It’s the day, the day for you to cease your moment, as you see the spectators begin to gather. The officials arrive. The smell of burnt rubber can be smelt on the track. Your rivals laid out ahead of you. Your Pit crews ready and waiting in anticipation while you are sitting at the start line with a 2.4lt v8 engine strapped behind you, ready with your hands tight on the steering wheel and feet fixed in position on the pedals as the final light comes on. Ready…Steady…Race. And you are off, the roar of the V8 powered engine sending a chill down your spine as you approach your first corner clipping the apex.
Yes this is certainly how you feel when playing the latest installment in the Formula one series brought to you by Codemasters Birmingham. Although substituting the actual cockpit of a Formula one car for you controller. F1 2013 brings the most realistic formula one racing experience yet and this is through the physics and the handling of the cars performance. You feel fully in control of every action that you take when racing and the consequence of you actions depend on your skill.
Now there are 3 main modes, the first being the career mode. When beginning your new career you take your young drivers test, this serves as the tutorial of the game, showing you all the vital skills that will have to come into play when you are out there racing for the first time. You unlock teams, which you can join, depending on how many gold medals you earn. The more you earn, the more teams you unlock, giving you more variety when picking the car that you will race with on your first season.
Secondly is season challenge. Here you can pick a rival from the current standings on the seasons leaderboard and make it your goal to beat them.
And finally is the games career mode. Here you can select from your newly unlocked teams and begin your ascent to racing history. Before you start your main race against other drivers, you have your qualifying race, which determines your starting position for the main race. The aim here is to get the best lap time and depending on which team you have picked for your season, they will want you to finish in a certain position on the leaderboard. Now here is where the element of realism plays into the game, because getting the quickest lap time to come close to the top of the board is very challenging and requires all the skills learnt from the young drivers test to come into play. Once you have completed and posted your lap time, its time to race.
The newest feature to come to this year’s installment is F1 Classics. This is a very unique and fun feature with the nostalgic value held within for die-hard fans and followers of Formula 1 over the years.
Classics allows you to play in the era of 1980s and 1990s racing, letting you see the progression of F1 and the change in cars first hand. To add to the nostalgia, your racing hood changes style to fit each era. The presentation of the video of the 1980 and 1990 screen display each gives a filter effect over the screen making it look the part to how the television coverage would have looked during the eras.
Alongside the list of cars from each era you have more importantly an exciting list of Formula Ones champion drivers made playable to you. From Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell to Eddie Irvine and Damon Hill, the list is packed full of F1 legends.
This unique and exciting feature adds to the extensive replay factor that the game has to offer once completing your seasonal campaign.
If you have the standard edition of the game compared to the classic edition, then have no fear. All the classic content is available via downloadable content. There are two DLC packs out now containing all of the Classic content. The first is the 1990s classics pack, containing all the 90s era cars and Drivers, Michael Schumacher most notably. The second is the tracks pack, containing Imola (past home of the San Marino GRAND PRIX) and the thrilling Estoril Track (the historic former host of the Portuguese GRAND PRIX).
Both DLC packs are available for download off the PSN Store, Xbox live marketplace and steam priced at £6.49 each.
The multiplayer portion of the game can be played online competing with players from around the world, allowing you to go head to head in either the quick or custom match mode. The game also offers the traditional split screen option for you, a friend or family member to test your skills around Silverstone or the Nürburg ring. Also includes the option to system link between Xbox 360 consoles.
For gameplay the main aspect that is clear and present through the entirety of the game is the handling and physics of the car. Allowing you to alter and tune the car to your specification gives a different turn around to how your car handles around the track. By turning the abs (anti-lock brake system) off your car will have increased wheel spin and will be caused to spin out of control. Little things like the physical damage to the car, tyre wear and excessive use causing the tyres to burst, wobble of the spoiler as another car overtakes in close proximity and running out of fuel adds to the overall realism that the game portrays making it feel authentic.
This also comes from both the graphics and the sound design. Graphically the game is stunning. More in the animation of the cars than the pit and team crews. Things like the kick ups of grit when run over, tyre smoke from burnt rubber and droplets of rain from spray when driving on wet tracks makes you feel involved and drawn further into the realism of the game.
The final thing to say is about the sound. The Foley and sound design team have done an immaculate job on capturing the authentic sounds of our current F1 cars and of the cars of the 1980s and 1990s. There is nothing better when starting up the career mode, turning your volume on full and listening to what is the beautiful sound of the V8 engine you are driving.
Overall F1 2013 is an incredibly fun and enjoyable game, with a competitive and challenging side to it which will want you to replay and keep playing in years to come.
I can give Formula 1 2013 a solid score of 5 out of 5. The authenticity, realism and nostalgic value make this one of the most enjoyable racing games of the year.
F1 2013 is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and Pc, with both the standard and classic editions available.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.