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Face it; you are never going to drive a F1 car.  Unlike those other racing games on the market featuring super sports cars and the like, the chances you will squeeze your bum into the cockpit of the fastest competitive racing machine on the planet is highly improbable.  F1 2012 therefore will be the closest you get.


At the same time, a game such as F1 2012 can be a daunting prospect for those not up to the challenge.  This title exudes the premise that practice makes perfect, if you are new (or like me newish) to the F1 racing style, regardless of your fan level, expect to be spending much of your time at the tail of the field, even in the single player game.

Developers Codemasters however, have gone out of their way to ease you into the multi-national sport with the new Young Drivers Test mode.  Here budding F1 racers can take to the Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi for a 30 minute tutorial that throws up a series of challenges to learn driving basics and systems such as KERS (kinetic Energy Recovery System) and DRS (Drag Reduction System).
F1 2012 Monza 2
Once the Young Driver Test is complete it is time to select a mode and tweak the difficulty settings.  It is here that much of your games enjoyment will be decided.  Set too many driving assists on or, at the other end of the scale,  go for too much realism and much of the fun can be sucked from your time on the track.  Get it right however, with just the right level of traction control, racing line indicators and so on and the racing can feel spot on.

Having said that, even in total simulation mode collisions are not as convincing in the open wheel F1 cars as they would be in sedan racing, though the spin outs are spectacular, and the resulting black-flagging and pit-crew admonishing suitably abashing.

There is a quick race option as well as mode known as Champions Mode where players can take on challenges against the big names of F1 Racing.  Drivers are thrown into the heat of the action with a number of scenario based situations to overcome.  These are fun diversions but it is the Season and Career Challenge modes will be where most players head.  Starting out in a lowly franchise (depending on difficulty level) and attempting to work their way up the leader boards and perhaps acquiring offers to move into more lucrative and successful race teams along the way.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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