By Dylan Moran
Unlike many game companies with sport licenses, Codemasters absolutely cannot be accused of resting on their laurels when time comes to release their latest F1 title.
Perhaps they realise how lucky they were to prise the rights from Sony’s vice-like grip, or perhaps they just really like racing games?
The past two F1 titles have had their own faults, but Codemasters have done their best to address them in time for the next release.
F1 2011 was roundly criticised for an incredibly difficult AI and some tricky physics to master. If you were one of those people who saw this as a downside, there’s bad news – F1 2012 keeps both of those systems.
They’re a little refined, but they shouldn’t be made any easier. This is the toughest motorsport in the world, remember. Codemasters are really trying to avoid making an arcade title in simulator clothes a la Gran Turismo.
New this year is a mode which sees you re-enacting pivotal moments in the sport’s history – something which signals a developer’s recognition that their game needs a bit of a rev up but no idea what to do with it. This is a positive sign though as it means we may be able to finally get the inclusion of GP2 and GP3 in future titles and have an in-depth career option.
The career mode is pretty much the same bar some livery changes and the addition of the new Texas track, signifying F1’s return to the United States and an attempt to move on from the most embarrassing moment in the sport’s recent history.
Other than this the title seems to be pretty much the same. Radical fans will definitely pick it up on release date, but if you’re a casual racing fan who prefers driving the wrong way around the track to strategy and getting punished for one slight deviation of the racing line (and boy does the game punish you) this may be one to download a demo for before handing over the $$$.
F1 2012 is set for release on the Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 September 20.