Yearly sports titles tend to face an uphill battle. While the likes of EA’s FIFA and Madden could easily get by on roster changes alone, most other games really need to prove their mettle to get punters to pony up their hard earned cash again. Yet for its third outing with the Formula One license, that’s just what Codemasters have done with F1 2012, delivering numerous small-but-notable improvements over the last two years’ offerings.
Everything starts with the young drivers test in a meticulously recreated Yas Marina Stadium and racetrack in Abu Dhabi. Taking you through everything from vehicle handling, acceleration, and breaking to the more advanced elements of the sports such as KERS and DRS, a mixture of hands on time and short instructional videos prove invaluable to those either unfamiliar with the sport or new to its digital recreations. Depending on your inherent skill, the young drivers test will take about 40 minutes to 1 hour to complete but this solid foundation in gameplay mechanics will prove time well spent. Even returning F1 players should appreciate this refresher course in basic training, as there are plenty of nuanced differences to pick up on that reflect the changes the FIA has introduced to the motorsport since F1 2011 hit shelves.