A truly immersive and engaging game. This is one you will not complete in a single sitting. Career mode covers 5 years with all the ups and downs that can go with it. Enjoyable by yourself as well as on line whether it be co-operative or competitive.
Graphics really capture the feel of speed, especially the camera view from the nose of the car or in cockpit, or as I like to call it, the track level view. Bracing indeed! Replay value, well that's a dead cert. You can go through it again and again, aiming to get to teams you have not raced with before, and out of career mode there is the Grand Prix mode, where you take an established driver from anywhere in the rankings from Buemi or Kobayashi right up to Vettel, Button, Hamilton or the legendary Michael Schumacher and either steer them to glory or royally mess it up for them, the choice is yours! There are also single player modes like time attack and sprint mode which is a very short race indeed but intense. This last option can be taken online as well.
Pit stops are easy to handle. When you are required to make a pit stop you drive automatically into the pit lane and let the crew do their stuff. It may be a case of having to drive in yourself on higher degrees of difficulty, but you guys can find that out for yourself.Cons:
Now I know it reflects the real sport but the penalties do seem a little harsh at times. In one race, I got clipped from behind and spun round sideways. I clipped another car, so one penalty applied for causing a collison (surely not my fault?) and then incurred another for illegally blocking the circuit. Now being turned sideways would block the track but as there was nowhere for me to drive onto a run off area to turn around the right way, I got clobbered again with a dangerous driving penalty. Such are the perils of a street circuit I guess but even so it did seem somewhat unfair and harsh? At least I could continue and finish the race but had got a 30 second penalty for some things that I felt were not entirely my fault. I don't know if the drive through penalty is there but I suspect it may be.
The track interview side of things has been left alone with no tweaking that I can see from the 2010 incarnation which is a shame. More of a RPG type element could have perhaps been added. A missed opportunity maybe.Summary:
A slickly presented game and one that I will be coming back to again and again. It's a strong contender for me as being one of the best F1 simulations I have played to date. As the years have progressed they have become more and more playable. I remember with dread the nightmare that was Formula 1 2001 with very twitchy controls and nigh impossible to finish races. That has been improved thanks to Formula 1 championship editon that was released in 2007 leading the way, and has since been built on until we have this addition and last years iteration. I will admit it's unlikely to sway some away from the likes of Forza but as the popularity of F1 continues to grow, then I hope the game follows the same upwards curve and with time more and more people get on board with this gaming franchise. Nice Codemasters Birmingham, give yourselves a pat on the back.