F1 2012 PC Technical Review



Product: F1 2012
Company: Codemasters
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Eric Amidon
Date: October 4th, 2012

Graphics options, visuals, performance, controls

Graphics options

F1 2012 sports an impressive 17 graphics options, and many sub-options, including Shadows, Particles, Vsync, and eight different levels of AA, divided into MSAA and EQAA types. For those who don't know, EQAA stands for enhanced quality anti-aliasing, and functions like a (sometimes) slightly more effective and slightly more expensive form of the traditional MSAA.

Visuals

It's been awhile since I've played a racing game; I think the last one I really got into was another from Codemasters' the excellent 2006 title Toca Race Driver 3. Surprisingly, even that one still holds up damn well today, but the team has certainly made strides since: F1 2012 is a stunning high quality work in almost all visual aspects, with extremely high quality textures, immersive vehicle reflections and motion blur, and more.

The exceptions to this are the rare character texture, and as ever, the crowds. Even on High, these look about as bad as ever; I'm amazed after six years of progress and improvements, they still more or less like cardboard cutouts.

Performance

2012 strikes the perfect balance between strong visuals and performance requirements, by which I mean on a high-end but not crazy expensive setup like mine, I can manage a very consistent 50-60fps on Ultra, and much higher if I bring down even just the AA, or drop some settings down to High from Ultra. With minor tweaking, it feels extremely smooth and virtually flawless.

Load times are also commendable; even on my aging mechanical hard drive, loading never lasts more than a few seconds at the absolute most.

Controls

Not much more you can ask for, here: support for keyboards, the Xbox 360 controller (plug and play), and about 30 racing wheels, with heaps of options for each.

Options include completely customizable bindings, deadzone and saturation sliders for racing wheels, and force feedback sliders.

On the downside, the mouse is not supported whatsoever. It seems to be a given these days to not support it in racers for gameplay, but it would be nice for menus.