Xbox 360 Review: F1 2012

Can Codemasters cross the finishing line once again?

Ah Formula 1, the pinnacle of racing. This season has seen some pretty nail biting moments already, not least the speculation over Lewis Hamilton and his contract with McLaren, at the time of writing he still hasn’t agreed to sign the latest contract handed down, fuelling fire that he will move to another team, so this year’s F1 game might be the last you see Hamilton as a choice for the McLaren Mercedes team…

Codemasters once again delivers realism and top range performance with F1 2012, it maintains most of the modes from the past games but removes Grand Prix mode so the only way you can play as your favourite racers is in Quick Race, which is a little disappointing but it does give the game more focus on its career mode and other modes like Time Trial, Time Attack and a new Champions Mode where you tackle the former world champions in specific situations to rewrite history.

F1 2012 does take a bit of time to get used to, but the game does start out with a great tutorial that puts you through the paces of every element including the best way to use DRS and KERS during races, which makes it great for newcomers to the F1 series, but also acts as a nice refresher course for veterans. You need to try it for the game to open up fully, and then you’ll see the classic and new modes for you to choose from.

I have to admit, I’m more of an arcade-type racer, so games like F1 and Forza are easily the weaker for me as a gamer, and I usually spin of the course in the pouring rain, but luckily there’s a rewind feature that can be used a number of times during races to put you back before tragedy strikes hard. Online play comes with a pass, which is a little disappointing for people who buy second-hand, but it’s worth it with the team-mate co-op season, having said that…you’ll need to find a damn good player to play alongside with random players can have very varied results.

There’s been a lot of improvement in terms of performance. Visually, the game has stepped up a notch and it’s great that weather can truly impact the vehicle during races, making players adapt to the situation, while the screeching sound of burning tyres has improved greatly.

The Verdict

While it’s a shame that the Grand Prix mode has gone, you can still play as your favourite racers in Quick Race, the game focuses more on improving the previous modes, while adding new ones like Champions Mode into the mix. It’s easily the best F1 game so far and I can’t wait to see where the franchise goes from here…