This year's installment of Codemaster's popular F1 franchise brings updated drivers and cars as well as a host of new modes and options - but is it enough to put F1 2012 in pole position?
Despite chaotic, adrenaline inducing online play, good handling and a full range of circuits, F12011 was plagued with problems. With complains such as poor collision detection, questionable penalties and an interminable career mode - 2011 quickly became a season to forget.
Thankfully, this year the people at Codemasters have brought in a raft of changes to freshen up and rejuvenate up the series. From a slick new menu system that puts racing - not a career - at the forefront of things, to a range of other new features, it's immediately obvious F12012 has been given an exciting new lick of paint.
A Time Trial and career mode is still available, but new modes such as Quick Race, Young Driver Test and Champions Mode help newcomers quickly learn the ropes, but also allow more seasoned drivers to shave tenths off their personal bests. The improvements don't stop at single player though - Multiplayer is as manic as ever and with the new cars of 2012, things are just as exciting as last year.
Most of last years bugs have been ironed out too. Absurd penalties are less frequent, so you'll often find yourself hurling controllers at the screen less, and pit stops also take seconds rather than hours.
Despite this, there are some niggling issues that remain unaddressed. Although a safety car has been added, the game fails to recreate the feel of an F1 season - partly because the cars look the same throughout the year, where as in real life they feature obvious modifications at every race. The third game using the once cutting-edge EGO engine, F12012 now looks more dated. With next to no improvement in graphics, F2012 still falls short when compared to the graphical prowess and handling of racing game yardsticks such as Gran Turismo 5 or even Forza Motorsport 4.
With a range of new updates and fixes, F12012 is easily the best game F1 game made by Codemasters. Updated cars, new modes, tweaked visuals and slightly improved handling all help F12012 become the game last year's should have been - but it could have been so much better.
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