F1 2012 by Codemasters reviewed

F1 review

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F1 2012 is the third officially-licensed Formula One game from Codemasters for major platforms.

Annual editions of sports franchises face the same problem of trying to introduce something new to the gameplay beyond merely updating to the roster of teams and players – and, in F1’s case – cars and tracks.

Last year Codemasters responded to public demand for the addition of the safety car to F1 2011. That plus major changes such as the introduction of DRS and KERS meant there was plenty to keep players interested.

However it’s hard to say the same of the third edition, F1 2012. At best the franchise seems to be treading water, and insome ways it even feels like a step backwards.

Young Drivers’ Test

The first thing that strikes you about F1 2012 is the change to the menus. Codemasters has dispensed with the “live the life, be the driver” ethos which was a much-hyped part of previous games.

With it has gone the smart paddock-based menu. In its place we have a flat menu which is a little simpler to use but less of a visual treat.

It’s hard to get excited about the headline new feature of the game: the Young Drivers’ Test at Abu Dhabi. This takes the form of a short introduction to the game mechanics.

It will serve those not familiar with F1 very well. But experienced players, or anyone with a basic knowledge of F1, will probably find it rather patronising.

At several points throughout the game it appears Codemasters’ overriding desire has been to make it more accessible to a mainstream audience. This in itself is not a bad thing, providing it is achieved without diluting the game’s appeal as a faithful recreation of the F1 world.

In that respect the Young Drivers’ Test straddles two conflicting demands quite well. I particularly enjoyed spotting upcoming talents like Jules Bianchi and Alexander Rossi in the cars.

Controversial changes

But some of the other changes are questionable and, unsurprisingly, Codemasters have come in for a lot of heat for them on their community pages.

For example, the three practice sessions per weekend have been replaced with a single hour of practice. While the team behind the game point out, not unreasonably, that few people used all the sessions, it still seems odd to go to the trouble of removing a feature which was in previous games.

It only serves to weaken the latest game’s claim to be a faithful virtual version of the real thing.

A similar change is the inability to pick which driver to compete as in career mode – you can select the car, but not the driver. Again, this is a case of an option that was available before being removed seemingly for no good reason.

F1 2012’s dearth of new ideas and pandering to the short-attention-span brigade is best exemplified by the ‘season challenge’ mode. This is merely an abbreviated ten-race championship, yet is apparently considered important enough for it to be splashed on the game’s box.

The new ‘champions mode’ at least has a little character to it. It offers a series of levels in which you compete against each of the current world champions. It’s an entertaining diversion from the main game, but not something that’s going to occupy you for long.

Nuts and bolts

Happily, the racing dynamics remain as strong as ever and this is what makes the game so easy to recommend. It’s as much fun if you want a quick thrash-and-crash on a joypad, or to immerse yourself in it by hooking up a steering wheel and pedals for a full two-hour expert mode race in Monaco in the rain.

The car models are lusciously detailed, particularly given that the game’s engine has to cope with a 24-car field. As ever they are fixed at their round one specification, so if you were especially fond of the sloped nose on the McLaren the news is good.

The tracks look great and of course you have the new Circuit of the Americas to play with. Although, as was the case with Korea in 2010 and India in 2011, you have to wonder how realistically anyone can model a track which isn’t finished and which the real cars haven’t raced on yet.

The weather system has always been one of the game’s strongest cards, and it’s been further enhanced this year with the introduction of localised variations. So now you may have to cope with a track that’s wet in one place while still mainly dry elsewhere.

Rival drivers give you a hard time, covering their racing lines to deter you from passing. The penalty system is harsh but, for the most part, fair.

The best new addition to the game is the lap tutorials. Narrated by Anthony Davidson, they give excellent tips on how to drive F1 2012’s 20 different circuits.

But while the game remains terrific fun to play, it’s disappointing to see the lack of progress on some of its key shortcomings.

While much effort has clearly been put into getting the game dynamics right, it all falls apart when cars make contact with each other. They feel unrealistically solid and hard to damage, even on the toughest difficulty levels.

The basic replay system still prevents you from viewing what happened elsewhere on the track during the race, and in-race replays are very short.

Codemasters have removed tyre wear scaling from this year’s game, meaning that tyre performance degrades at the same rate in shorter races as it does in full-length races. They have been pilloried for it in their forums.

In other respects Codemasters have added detail to the tyre wear model – for example, by reflecting differences in wear rates between different cars (the team asked the author for his views on this subject while the game was in development). If having this more sophisticated tyre model means the ability to scale the wear rates to different race lengths had to be sacrificed, then so be it.


F1 2012 is a competent racer which packs in many of the essential features of modern F1 racing. For all its niggling faults and shortcomings, the core game remains highly entertaining in both single- and multi-player modes, and is enough to keep it at four-star level.

But while Codemasters have continued to refine the core game, it’s disappointing to see some changes have resulted in a less faithful recreation of the Formula One universe.

The new game modes amount to little more than rehashing the same content in a different way. It feels like an attempt to make up for the lower track and vehicle count than those boasted by games like Forza Motorsport 4 and Gran Turismo 5.

Codemasters have recently been granted an extension on their license to produce the official F1 game. They have extended the franchise to include the browser-based F1 Online The Game and forthcoming Mario Kart clone Race Stars.

Candy floss titles like this have their place, but they’re no substitute for a fully-featured, realistic F1 racing game.

Earlier this year F1 Fanatic readers voted Codemasters’ titles the best F1 games of all time. Future versions may not be as warmly received if they are simply going to ring the changes from year to year without addressing the considerable scope for improvement that remains.

F1 Fanatic rating

Buy F1 2012 (PS3)

Buy F1 2012 (Xbox 360)

Buy F1 2012 (PC DVD)

F1 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

Publisher: Codemasters
Published: 2012
Price: �49.99


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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “F1 2012 by Codemasters reviewed”

  1. Sorry, I can’t hear this game and it’s overall arcade-like feeling over the sound of upcoming rFactor 2 and GTR3, which are likely to have a great community that will surely deliver tons of mods, including F1 ones, as it was with rFactor and GTR2. Sure, it’s probably fun, but if you want immersion, you better skip this one.

    1. I’ll buy f12012 just beacuse I’m big fun of F1 but i’m also waiting for rf2 and gtr3

    2. + RaceRoom Racing Experience

  2. How does the demo compare with the real thing?

    1. there’s actually a decent improvement in my opinion

  3. 4 out of 5 for what?

    I’m sorry but that’s just pandering to the publisher.

    This is a pure arcade game a nothing else and in this respect falls so short of its marketing spin it’s a pure rip-off.

    As said above, if you want proper, challenging and immersive racing rFactor 2 will deliver (GTR3 I’m not yet sure about – too much baggage for that title to be an obvious choice). iRacing already delivers the supreme racing simulation and we’ve also got Assetto Corsa from Kunos (netKar) o look forward to.
    Oh and let’s not forget to oddly titled “Game Stock Car 2012” which is on par with the best sims of the moment.

    This pure and simple cash-cow from Codemasters is an embarrassment in this company and is the opposite of what the worlds premier racing series should have as its publicity vehicle in the gaming world. Truly awful, don’t waste your money.

    1 out of 5 (and that’s just for the pretty visuals, let down by an unusable field of vision.)

    1. Unfortunately the word “simulator” means different things to different people. To codemasters, “Sim” only extends as far as features and graphics.

      To people who have invested in wheels, a “sim” is something that a real driver (like Alonso or Lewis) would take seriously and put in hundreds of hours into. That is why most people feel disgusted when people call F1 2010-12 a sim.

      I agree with you that there are real sims out there. rFactor is an excellent one, although not accessible because of how realistic it is. At the moment iRacing is the complete package as it combines the feel of rFactor with an unrivaled online racing experience.

    2. @psynrg See the first paragraph under ‘verdict’.

      1. Sorry Keith I disagree on this one. 4/5 = 80%. 80% is quite a bit above average.
        The CM F1 series is nothing but a cynical ride on the coat tails of the F1 circus. At no point does this product make you feel connected to F1. It just feels like a 1 dimensional and superficial moving picture.
        There’s no connection with the sport, there’s no sense of the engineering, strategy and organisation that is such a fundamental ingredient.
        For this to tout itself as the de-facto F1 simulation it needs to draw on at least some of that.
        It’s just wam! And your in an F1 car with all the famous names alongside yours. It’s dispassionate and shallow. It’s post-modern Scalextric (not that I didn’t love Scalextric!)
        We love F1. Codemasters repeatedly fail to do it justice.

  4. Sounds like Codemasters stuck to the winning (race) formula but tried to do what many developers have done (and im looking at you Bioware) and watered down some content to make it more accessable to people that have never picked up the previous offerings but failed to build on the previously good points/remove the bad. I get that games developers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You either make it arcade like for the ease of people who have no desire to play a race sim. Or go full race simulator as the game and alienate the casual gamers. Neither please the other group.

    Looks like a fair review Keith. I think for now i’ll keep my 2011 copy… or stick to Forza.

  5. The issue I have with the Codemasters F1 games is that they’re so close to being great, legendary even, but there’s always 1 flaw or a set of flaws that lead to a frustrating experience.

    In 2010 it was the pitstop bug, where you’d be held in the pitlane for anything up to 20 seconds if a whole bunch of cars pit at the same time. The penalty system wasn’t too impressive either.

    For 2011 there was a setup bug for the first 3 months, and even after that no depth to the setup system at all. In addition there were bugs with the Safety Car, cars that would survive a nuclear blast and a bunch of minor issues that would spoil a race.

    From what I’ve been reading F1 2012 improves on some of these aspects, but the removal of Free Practice 1/2, issues with the Parc Fermé system, the glitches I’ve seen on YouTube and a few other things I’ll most likely find out about in the coming weeks lead me to lose faith in Codemasters and their ability to “get it right”.

    It’s a shame because when everything works their F1 games make for the most enjoyable racing this side of actually strapping yourself into a racing car, but for every great race you have, there’ll always be multiple more where you’re wondering why you bought the game.

    1. In a nutshell, the issue is that with downloadable content and patches now so easy for gamers to obtain, developers think it’s acceptable to release games that are essentially unfinished. In years past any developer worth their salt would have fixed the issues you mention long before release. Now they say, “We’ll wait for players to complain, then put out a patch.”

  6. Does anybody find some of the track changes Codemasters still haven’t included absolutely absurd? Like the combination kerbs at the Monaco chicanes, or the inside kerb at Woodcote. These were added in 2010, before their first game was released, and they still aren’t in their third game! Small things, but they still completely throw me off.

  7. I love this game. I bought it the day it came out, as with the other versions, and it’s fantastic. I can’t understand all the complaining that comes along with it from a few of the users. The handling is much more refined than in previous versions, and although it can be perceived as quite complex at first (for some people), after a short while, it becomes very easy and you can build up a nice consistent rhythm.

    The AI are more difficult as well. On some modes (Such as Season Challenge), the AI is far too easy, even on hard, but in Career, it’s very good. Driving the Caterham in Melbourne, I soon found that I was about a second or so faster than my team mate, and the other lower teams, but I was still about a second from the lower reaches of the midfield. This kind of put me in limbo, but I still had fun pushing the car as hard as I was allowed.

    Unlike on the other games, I couldn’t do qualifying laps every lap, because it was breaking the car. Down-shifting too quickly made the engine smoke and in a few laps after that, it would blow up. The same can be said for just pushing the car too far, and staying on the limiter in 7th gear for too long. Because of the latter, I had to adjust the gears so that it would be just short of the limiter on the fastest straight. This caused me a problem, because due to the Parc Ferme rules, I had to either have that with the DRS open, or go for a better race setup.

    I chose the latter, meaning that I was a little slower in qualifying, and only managed a 19th place, but in the race, I was able to at least keep with the midfield a little better. I eventually finished 17th (100% race distance) due to Vettel crashing out, and Di Resta having a poor race, but it was a lot of fun ^_^

    I really recommend this game. Anyone who thinks that it is below-standard is just looking for a game that simply doesn’t exist yet. It’s a fantastic F1 title, and would be greatly appreciated by many F1 fans :)

    1. Lol, there’s no handling in this game. There’s just canned responses to player input. There’s simply is no handling. If you think there is then you really need to try something that does simulate handling and not spoon feed simplistic short term gain like this pop hit.

      1. That’s ludicrous. The guys at Codemasters aren’t going to water down the physics to that you stated just to please people who can’t get to grip with how a car handles. I’ve spent a lot of time on the game since buying it and there aren’t ‘canned responses to player input’.

        If you don’t like it, then don’t play it, but don’t make things up, that just aren’t true.

        1. Dude go play rfactor or one of the well known sim’s and you will realise just how arcade this game is.

        2. pSynrg is right. I had to uninstall the game because I had a feeling my steering wheel is not used properly; I prefer to use it with real racing game. Besides, there must be something wrong when you drive an F1 car with one hand and can write a quick sms in other. A pity, cause there is no alternative for F1 fan, and the only good F1 game is too old now…

          1. A pity, cause there is no alternative for F1 fan, and the only good F1 game is too old now…

            Ahhh finally someone hit on the real problem with sim games. The general fault of sim games lie with the racing forms santioning bodys (Bernie, NASCAR, etc).

            For example, the NASCAR thunder series was the absoulute best for stock cars, however, licened only to EA. Once EA screwed up on NASCAR Sim Racing, it was all over. They never fixed it (even to this day) and left that genre of racing dead in the water due to no other alternitives. I hear iRacing is pretty good, but who has $800 to buy all the tracks and cars you need to get to the top level?

            Allowing one game producer full unailenable rights to a genre has proved a disaster. If a game producer screws up, they either abandon the game or screw it up even worse. Sim racing products have never been the same since EA’s series of F1 and NASCAR products heydays. I loved em both.

            I have been siming since Papyrus NASCAR 1 using my own homebuilt analog steering and pedal controllers. Which still work better than most USB controllers due to going from just reading a one memory location analog hardware pin (midi/gameport) to (drum roll please), analog to digital converter for USB through to Directx and finally to the game. My analog setup had no lag whatsoever. In racing, even a few milliseconds are HUGE. Aside from some header pins on the motherboard, my 64bit quad does not even have a serial nor parellel port upon which I built many interface devices (not just racing) writing my own code in assembler or C. My MOMO cannot even touch the responsiveness of my homebuilt analog stuff. Not blowing my horn here, just lettin ya know I am not a rookie at this stuff.

            The good old days are gone in both hardware and sim titles. But I do not feel it’s forever. We just have to hope CM gets outbid by another producer who hopefully produces a good sim. Sadly, upon hearing CM had this contract extended, it may not be for quite a few years.

            PS… thanks Keith for producing and running one of the best F1 sites on the web. Quite the accomplishment.

      2. To be perfectly honest, only F1 drivers and people who work closely with the F1 car know how an F1 car handles, which is why for 2010, Codemasters hired Anthony Davidson.
        This sniping about handling being unrealistic is complete ********, as I reckon that no-one actually knows what an f1 car feels like.
        It’s like comparing a war game with real war; most people playing it don’t know what a war is really like, so they shouldn’t complain about realism.

        1. Wow… you fell for their marketing ploy.

          1. So how many laps have you driven in a real F1 car let alone a real racing car?

            Its the same with people who fly Microsoft flight simulator thinking that they could just jump into a 747 and fly it no problems. Real world dynamics mean that the only systems that have close to real handling dynamics are commercial/team simulators because they can use all the real world data to recreate it.

            The other point is that F1 2012 would be a financial disaster if they made the handling and dynamics as realistic as some guys seem to want and Jim the casual gamer could not drive it because it was too hard. He would say to his mates, don’t bother its too hard to play.

            I enjoy the Codemaster Series and so does my 7 year old who loves F1 and sitting in my lounge taking turns with him would be no fun if it was just simply too hard for him to drive (yes with autobrakes etc)

        2. I’ve said the same thing in the past,. I’m tired of hearing complaints on how it is nothing like driving an f1 car or R Factor is better. if you have RFACTOR, why bother playing it? Codemasters never said it was a sim. it’s a VIDEO GAME,. not ferrari sim based in Maranello. It’s not perfect but an improvement on many levels.

          1. Peter00001
            7th May 2013, 17:22

            I know it doesnt even begin to compare, but I found single seaters much easier to drive than fully realized sports cars, so you never know, you might think that because an F1 car has so much power and everything else it would be hardly possible to drive but maybe its not as much as you(and me) think

  8. No improvements to online play ?

    1. Codemasters probably thought most casual gamers race only/mostly against the AI, so there’s no need to improve it.

      As a hardcore simracer, I find it very hard to get excited about this title. It’s simply not for me.

  9. You can’t do a season mode with ur favourite driver, only practice session and tyre scaling is gone plus the dmage mode is non existent. Now that is embarassing. if you like at Studio Liverpool’s effort with Championship Edition, u have customize the grid, formation lap, podium, championship mode, career mode, time trial, and single race. Graphics were very good too. You also got to unlock cars from the past such as Damon Hill’s Williams from 96. The only thing that annoyed me with that game is when u cut a corner, they held you back for 5 or 6 seconds. Codmasters have had the licence for the last 3 years and they have not done a good job. I have not bought this game after the last 2 shambles. I hope some other company get the licence

    1. The damage mode isn’t ‘non-existant’, it’s just as much there as in any other game. Yes, there might not be any damage to some parts of the car, but that was true with many different F1 games.

      As for the comparison with Championship Edition. Yes, I can agree that that was a good game, but there were flaws with that game – For example, with manual, you never had to go lower than 3rd or 4th gear, and it would improve your speed much more than shifting down to 1st or 2nd. Not to mention that they had the license for many, many years and never really did anything different. From ’99 (The first game I played with them) to 2007 (The intro of Championship Edition) there were only improvements to physics and graphics, but it was just a re-hash year after year.

      Codemasters have been trying to revamp the series, and although there have been a few issues, I still think they’ve done a remarkable job, especially with 2012. Taking out the first two practices hasn’t removed anything from gameplay (I never really used them anyway), and the tyre scaling certainly hasn’t taken anything from the gameplay whatsoever.

      People have to remember that Codemasters will continue to improve, and will be able to improve vastly when the next generation of consoles come out, as they are limited at the moment.

      Again, going back to CE, it was limited to one console only, meaning that it was easier for them to code and therefore could fit more in. With having 2010/11/12 on the 360, the PS3 and the PC, there are limitations.

      1. So you’ve gone from best racing simulation ever to apologising for some of its shortfalls?
        There is more than enough computer power in either 360/PS3 and most certainly PC to project a fairly convincing simulation to the player.
        Let’s be honest now, EA’s “F1 Challenge ’99-’02” was way ahead of this in terms of handling. This was in 2003 and by ISI (rFactor etc.)
        I’m trying to help you – you are unfortunately misguided when you think this is the pinnacle of a racing game. Really really have a look at some of the many many better driving games (and sims) out there.

      2. “Codemasters have been trying to revamp the series”. Ur right there. Only 1 practice session, no season championship mode. I agree CE had its faults but the game is 6 or 7 years old. Codemasters have had the licence for 3 years now and have ghosting and invisible walls in their games is awful. Things like podiums and formation laps and custom grids add to the game not newspaper clipplings in career and a Young Driivers Test.

    2. I still go back to Championship Edition actually. It’s a very flawed game which represents all that was wrong with Sony having the license for too long, but I feel more passion for the sport there than in Codemasters’ games.

      I know that sounds like an odd statement, so let me explain myself. I feel F1CE and F1 2012 have been developed in reverse. With F1CE, Studio Liverpool seemed to make the game the best sim it could be, complete with formation laps and the like, then said “oh, and here’s some stuff, like Career mode, for those who want a game”. With F1 2012 it feels that Codemasters are out to make a mass market game with a simulation back-end, but one which can be toned down massively. I won’t get into a religious debate about which is better, but the two are very different, but very good, games.

  10. Actually, F1 2012 has more tracks than Forza 4. I found the latter’s track selection extremely disappointing.

    1. F1 2012 has 20 circuits.

      Forza Motorsport has 26 different tracks, with alternate/shorter layouts bringing the total up to over 100. (http://forzamotorsport.net/en-us/Tracks/TrackList.aspx)

  11. I’m thoroughly enjoying the game so far. One thing that does irritate me though is the damage. I understand license agreements mean there are limitations , but surely these can’t stop them simply increasing the sensitivity.

  12. Quite saddened to hear about the removal of the Full Weekend mode, it was my favourite way to play through the last 2 games.

    Fortunately I decided not to purchase the game at its current price simply because of the wealth of other titles out at the moment that offer way more bang for buck. (I’m looking at you Dota2, Torchlight 2, Guild Wars 2, and the wide range of indie titles popping out on Steam at the moment.) And if I want to get my racing fix there’s always f12011, rFactor2, project CARS, etc etc etc…

    Codemasters are stalwart in their opinion that they should not cater to the hardcore audience in terms of handling. Yet say they would rather focus on getting the “feeling” of being an f1 driver correct, with all the challenges involved. But their complete disregard of the “live the life” campaign and full weekends goes in the exact opposite direction of this.

    I was so excited by f1 2010 with where it could have gone, and while 2011 only expanded the mode mildly, I was hoping for more, not less as the series continued.

    Imagine an f1 game where not only did you have to race, but also manage team conflicts, obtaining sponsors and a contract, helping to develop your teams car in a more meaningful way than just hitting a target time .For example if your car is suffering from understeer you could note this particular aspect to your engineer and it could be rectified in the next major upgrade.

    It could be an entirely new experience for a racing game and definitely more true to F1 than anything that has come before. Difficulty level could even be replaced by giving you extra cash to start your F1 career with so you can “pay-drive” your way to a top team instantly.

    Dreams aside I’ll no doubt pick the title up, I had way too much fun with a mate in co-op career mode last year (we managed to win constructors but came 2nd and 3rd overall in drivers standings behind Webber. :( ) But I’ll be waiting until it goes down to at least 50% in a Steam sale (I’m hoping by at least Christmas, make it happen Codies.) $50 is way too much to ask for the title as it stands, even last years title was $15 less (with pre-order) than the current asking price.

  13. I am so not-bothered with F1 2012 it’s not true. It’s one thing to simply recycle content from game to game, but to actually remove features like full weekend mode at the expense of gimmicks like Champions mode (I like the idea, but an F-1 World Grand Prix style challenge mode would be better) is frustrating.

    It seems Codemasters have become complacent, largely due to the lack of competition (I got on my soap box about this on the forums, so won’t go on about it here). The game will sell well and has already been praised by critics, but for gamers and F1 fans, which many of us here are, it’s simply not worth it. F1 2011 was a day 1 purchase for me, whereas I won’t bother with F1 2012 until it’s a lot cheaper.

    Finally, on the score. If you haven’t played F1 2011 and just want to be Lewis Hamilton for an hour, then yes, 4/5 seems fair. If, however, you want a top notch simulation, then F1 2011 is your best bet. It’ll be dirt cheap now, and is arguably the better game overall.

  14. I still mantain that the poll this year showed how young readers in this site are. Because if you had the chance to try GP2, GP3, GP4, GPL, F1C and the console games back when they were released, they are easily ahead of what Codemasters’ has done over the last 3 years. At their time, they did a lot more for the genre than Codemasters.

    This game really looks pretty and it allows the wider audience to try F1 and maybe get hooked on the sport, which is a great thing. But if it fails to fulfill the hardcore fans wishes, then it’s nothing but another arcade game. You have to please the die hard fans, because without them, the game has no continuity…

    I respect Codemasters for trying new stuff like F1 Stars or F1 Online, both of which are pretty promising games. But this should be MUCH better…

    1. I still mantain that the poll this year showed how young readers in this site are.

      That doesn’t sound nice. I want to point out that it’s just an observation… it’s opinions anyway, so that’s mine. :P

      1. I am not that young, and having played f1games for years (incl. GP2 to GP4), and spending a rificulous amount of money on Karting and huge 6 Axis F1simulators (great stuff by the way), I juste can’t be bothered with people trashing F1201X games as non sim. Seriously guys, Rfactor is ridiculously hard. You need very expensive gear to make it playable and it is harder than driving a live F3000. Fun wise, nothing beats F1201X. (and I will not play GP2 to GP4, they really feel old now.

  15. I really like the game. I feel myself at home with the handling – something which never happened in F1 2011. The graphics have been greatly improved yet still the game runs very smoothly at least on PC.
    I noticed getting your car setup right has bigger impact this year than compared to ’10 and ’11 editions. Obviously that’s a good thing. Lap times are also much more realistic this year compared to CM’s earlier games.
    Haven’t tried Champions Mode yet, but it looks to be quite interesting game mode.

  16. The omission of the full quote of practice sessions strikes me as being quite daft. Why on Earth would they do that? Incidentally I never took advantage of them in the previous games but it would be nice to know I could.

    1. They did it because they didn’t think that the two practice sessions didn’t really add anything, and I completely agree. The fact is that most people didn’t use those sessions, and those who did, I bet they didn’t use the fully allocated time that was there.

      I actually enjoy the setup as it is now, because now I can select long race weekend (Meaning the proper Quali) without having to do the other two sessions, which were essentially pointless.

      1. If that’s not the definition of why this isn’t anything other than an arcade game.

        Imagine if in real F1 the drivers all thought they couldn’t be bothered with P1 & P2 oh and a shorter P3 please ‘cos I’d rather jump into quali and put my HRT on pole by 2 secs.

        1. So what you really want with having FP1 and FP2 is start FP1 session and sit watching the screen for twenty minutes while the lower teams drive around and rubber the track, then go out and do two or three installation laps. the sit and watch the TV screen again for 15 mins while some more imaginary work is done on your car. Then go out do 5 or 6 laps, then come back in and watch the the team do more imaginary work on your car for 10 mins etc etc etc. Then do the same for FP2. All in all sitting watching the TV screen doing nothing for at least an hour across the two practice sessions.

          Oh and to top it of have the handling so real and challenging that you break the only two front wings the team brought to the track so you can’t take part in FP3, Qually or the Race.


          1. Thanks Theoddkiwi, you’re absolutely right. 1H of free practice for a game is way enough ! It’s a fr…ing game for f..k sake. I have a job and F1fanatic takes sufficiently enough of my time as it is :D

      2. I see your point, but I would have liked the option of doing the full weekend, if only to simulate the sport more closely.

        1. They removed the Practice sessions because there was a bug in there. It was a removal in haphazardly manner.

          Still u can see Practice session tyres.

  17. The only reason i don´t delete this from my pc, is because of wetraces in 1080P.
    Sometimes it is fun, for the other 99% i race F1 with rFactor. That is closer to F1.

    1. small note to Codemasters; 1 word; Nordschleife…..

  18. Been playing this game since yesterday morning & sad to say that I hate the way it feels, or lack thereof.

    Playing with a wheel is a dead experience for me, Im not getting any real driving feel through the wheel like on every other driving/racing game I play. You get some vibration from hitting kurbs/running off track but there is nothing from actually driving.
    Unlike on other games/sims there is no feeling for loss of grip through the steering, You can’t feel the brakes begin to lock & the whole thing reminds me off driving with a Pre-FFB wheel, Vibration but no feedback.

    Also there is way too much rear end grip & way too little front end grip. The cars all understeer horrifically yet its practically impossible to get the back end to slide, You can just slam the throttle down & get no wheel spin at all.
    And yes I do have all the driver assist/aids turned off!

    I enjoyed F1 2011 & wanted to enjoy this just as much, However the handling & feel through the wheel have taken a step backwards.
    Codemasters said post 2011 that 2012 would be improved for those playing with a control pad & it is, However its come at the expence of wheel users. Playing with a pad is fine, However it doesn’t feel as good when playing with a wheel. I can go a couple seconds faster with a pad than with a wheel & this is the 1st game I’ve ever had that happen on.

    I’ve been playing driving/racing games & sims since the original Geoff Crammond Grand Prix game & sad to say that F1 2012 is one of the worst I’ve ever played when it comes to actually driving the car. I really enjoyed F1 2011 but F1 2012 feels like a big step backwards!

    Don’t believe me on those issues? Read through the codemasters forums, Read other gaming/racing forums & lots of people complaining about it feeling poor with a wheel, plenty of people talking about horrid understeer to the point where Codemasters have acknowledged that it is an issue & that its one they were aware of but didn’t bother fixing for release.

    1. Marc P (@marcrpearson101)
      23rd September 2012, 0:03

      I use a pad and ive had the complete opposite experiance – unbelieveable oversteer! The car feels nervous all the time

    2. Codemasters have acknowledged that it is an issue & that its one they were aware of but didn’t bother fixing for release.

      I suspect you’re putting words into their mouth there. I can’t imagine a developer saying “we were aware of the issue, but we didn’t bother fixing it”. I’d say it’s far more likely that Codemasters knew about it, but didn’t have time to correct it.

    3. That’s horrible (regarding understeer issue). I was hoping the demo was not indicative of the final product. I don’t need the game to be a sim, but this feeling where the car doesn’t turn where I want it to go and not feeling the car through the steering wheel is a real deal breaker for me. I’ll try out the game and see how it goes, I really don’t want to put my G27 aside and play with the gamepad.

      I feel like there’s some sort of lag and steering lock issue with the game (not present in previous titles). Why the developers thought it was fine is beyond me.

      But Keith didn’t think it was an issue either

    4. Thank you for saying this – I’m ready to throw the game out because of the understeer issue. I had so much fun with F1 2011 because the handling was perfect. It is very difficult to balance realism with driveability in an F1 game, because in real life a twitch of oversteer is reacted to in a split second by a seat-of-the-pants feel. They did a great job replicating this feeling in F1 2011 while still giving the gamer just enough time to respond to the visual cues before the car spun. In many other games the fastest race cars (be they F1 cars or LMPs) generally just understeer because oversteer is too difficult to respond to in time. But in F1 2011 you could really dance the car on the limit through corners and respond to understeer, oversteer and 4-wheel drifts properly, which was great fun. And if you wanted to tune the car for more understeer or oversteer, that was easy to do.

      The physics model in the new game has been butchered. The cars just understeer to no end, and the front end does not grip even with the setup completely tilted to oversteer, nor will the front end find grip mid-corner if you slow a bit. It just continues to plow forward as if it’s an 800 horsepower Toyota Camry.

      To me this ruins the entire game. There have been many “solutions” posted in forums by people saying you just need to brake more, carry less speed into corners, get your turning done early and get on the gas early. Obviously this is how you generate faster lap times, but this doesn’t “solve” the understeer – it just avoids the issue by driving around it. It is a good skill for a racer to have, but you are constantly only driving the car within its limits, not balancing the car right at the limit. That is not racing, that’s just driving. The game may be easier for novices now, I suppose, but to me it’s lost its soul entirely.

  19. I think far too many people are clinging far too tightly to the idea that if Codemasters make a hyper-realistic simulator, casual gamers will flock to it because the hardcore fans approve of it. This logic could not be more backward, I’m afraid. The series already has a reputation for having an incredibly difficult learning curve, and even with the changes Codemasters have made that cater to casual gamers, most of the reviews that I have read agree that the difficulty curve is still very steep.

    Besides, if Codemasters make a game that is designed to make it easier for newcomers to play, and if that game brings more fans to the sport, then how is that in any way a bad thing?

  20. F1 2012 has (few) good and (more) bad points. It’s overall a mediocre game. It’s my opinion, I am entitled to it.
    I mention that I play it on a PC, with a xbox 360 gamepad on the second difficulty level. I will play it as I don’t have F1 2010 or F1 2011 and it’s a F1 game.

    What I found to be just awesome is the racing view while it’s raining … the rain drops, the blur, the feeling…
    it’s just awesome.

    As bad points… well… understeer. If someone can explain me how can I have understeer in a F1 car at 20 km/h ? The guys at Codemasters that are responsible with the handling part are plain idiots. When the car decides “it’s understeer time” I can’t even spin the car, I can go full throttle, open drs and… nothing, absolutely nothing. Also once you lost your back in a curve you have no way of correcting the car. Brakes, wheel, throttle, nothing helps, the car just goes like being on ice.
    Another annoying thing is… the corner cut, left the circuit, insert any other penalty. Reality has nothing to do with these, it doesn’t matter I lost 20 seconds because I missed the corner and I didn’t get any advantage, I even lost 10 places, I get a 10 seconds penalty. It doesn’t matter I avoided another car or crash and went outside of the track, I get a 10 seconds penalty. The examples can continue. In some corners having a little more than one wheel outside the kerb will get you… you guessed ! 10 seconds penalty…
    Seriously Codemasters ?
    Graphics… why on 1920×1080, everything on full, why can I see the pixels from the stickers on the cars ? This is the direct result of making the same game for PC and consoles…


    1. You can’t drive real well if you can’t correct the back when it steps out…understeer and oversteer is caused by driving style and setup up. One or both of yours are obviously broken

  21. Keith, I’m afraid I think 4/5 is a far too kind a score for a game which is more arcade-like than the previous two titles. I’ve had lots of fun with F1 2011, but from what a lot of people have told me, and from playing the demo, which I played about 15 minutes before getting annoyed at the absolutely stupid waste of time that is the YDT, it’s a waste of money. I look forward to F1 Race Stars however, which is probably the first real threat to a Mario Kart title since Crash Team Racing.

  22. I think I’ll save my money and buy the Williams FW31 for iRacing

  23. People just love to complain. I think even if they made a great game, still you lot would find something to winge about. I’m an f1 fan, but I’ll admit that I’m not very good at f1 games and so maybe the arcade experience is better for me.
    Perhaps that’s true of most people except those who truly think they are the ‘hardcore’, which are probably 5%, but like I said, if they made a brilliant simulation, you’d still say its rubbish and complain anyway. So why bother if you’re not going to be happy about however it’s made.

  24. I wasn’t a fan of the disconnection between tyres and road in the previous 2 games, so I just decided to play 2012 how it was meant to be played, with a gamepad. Playing with a gamepad just for the fun of it and treating it like an arcade game is what has made it a lot of fun for me. And reading the comments here and others places about the continued lack of feel from the wheel has confirmed my decision.

    Take this game for what it is, an arcade racer and not a simulator, and you’ll have fun with it.

    1. I’d say : an arcade game with consistent handling

  25. petebaldwin (@)
    23rd September 2012, 8:32

    It always amazes me that people expect a mainstream game like this to be a full f1 simulator. If it was, it wouldn’t sell anywhere near as many copies and it would get slated in most reviews for being boring and long-winded. Codemasters have a difficult job to keep everyone happy and as with everything F1, I’d imagine it’s fairly expensive to have the licence to make the game. On that basis, they have to make something that will appeal to the mass market and people who don’t want to shell out £500 on a steering wheel.

    In terms of this game, I’m really enjoying it! I didn’t bother with F1 2011 because for me, there wasn’t enough of a reason but from jumping from 2010 to 2012, there is a massive difference! There are a few bugs but again, Codemasters can’t win. The same people that moan that they’ve released it too early and unfinished moan that they have released it too late into the season! The bugs in this game are minor and will be fixed.

    Final point is based on the main review and the lack of changes. You mentioned that “At best the franchise seems to be treading water.” Spot on – they’ve already admitted that they’re ready to focus on next gen consoles and the difference between current gen and next gen will be massive.

    1. So you think it’s alright for the buying public to be fleeced to the tune of about £49.99 (actual RRP for 360 & PS3) yet again to watch Codemasters tread water with a marketing campaign that promises to give you the F1 experience?
      I honestly wouldn’t mind if this was not sold as an A+ product. Stick it on Steam/Live/PSN for £12 as an interactive collection of famous names and sponsors that it is.
      So their focus is on next gen consoles? Great! Here’s some more money for this undeveloped and technically flawed product, please use it towards the next technically flawed version for which I’ll have to pay the same again (if not more, for ‘next gen’ prices. And the PC, which as ever is already here with ‘next gen’ technology?)

  26. I love this game, it separates the people that can drive from the people that can’t. If you are complaining of understeer than you are the latter. I can already keep pace with the CPU on legend difficulty with no assists.

  27. I play with a wheel and I thought Codemasters had done a great job with the F1 franchise.

    Then I played iRacing. Game over.

  28. Hopefully they make the F1 race stars spin off the arcade racer for casual gamers and fine tune the official outing to be the de-facto sim racer it deserves to be.

  29. how many people can play this game for the one console at the one time, let me know asap before i buy it thanks

  30. Anybody who complains about a severe under steer issue in the game does not know how to play it. I use an Xbox 360 Wireless steering wheel and after a few tweaks in the Advanced Wheel Settings it handled fine. You have to personalise it to your requirements. The handling has been refined in F1 2012 so that unlike F1 2011 where you could just do full lock around any corner and you’d get around fine in F1 2012 you need to, in my case, open up thee steering through the corner to get the grip (like real life-http://youtu.be/3N6CU_YdyX8).

  31. chipperjones
    18th August 2013, 5:21

    Its a great game. Its not surprising to see so many people bash it (here). They say ‘arcade’ as if its a bad thing. Is it worth $60? I don’t think any video game is. Every game has its shortcomings, and obviously those who have followed the titles and the F1 games have strong opinions.

    Dont get me wrong. When I hear peoples ideas, i get all excited. But you know what, the game delivers, and while it may not deliver on the ‘magic’ that surrounds the sport, it does, for the most part, deliver on the physics and mechanics of driving. And while that may not be enough for some, for the very large majority, it is much more than satisfactory. It’s thrilling.

    I want to see more damage. I want to see explosions. I want to see longer replays. I want to see cash play a role in the game. I want the drama. I want more behind the scenes stuff.

    But because its not in this game doesnt mean it wont be in the next.

    After playing the big-seller racing games, this one is absoutely refreshing. For the average fan, the average hardcore racing fan and the completely clueless driver the game immerses you into an adrenaline-pumping, and visually exciting game that will keep you entertained for a long while.

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