F1 2012 PC Technical Review



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

UI, multiplayer, extra features, conclusion

User interface

The good news: menus and various HUD elements are appropriately sized for high resolution monitors (and each of them can be turned off), button and key indicators swap appropriately depending on your control setup, list menus are easy to navigate, and there's a quick setup option at the start of races with which you can custom tailor your vehicle in a timely fashion.

The bad news is pretty minor, fortunately: the “card” menus like the main menu and many of its submenus are geared toward controllers and race wheels, so it will be a little less efficient to navigate than it could've been with mouse support.

Multiplayer

Operating on a peer to peer platform, multiplayer works reasonably well in F1 2012, though with no drop-in/out mode or support of any kind, you'll find yourself waiting around for awhile to get into games. Alleviating that issue somewhat is a spectator mode which lets you switch between drivers and perspectives as the current race finishes up.

Astonishingly, both local split screen and LAN are offered. For those interested in the former, know that you can have one player use the keyboard and the other the controller – other setups should work just fine, too.

VOIP is supported, and fortunately mute options are too, so you can turn off that guy screaming at his grandmother or whatever. The quality is acceptable, though the volume is on the low side and there are no options to increase it.

Extra features

I didn't have the gear to test it myself, but reports indicate Eyefinity setups do work great here – WSGF awarded the game a rare A grade on that merit.

Racenet is supported again, meaning if you're feeling confident, you can take on various challenges online to earn rewards, experience, and top the leaderboards.

A much appreciated benchmark is included in the graphics options menu, to help you test out various settings and get an idea of where you're at performance wise (on that note, look out for an F1 2012 tweak guide shortly); it features a brief lap run and serves its purpose well.

Conclusion

Codemasters' latest racing title is, technically speaking, a near perfect work that holds up to the high standard the studio has held its games to for ages now. I still would like to see mouse controls fully supported here and in PC racers in general, the UI isn't quite 100% ideal, and there's no drop-in multiplayer, but the game delivers in full in all other departments, and all departments that matter most.

As such, I strongly recommend it to racing enthusiasts – even curious newbies might do well to pick it up. If it's the gameplay you're unsure of, a demo for it can be download now through Steam.