The motorsport game gurus from UK-based developer Codemasters have managed the impressive feat of consistently releasing solid F1 games.
The motorsport game gurus from UK-based developer Codemasters have managed the impressive feat of consistently releasing solid F1 games. Codemasters

Codemasters' F1 2013 hits the apex beautifully

THE real world season might be a forgone conclusion, but those of you who want to pervert the course of history can do so while having a ball on your console, as F1 2013 has arrived.

The motorsport game gurus from UK-based developer Codemasters have managed the impressive feat of consistently releasing solid F1 games, while not ever taking a backward step when it comes to quality and the introduction of new features. F1 2013 continues this trend and is arguably the best game ever to feature this most elite form of motorsport.

Naturally, you get to hit the circuits from the championship, as you battle the current crop of teams. All 22 drivers are represented and the cars look superb, provided you have time to pause and gaze at them amid the intense action.

However, the game delivers plenty of bonuses too. For a start you can also drive around classic F1 tracks like Jerez and Brands Hatch in the UK. On top of this F1 2013 features a 'legends' mode that lets you compete against some of the most exciting drivers from the 1980s.

You'll get to rub fenders with big names like Prost, Mansell, Berger and our own championship-winning Alan Jones.

On top of this if you are prepared to register the game via Codemasters' online play system, called RaceNet, you will even get to drive the iconic 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 that Nikki Lauda drove, a car also featured in the movie Rush.

Also significantly, you get a substantially refined game that features better graphics and even more impressive handling and driving dynamics than its predecessors.

The eye candy is doled out in gorgeous dollops. You'll love the way water droplets inch their way up your car's exterior and then explode in all directions when you throw up a decent rooster tail while accelerating in the wet.

Codemasters also encourage you to play the game using the longer race distances and this is made easier by the much welcome addition of a 'mid-race game-save' facility.

This is a great idea as races can take well over half an hour otherwise and you can now pause, mid-assault and come back to continue your tussle at a later stage.

F1 2013 is a very flexible drive. You can slog your way through the championship, doing each round as it is in the real world, or you can opt to create a smaller season featuring only the tracks you like best.

Those that like the current race strategies and technologies will be pleased to note that pit stops and fuel loads will play a real role in realistic length races.

The other element that has been radically improved in this latest iteration is the way the drivers react to you and show more initiative when engaging in a battle for position.

The cars are easy to drive with all of the aids on, but the game really comes into its own as you gradually immerse yourself in the more realistic models and learn to cope with the more exacting demands they make.

The physics modelling and handling are both superb. You can even feel the car's body skittering about on the suspension as the weight shifts into a corner.

F1 2013 is such a polished racing game that it is hard to imagine it being topped, although this is something I remember thinking when reviewing this iteration's predecessor.

F1 2013

Platform: PS3 / X 360

Distributor: Namco Bandai / Codemasters

Release: Now

Rating: 9/10



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