People who watch Formula 1 are the sort of people who are really into cars and motorsports, while it’s mostly Greek to casual viewers. Amidst the stewards’ inquiries and the tension between drivers, you get some pretty good racing action in grand prix events throughout the world. If you’re really into this and you want to experience how those Monte Carlo residents go at the limit in every single moment, then you’ll enjoy F1 2013, the current authority in Formula 1 racing simulators.
This is Codemasters’ fourth F1 game, or fifth if you count F1 Race Stars. It does show that they’re getting it down really well since F1 2013 looks and feels very polished. The look and feel of this game has become even more like the real Formula 1 than ever, with the graphics and race physics that are spot on thanks to the new EGO Engine 3.0, which is an improvement over the previous version 2.0 used for F1 2012. Codemasters had been honing the racing physics in their games, and they’re showing the extent of their expertise through different styles of racing games. GRID 2 was quite alright, but this one feels even more refined. If you have a racing wheel to use for playing this game, then you will feel the full magic in this game.
Like with most other sports titles, most of the content can be expected to be recycled from the previous installment, including the cutscenes that serve as transitions from the menus and other pre-race screens to the race itself. On the other hand though, you get have your game saved mid-session, which is very good since this game isn’t exactly like an arcade racer where you can bump against other cars gratuitously. A lot of this game has become a little bit easier for beginners to get into with more gameplay modes and other additions to entertain any kind of racing game fan. It’s much less of a monotonous experience while still being as authentic as possible.
Whether you want to play a quick race or go through the rigors of career mode, you can get your need for speed satisfied in this game. It’s not an arcade racer like Codemasters’ other game GRID 2, where you can go bumper-to-bumper with other cars and without worry due to the large margin of error that you’re allowed to make. In F1 though, you can get disqualified for too much contact, so there’s a higher degree of skill involved in this game under greater speeds and more accurate physics. This series has always been about precision driving, which is the essence of Formula 1.
Among the roster of racers here, there are historic F1 cars made famous in various exciting moments in competition. However, there are only a few of them and plenty of the really good ones are missing, including one of the most famous cars that is Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/4 that won him his first F1 championship. Therefore, the Classic mode does fall a bit short, despite its nifty nostalgia factor for longtime F1 enthusiasts, and that goes double with the classic tracks. But at the very least, you get to see the progression in racing car technology and designs throughout the years, not to mention that it’s still pretty fun. Also, you get to drive in legendary race tracks like the infamous Imola.
While it does discourage contact with other cars during the race, it’s still unavoidable at times even for the most skilled of players. Even in F1 itself, bumps and crashes still do happen. Whenever it does though in this game, it’s like the other games in that damage doesn’t really show up that well. You should be able to see scratches and dents on the car, as well as broken wings and panels. However, the damage models in F1 2013 is still rather disappointing, so perhaps it’s still something that Codemasters should work on. Perhaps it does encourage players even more to not play it like the Burnout games since there wouldn’t be any point.
Through this game, Codemasters continue to show their mastery of the racing genre, and they have done well in creating a good follow-up to the previous title. So if you want to feel like Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikonnen, Lewis Hamilton, or any of the other current Formula 1 stars, then F1 2013 is the closest you can ever get right now.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 8/10