Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings
Oct 13, 2013A beautiful looking and sounding game has once again been ruined by Codemasters' insistence on catering for the lowest common denominator. It is ruined by such terrible steering wheel controls as to make the game virtually unplayable, and feels through and through like it was designed for the console generation to be played on a controller. A massive shame that leaves this title thoroughly unimproved from the previous year.
Watch the on-board footage from any Formula One race and watch out for any moment when the driver takes his hands away from their default "quarter to three" position. It never happens. Yet despite Codemasters providing a Logitech G25 preset for the game, thus acknowledging that players are using this wheel as a viable option, the steering is nowhere near sensitive enough. The first time you come across any corner that is more than a slight kink, let alone a hairpin, and you will find yourself turning the wheel more than a full revolution, necessitating a hand movement. Now compare this with the on-screen hands. These should match up, but far too much input is required from your wheel to get even the slightest movement on-screen in a slow speed corner.
Now combine this with the straightening of the wheel on corner exit. Even if you instantly straighten the steering wheel, there is some "lingering" in the steering that reeks of a concession to the controller, where the game is trying to accommodate corner exits on a less than suitable control method.
Off-road car physics is appalling and nowhere near realistic. There is far too much grip on grass and cars simply glide over gravel as though it's not there. Again, Codemasters concede and resort to the arcade mentality they are so often sucked into, as the game artificially slows the car when it's off the road, rather than relying on accurate physics.
Another concession to the console generation is that the car has almost no warning of loss of grip. I recognise that these are 750hp monsters racing on the brink of what is possible, but as a driver with 20 years' experience with racing simulators, the game does not provide enough information through the steering wheel to correctly establish the attitude of the car, so finding that line between perfect corner exit and a slide into the barriers is more about guesswork than learning to read the car and the controls.
It might well be that the game work beautifully on a controller (or even another steering wheel; I haven't got another) with full driving aids enabled, but that is of no interest to me. I have a keen interest in true motor racing simulation, and that is how the game was sold, yet there's the strong sense that Codemasters have tailored this game to the 13-year-old Xbox gamer who just wants a bit of light-hearted fun and knows nothing about driving physics or cornering style.
I admit that it is possible, with a lot of trial and error, to get the Logitech G25 to a point where the car is driveable in this game, but only barely driveable and it never feels comfortable. The G25 preset should be set up to accurately provide a realistic control method, not having to yank the steering wheel through 270 degrees every time through Grand Hotel at Monaco. Default force feedback setting is OFF, even in the G25 preset. Why would I buy a £250 steering wheel and not use force feedback? More to the point, how am I supposed to tell what the car is doing without force feedback?
On the plus side, the game looks and sounds brilliant, and there is a wide range of different events including, for the first time, cars from the sport's history. Unfortunately they are all terribly similar and there is no real feeling that you're driving something special, or even different. It's worth mentioning that Codemasters have done a money grab and sold the 90s classics (and tracks from the era) at additional cost, so the true star of the collection, the Williams FW14, is available only at a premium.
Multiplayer is a clear "checklist" afterthought, and there are no dedicated servers. This means constant disconnections. Perplexingly, there is no ability to join a session in the middle of qualifying, and the default for voice chat is always on. This is inexcusable, and no developer should ever do this. Worse, once you're in a session there's no way to disable voice chat, so you have to quit out and permanently disable it. This is a crime as there IS a push to talk setting, but it's just not default.
A massive missed opportunity made by developers more interested in making large profits from ignorant teens rather than a true effort at a simulation. Trying to play F1 2013 with a steering wheel is like trying to fry an egg with a cigarette lighter: it works, but you'll get mightily frustrated in the process. After the huge failure of Grid 2 this year, Codemasters need to go back to the drawing board. But as long as the ignorant masses continue to part with their money for games like this, there'll be no improvement.… Full Review »