F1 2012

Rubbing Isn’t Racing

You better drive clean in F1 2012… or else!
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: October 24, 2012
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There are a lot of hardcore simulation-style games out there that eschew “fun” in the name of providing something approximating a real life experience. Most of those reside in the PC market where the raw processing power is available and graphics aren’t as big of a concern. Those simulations usually have a loyal following who rabidly defend the game from outside attacks while simultaneously tearing into the developers if some little tidbit isn’t just so.


Simulations of that caliber almost never make it over to the console side - with one exception. We do occasionally get some pretty high-end racing/driving simulations. Whether it is Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 or Forza Motorsport on 360, there always seems to be a place for people who want to keep that shit real. Nothing is more “real” than Formula 1 racing, and Codemasters has done their due diligence in bringing the gritty realism of that class of racing to the PS3 with F1 2012, the latest entry in the premier console Formula 1 series.

The first thing you need to know about F1 racing is that it is SERIOUS BUSINESS. If you’re the type of guy (or gal) that loves nothing more than playing bumper cars out there on the track and wrecking the entire field so you can cruise to victory then just keep on trucking past this game. F1 cars are basically 4 wheels, an engine and a guy sitting in the middle of the vehicle and not much in the way of a body or anything else. Therefore they are very fragile and making contact is a HUGE no-no. Everything beyond the tiniest bump is a massive time penalty and even a single penalty will likely put you at the very back of the pack when the races end.

To help you get started understanding this new world (if it is indeed new to you) you can begin the game hopping into Young Driver Test which will go over all the basics of cornering, passing, and the enigmatic DRS and KERS (a sort or real-life equivalent of boosting) to get you ready for the big boy races. Once you’ve gotten comfortable you can either hop right online and race some real people in various Grand Prix and one-off races or you can dig into the meaty single player campaigns.

Single player is broken up into quite a few modes. Season Challenge is a series of races where you don’t have to tune your car and instead just show up to qualify and race and swap teams in a more casual (but still hard) environment. Career is more demanding as you’ll race a full slate of races and have to worry about tuning your car and keeping sponsors happy. You’ll race against an entire field of real world drivers, and amazingly even some of the real crew and owners make appearances. It’s a nice little added touch to make the whole thing feel more immersive. You’ll also select rivals from the field, and each race you’ll be given a couple of goals to finish at a certain spot or higher and also to defeat your rival in that race. Doing so earns you more accolades.
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