Codemasters has recently released this year’s instalment of their Formula 1 racing title, F1 2013. Using the EGO Engine, F1 2013 includes all 22 drivers from the 11 competing teams from this year’s driver’s championship. The game is available on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC via their respective digital platforms PlayStation Store, Games on Demand and Steam. The physical versions of the game will be available in the US and Canada on October 29th. Is F1 2013 racing gold or should it be forced to take a pit stop?
Let’s find out and kick off the HOTs and NOTs.
At first I thought the graphics for the game weren’t amazing, but it least looked decent; this was when I noticed that automatically the lowest graphic settings had been selected. After maxing them out it the difference was phenomenal. From the attention to detail on the tracks, race cars and pit crew to the slick and clear designs of the menus, F1 2013 is a sweet treat for your eyes. A hard decision must be made as to whether you wish to see the full car zooming around the track or, my personal favourite camera angle, the helmet view. The weather effects are worth mentioning with mist filling the screen, spray is spun up from behind cars in front and the sun blindingly filling the sky; fortunately not all at the same time.
The game’s presentation perfectly captures the speed and sounds of real life races. Many games fail to capture the feeling of speed but when flying around the tracks, players will often slam on the brakes to hard as they worry about massively overshooting corners; only to find that it is quite possible to corner at 60km/h. The roar of the engines and the messages from the pit stop crew go hand-in-hand to perfect the presentation, to the extremes of pit crews reminding you not to take out your teammate’s car.
F1 2013 isn’t exactly a pick up and play type of game, especially when players attempt to drive as I did. Flooring it and attempting to power slide corners is not going to get you very far. Following the racing line and attempting overtaking maneuvers based on timing and judgement certainly will though. It takes some time to get to grips with the correct speed for corners but this is what real life Formula 1 drivers must do. Realism is at the core of F1 2013’s gameplay, although fun and fairness also makes it into the mix. Help is given to make the gameplay flow better and results in something that is hard to master but enjoyable along the way.
Separate from the rest of the game, Classic mode adds another variant to the mix. In the base game, 1980s cars and drivers are included and in the Classic edition 1990s cars and drivers are also included. Old tracks that are no longer on the racing calendar also make the cut with Brands Hatch once again taking its rightful place in a Formula 1 racing title. The gameplay isn’t changed much but with slightly different handling and some extra tracks Classic Mode is a welcome addition to the game.