F1 2012
E3 2012: F1 2012 Hands-On Preview and Live Demo Video – Don't Mess With Texas
Written Thursday, June 21, 2012 By Richard Walker
View author's profile

It's saying something when we're not all that surprised by F1 2012. It measures up to the lofty standard that Codemasters sets itself with the games produced by its world-beating racing studio, looking and playing like F1 2010 and 2011 before it, but with noticeable, incremental improvements to the gameplay, handling, presentation and other aspects that'll likely warrant you adding this to this year's racing wish list.

Unless you utterly despise the sport of Formula One itself, there's no denying that F1 2010 and 2011 have been the best realised simulations of F1 racing to date, with features like tyre wear, an unparalleled weather system and all manner of small details combining to create a realism and feel that's about as close to shuffling into the cockpit of an F1 car as you're ever likely to get. For F1 2012, Codemasters is bringing about a few big changes, starting with the game's front end.

Wave goodbye to the parc fermé and your little office on the paddock from F1 2011. It was deemed too complicated and too confusing, and goodness knows it resulted in some lengthy load times. In it's place is what Senior Producer Paul Jeal calls a “more high brow” approach, with “more car porn”. What that boils down to is a series of streamlined menus designed to quickly get you on to the track without any of the faffing. It looks great and while it may mean losing some of the immersion, it pushes the racing front and centre.

It's less “live the life” this year then, and more just race the goddamn race. And F1 2012 wants to embrace some newcomers that might have been scared away by F1 games in the past, introducing a whole new introduction in the form of the 'Young Driver Test' mode, designed to get rookies acquainted with the handling and intricacies of a Formula One car without being too daunting. It's the perfect 'in' for anyone wanting to get into playing Codies' consistently brilliant F1 games. If you've yet to play one, this year could be your chance to give it a go.

Taking place in Abu Dhabi, you'll master circuits in sections in the Young Driver Test tutorial mode, tackling racing lines and other more technical aspects just like the actual young drivers do for real every November. In an effort to appeal to a wider audience, F1 2012's handling has also been overhauled, striking a happy balance between F1 2010 and F1 2011's handling, doing away with the excitable back ends of F1 2011's cars, meaning a grippier and less unpredictable ride with controllable slides. The same goes for the game's physics, which are a happy “best of” medium between 2010 and 2011. There's also flashbacks taken from the DiRT games for when you bugger up.

Taking to the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, due to race later this season on November 18th, we climbed behind the wheel of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren Mercedes to take on a time trial lap of the track, finding the handling to be infinitely more accessible in F1 2012 than in its predecessor, without compromising on the realism. Starting with a blind apex into turn one, we make use of the new dynamic 3D racing line that helps you determine the severity of inclines, slopes and camber on the circuit, making it a perfect learning tool.

There are fast left and rights requiring full grip and speed, an Abu Dhabi-style hairpin that demands careful braking and a technical double apex to tackle on the Austin track, which is one of the longer circuits at almost three and a half miles, meaning lap times of just over 1 minute 30 seconds or so are generally considered pretty good. We gave it our best shot, as you can see in the live demo video we recorded from the E3 showfloor below with commentary from Jeal.

You'll notice that there's more detail in the circuit and its surroundings, including more populated grandstands, fronds of waving grass and so on. From a technical standpoint, KERS and DRS is still in the game in accordance with the current FIA Formula One rules, but you can also now adjust your brake bias on the fly using the d-pad, just like the professionals. Apparently Schumacher is constantly fiddling with his brake bias. Now you can too! There's also localised weather fronts, so only parts of the track may be affected by rain or other fronts moving in, meaning tyre choices play a more vital role than ever before.

F1 2012 is still very much a thinking man's racing game then, with careful strategising and tactics required to win races. There's also a more concerted effort at work to make F1 2012 more like watching real Formula One on TV, with even more broadcast-style replays and cameras, as well as more cinematic pit sequences. Codemasters has thought of almost everything for F1 2012 it seems, hoping to please established fans of the series while beckoning in newcomers with open arms. It's still the only F1 game in town, but it's also a great looking racer that promises plenty of depth behind its glossy style and presentation, and therefore likely to be an essential addition to any self-respecting race fan's collection. Which is entirely unsurprising.

F1 2012 will be taking up pole position in September 2012.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 1074
Comment #1 by Remcogamer95
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 05:39:22 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #2 by crymsonglacius
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 06:41:39 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I have never picked up one of the F1 titles. I'll have to nab this one but with DOA in September F1 might be hard pressed for attention.

Forum Posts: 679
Comment #3 by neahcrow
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 07:37:24 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I'm so bummed I couldn't make it to Austin this year for the race. I will be there next year for sure.

Forum Posts: 1098
Comment #4 by Taktikzade
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 07:49:39 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I picked up F1 2011 and hated it. Graphics were poor, the loading times were awfully long, the handling didn't feel right.

I'll still give F1 2012 a bash though :P

Forum Posts: 1441
Comment #5 by JackC8
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 07:51:02 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I sure hope that training mode stuff is optional. After doing countless laps around those tracks in F1 2010, the last thing I need is to be forced to drive around sections of them in a tutorial. Anybody with half a brain in their head knows that to learn the proper line, you just follow an AI car around for a few laps during the practice sessions. Or beginners can turn the driving line on.

I only played F1 2010, so I don't know what this "happy medium" between the handling of F1 2010 and F1 2011 is about, but I imagine I'll be satisfied with it. F1 2010 gave you numerous options as far as difficulty (so many in fact it got a bit confusing) and of course if you wanted more grip you could just increase the aerodynamic downforce, so I don't really understand why they would need to alter the overall handling characteristics. But whatever.

Forum Posts: 63
Comment #6 by Ashneel350
Friday, June 22, 2012 @ 11:38:23 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Looks good. definetly getting it.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #7 by frostyladd
Monday, July 09, 2012 @ 04:54:56 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
cannie wait loved f1 10 was class 11 was improved now this looks great pre-order this for sure

You need to register before being able to post comments.


Game Info


US September 18, 2012
Europe September 21, 2012
Japan October 04, 2012

Resolution: 480p, 720p
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1-2
Online Players : 2-16
ESRB: Everyone
You need to log in or register to use MyTrophies.
Related News




You need to log in or register to rate games.

User Score is based on 22 user ratings.