I’ll also be posting this in the Codemasters forum.
Basically, there is a lot of talk about the physics of F1 games nowadays. Codemasters themselves, have changed the handling model of the cars each year we’ve had the game (Not counting the Wii version). I think each person has a different preference on how the car handles, but I think what we all want is something that feels realistic, with variable degrees of difficulty to accommodate to each player, which is obviously the point of assists.
I’ll be testing the games on:
Wheel: Driving Force GT
Camera angle: T-Cam and Cockpit.
The games I’ll be using are, of course, F1 2010, 2011 and 2012. But I’ll also be using the F10 on GT5. This is the main reason for the test. I briefly had a quick go with the F10 on GT5 quite a few months ago, but I never did a back-to-back test on all four games.
I’ll start with F1 2012, and work my way down (2011, 2010, GT5). It’s possible that someone, or many have done this already, but I thought it would be interesting for people to see how they compare.
I think now, as the multitude of updates occur on GT5 take place, I should try and note down my findings having played the current three F1 titles back to back.
When I first had the thought to do this, I thought that I was going to find a gem. Something that I could take back to the community that would make me realise just what direction the F1 games need to go in, in terms of handling development. However, what I found was altogether different.
I popped F1 2012 in first, and despite some inital teething problems with the wheel (I really don’t like it on this game), I was able to string a number of laps together, in both T-Cam and Cockpit views. It was pretty much as I expected it to be, having been playing the game since its release, and although the graphics weren’t quite what I was used to (Had to use an SD tv instead of HD), it was still good. A little bit plain, but I think that’s more the nature of Monza being a relatively boring track, than the game being boring.
Next was F1 2011. The familiar sound of the music flared up, as did the menu, and I was quickly into time trial mode. The handling in comparison, is much easier. Though it took a lap getting used to it, with it being much more responsive than F1 2012, it was definitely fun. Each lap aggressive, and knowing that I could really push the car to its limits. What did annoy me though, was the constant whine of the engine. Obviously the audio wasn’t quite as nice, and it led me to end the session a couple of laps before I had done on its successor. It was nice being able to push the car again, and have a wheel that was as responsive as I wanted it to be, but still had its problems.
F1 2010. I was quite excited to get back on this game. Whether it was the memory of it arriving for the first time in the post, a day before its official release, finally having a successor to F1:CE, or just because I have fond memories of racing on it, I don’t know. What I found though…was…it’s hard to describe. Instead of having the fun of driving, I constantly had to stare at a bumpy screen. Going down the straight at 200mph, and the car felt like it was driving on the most uneven surface imaginable. It was even worse in the corners. I couldn’t bring myself to do more than a few laps. The handling in itself wasn’t too bad, but it was completely over-shadowed by the graphics and general ‘bumpiness’. The highlight of the game was the music. Hearing it again was delightful, and I’m hoping that F1 2013 can provide the same sort of thing.
13 more updates to go on GT5 now, before I can compare Codemasters’ F1 titles with the F10 on GT5, but what I’ve found so far is that F1 2012 is certainly superior than its predecessors (as we’d all hope), and people who say that 2012 has the same handling as 2010 couldn’t be more wrong. If anything, this has restored my faith (not that I had lost any) that F1 2013 will again be an improvement. There is still a long way to go, but I have confidence that things are going in the right direction.