System: F1 2011 didn't really improve the weather much from 2010 but I can happily say in F1 2012 it has improved a lot. It does rain heavy at different parts of the track when a shower passes over and I've even noticed when it's partly cloudy some parts of the track go shaded for a while then back to sun. This may not be anything big but those little real life things make the game feel so much better. The game did have some bugs with the weather making it rain at every race during a career mode and the rain turning on suddenly but these issues have been fixed now.
Car Handling: Controller users often complained that it was too difficult to drive with well good news for them F1 2012 has improvements for controller users, the car handles so much better, but when there is a gain there is a loss for those who like to race on a wheel will notice it is way too sensitive, you can change your settings on the wheel to improve the handling but I think no matter what the controllers will have the upper hand on this one.
Challenges: This is a new addition to the game where you take on the world champions who are currently in the sport. This great to see they are trying new things and will help teach anyone with little knowledge about the sport.
Young Driver Test: When you start your career mode you get taken to Abu Dhabi to do a young driver test program. It's basically a tutorial on how to play it, those who have played the previous games will find it maybe a bit boring. Another bad thing is you can't skip the videos they play. So good for those new to F1 games but nothing there for previous gamer's.
Online: Seems pretty much the same, the penalty system I think is more strict and the first corner pile ups still occur but that's not the games fault, usually just bad drivers. At the moment a lot of people are complaining that there is a lot of bugs online with connection issues and other things that ruin the online play experience for some.
Career Mode: After the young driver test you can choose the HRT, Marussia, Caterham, Force India or Williams. But if you didn't do well then you will be forced to pick a slower car like the HRT. The good changes I see is they have got rid of the interviews they were pretty useless as they just asked you the same stuff all the time. The teammate challenge is still there. The bad things I have noticed is the emails about the tyre wear it's just the same email after every race that your tyre wear is great or okay.
AI Changes: The cars on the grid seem different now and act more aggressive and defensive. They also make more mistakes and crashes happen more often this is good to see a bit more realism.
Improvements: 1. Graphics look better also the frame rate is much smoother. 2. Audio sounds seem more realisitc. 3. Less loading screens and seems to load faster. 4. Weather system is very real life. 5. Car handling improved for controller users. 6. Seems more realisic if the car goes to far over the kerbs or on the grass you spin out like in real life. 7. If you run off the track it slows down the car so this stops anyone trying to skip corners and cheat. 8. New championship mode. 9. Split screen still there for 2 players. 10. Some of the tracks have had changes to them to make them more realisitc.
Things They Need To Add Or Fix: 1. When doing a hot lap in qualifying one time the game made my car a ghost car so a faster car could just drive through me. 2. When a AI car is not on a hot lap they should move out the way like in the real sport but they act like they are racing you by defending and chase you around. 3. I've driven on most tracks in the time trial and accidentally skipped a corner I expected my lap to not be allowed but it was. In F1 2011 it was very strict but now it's more laid back about what you do in time trial. 4. Only 1 practice session now. 5. Still a lot of bugs and glitches to be fixed this game currently has had more patches than any other F1 game ever. Yet there are still problems. 6. Wheel users may be unhappy with how the car handles for them. 7. Still no podium cut scenes and no race commentary. Cut scenes are the exact same from F1 2011.
Overall: F1 fans should get this game but if you are new to it don't expect it to be arcade like this isn't that type of game. Codemasters have made good changes to how the game loads up quicker and easier to find your way around. Controller users are happy with the changes but have left the wheel users to sort out the problems for themselves. The game still has many issues that are likely to be fixed with patches over time but it's shocking to see them release a game with a lot of issues. A okay third attempt here but they really need to test the game more next time.