Review: F1 2012 (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

F1 is possibly the best game that I cannot play. I’ll admit to it up front, I have always found the F1 franchise games to be exacting and demanding, so if that’s your thing – then this latest version is all that and more.

By Wayne Webb

F1 is possibly the best game that I cannot play. I’ll admit to it up front, I have always found the F1 franchise games to be exacting and demanding, so if that’s your thing – then this latest version is all that and more.

For the uninitiated, F1 is more of a simulator, even though the controls are simplistic. There’s not a massive need for tweaking and configuring unless you really want to. However like previous incarnations you have to know what you are doing or you’ll never even finish a lap let alone win a race, or season. You have to have your line, your steering and your control of the car perfect – and pay 100 percent attention at all times. Then try doing that for 15 laps on real circuits against real racers and the task is mountainous if you are not an experienced F1 game driver.

The difficulty and exacting nature aside, there is a beautiful looking game underneath with a few quirks that detract from the experience. Though the interface is similar to past efforts, the navigation up and down through these is often not that intuitive and you can get stuck trying to figure out how to just get started. Once you are in, you can take part in a lengthy and punishing tutorial mode (as exacting as the real race at some points), take on specific challenges, or play an entire season. If you are in for a season then you are in for the long haul.

The tutorials guide you through all you need to know about the ins and outs and even how to get a winning line and strategy, but can often be vague in what you are doing wrong when penalising you. And like in the game there’s no easy reset options, if you fail you can either quit or restart and there are limited and unhelpful assists that do little to educate you in your mistakes. Again, if difficulty is your thing then you should be in heaven.

F1 has a degree of realism taken to extremes and is not for beginners, or like me – arcade racers who just want speed and playability over taming the wild beast of the F1 racing car.

Pros: Highly detailed and precise graphics, engrossing and challenging, plenty of modes and online play for longevity
Cons: It’s for serious enthusiasts only, steep learning curve, menu system gripes.

3.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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