Formula One is a capital-intensive sport, where each element is expected to perform at a hundred per cent. F1 2012 arrives into the market with no less pressure.
The developers have raised the bar this year. The cars look and feel ever so closer to their real-life counterparts. The grip levels in varying conditions are more palpable, and KERS and DRS have been implemented nicely too. Tyre and fuel sim options have been taken out this year. Instead, both these factors are turned on automatically, but are much less rigorous. F1 2012 takes the racing a step closer to reality.
One aspect of F1 2012 that has seen little to no innovation from last year is the online gameplay. It features the standard quick race and custom race modes, plus split-screen and LAN modes for local multiplayer. Co-op championship mode remains the main attraction though. Nothing beats teaming up with a buddy to compete in a full-blown championship season.
In the single player section, you start off with the ‘Young Driver Test’, where you’re taught the basics and given a few assessment challenges. Even though there isn’t much incentive in it, it’s a nice platform for newcomers to acclimatise themselves to the franchise. The standard career mode remains largely unchanged, but the ‘long
weekends’ now only offer one practice session instead of three, which is a pity. New to career mode this year is the ‘Season Challenge’, which is a non-technical, select 10-race season with one lap qualifying and minimal setup options — a good take on the 2012 F1 season.
There’s also a ‘Champions’ mode, where you face off with each of the seven F1 champions on the grid this year. Difficulty balancing has never been Codies forte and the
trend continues this year, with the difference between difficulty levels being huge. An area where the developers have done a commendable job is the AI. It is far superior to previous F1 iterations.
Yearly sport-based games get criticised for their lack of innovation year on year. F1 2012 doesn’t come under this category. It is a solid and true interpretation of the current season and is as close to living the high life of Formula One as it can get.
Game details: F1 2012
Platforms: PS3 ( Rs. 2,799), Xbox 360 ( Rs. 2,799), PC ( Rs. 999)
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(The writer is an editor at IndianVideoGamer.com)