More high octane action in Codemasters’ latest authentic take on the sport of Formula 1.
Authenticity has always been the name of the game with the officially licensed Formula 1 games, and Codemasters pretty much have that perfected. Last year’s entry into the F1 series was as close to perfection as is possible without shipping the game with “Eau de Pits”, and the annual release should suggest that F1 2013 will be more of the same, just with updated teams and tracks. That would be nice, but what would be nicer would be the addition of something new for the F1 fans. How about a step back in time?
All of the updates that players would expect to coincide with the latest season of Formula 1 goodness are present and correct. Much like the annual release of certain popular football games, the F1 series prides itself on annual installments to keep the game current, along with a few little adjustments as needed to keep the game performing as well as the fans expect. F1 2013 offers something more though, something that exists purely for fun. Once the player has made their way through the Young Driver Test as they begin their Formula 1 career, they will find the F1 Classics mode.
In the standard edition of the game, players entering the F1 Classics mode will be greeted by a trip back in time to the 1980s. With the chance to race on the classic Brands Hatch or Jerez tracks, the player will take on the role of, or race against, the legendary likes of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Alain Prost, amongst others. And they will also be driving authentic cars from the time.
It is the authenticity, something which Codemasters are always desperate to achieve in the F1 games, that is most impressive here. The racing itself can be cast with a filter to make it look old, and the cars themselves are not only modeled to look like their counterparts of the time, but also to handle like them. This will mean a much more tense racing experience as the cars are amazingly powerful and lacking in many of the safety enhancements found in modern F1 cars. Handling these dangerous beasts is something that will come as a struggle to all but the most accomplished F1 videogame racers.
The F1 Classics mode includes a number of different options for the player, including historical scenarios from that time for players to experience for themselves. There is also a full Grand Prix and the chance for split-screen action.
However, F1 Classics need not stop there. Through the special “Classic Edition2 of the game, or through DLC, the player will be able to make a pit stop in time during the 1990s, with the inclusion of authentic 90s F1 cars, the Imola and Estoril tracks, and of course a selection of 90s drivers, including Schumacher, Irvine and Coulthard. For both fans of the sport and fans of the F1 videogame series, the addition of the F1 Classics mode simply adds a sense of nostalgia to a near perfect game.
Beyond the addition of the F1 Classics mode, there is not a lot to distinguish the game from last year’s entry. Obviously, everything has been brought up to date with the current season, drivers, tracks and teams are all as they should be. Otherwise, a year has not made much noticeable difference.
The visuals have been apparently tweaked, not that you would notice. Last year’s offering was absolutely gorgeous, and F1 2013 matches that level of eye candy. The car handling has also been tinkered with, but the game still remains difficult to get to grips with for the novice player. The menus have been cleaned up a bit, which is nice and makes the game feel a little slicker than the last. But other than these little, unnoticeable changes, there is not a lot to say.
Which is maybe the games’ biggest problem. There are plenty of modes to play, and the new F1 Classics certainly offers an entertaining look at the past. But the core game, and the career mode specifically, are the same. I would have hoped for some more evolution in a year, especially with the less than exciting career mode. However, any big changes that Codemasters could make have as much chance of ruining what is already a very good representation of the sport. So I guess that Codemasters played it safe this year…
F1 2013 is more of the same, and there is nothing really wrong with that. The usual annual updates have been made, and the inclusion of the F1 Classics mode is fun, but otherwise it is the same, near perfect game as last year. Justifying paying out for F1 2013 really depends on how much of a fan you are. F1 2013 is the best Formula 1 game ever made, just like F1 2012 was last year.