I’ll admit, I’m not a biggest Formula 1 fan out there nor do I claim to be. Although there is something that intrigues me about the skill, focus and determination it takes to shave those extra milliseconds off a lap and continue that pace for a whole race in F1 2012. I’ve always loved racing game on the PC using my Logitech G25 racing wheel and F1 2012 is no different. I would not say that F1 2012 is a sim but a good balance between a sim and arcade, a good balance to keep both crowds interested.
The graphics in F1 2012 are very good, I would not say photo realistic but they are getting pretty darn close. The difference from F1 2010, the first title in Codemasters Racing F1 racing series, to F1 2012 is fairly noticeable but not to say that they weren’t good in F1 2010. Where I really notice the great graphics is while it’s raining and F1 2012 has a dynamic weather system that adds incredible immersion to your racing weekend experience. Watching a replay of a F1 2012 race and actual footage from a Formula 1 race is hard to tell the difference at a quick glance as the graphics are that good and to which Codemasters has boasted about themselves, rightfully so.
Audio in F1 2012 is very immersive and will have you feeling like you are actually on the track and in the car. I’ve been racing my season and can can hear the car behind me or in front of me in relation to where I am on the track, which sometimes helps for motivation when you are catching up to a car, but also sometimes builds intensity when a car is catching up to you. I really find this the case when racing online with friends and you can hear one of them catching up to you, it just steps the level of intensity up a few notches and can really immerse you into the game. All of the sounds are really good in game and even while playing in single player season mode you feel on the team with the communication from your crew.
I think where this game really shines though is the multiplayer racing, as with most games, the longevity of them comes from many hours spent and to be spent competing against your friends. I was really happy to see that Codemasters had ditched the Game for Windows Live and went with Steam for the in game chat and multiplayer. I have ran into a few issues of the chat feature ruining the experience though, as it is sometimes difficult for people to get the settings correct for their microphone and disrupting everyones game.
If you enjoy racing games that have more of a structure to them then a DiRT title or the Shift series, I think you will really enjoy F1 2012. The price is right too at $49 on steam as opposed to the new trend of games sneaking up towards the $60 mark.