eXhaust Fumes unofficial review of F1 2012 by Codemasters Hello race fans and welcome to another edition of eXhaust Fumes, you one stop magazine for a little bit of news about formula one. As I play the PC version I will not be addressing anything about the console versions. In this special article we'll be looking at the latest game from Codemasters, F1 2012. This is the third game in the series and it comes with many changes. By far the most wanted change from the PC players was the dropping of GFWL, this has finally happened! Steam is so far proving to be much more reliable for a means of setting up online racing although I only have the words of other players to go by as I have not tried the game online yet... That may happen this weekend so be ready for a possible Sunday supplement So what’s changed in the game? Gone is the full weekend race mode with all 3 practice sessions, this has been replaced by a single hour long practice followed by a 3 part qualification system which matches the real world of F1. I have a few problems with this change, firstly this is supposed to be a game which allows us to 'be the driver' and live the life... So when did all the teams decide that practice was just a waste of time? Did the FIA decide it was just costing to much in fuel and tyres? NO. Instead I have a theory as to why the game has been changed in this way. Remember the tyre wear issues we had with F1 2011? Well they're back... But by only allowing us to run for one hour the issue is minimised. So the whole reason we have only one practice now is to white wash over a bug they have not fixed yet. Champions mode. This new mode allows us to try our skills against the large number of Champions we have on the grid. While fun the first time around I do not see much, if any, replay value in this feature. A nice try at a new game mode but a bit limited in its value. New driver stuff. I've always wondered how the teams go about introducing new drivers to the cars and now we know. Though when you think about it these young drivers come from F2 or formulas that are very close to F1 so why do I feel like I'm being told how to drive for the first time? Its a great tutorial aid for new-comers to the game but again once you've done it a few times are you really going to rush home thinking “I can't wait to do the young drivers test again to night!”? Graphics. 2010 Was good, 2011 was better and 2012 again improves on what we already had, granted its not by much but aside from a building a new track, touching up the old German track from 2010 and re-painting the cars there was never going to be much that could be done. It seams that the graphics team spent quite a bit of time making new cut scenes for us to OOo and Ahh over. Once again the view from the cockpit has improved and we can now see the useless mirrors and just like the commentators of the real F1 are so fond of telling us, you can't rely on them to much... Sound. Over the last couple of games the sound is something that Codemasters have always seemed to struggle with but I am a lot more impressed by this years offering. From the much improved menu music to the noise of the tyres on the track, every aspect of the sound has got better... Except that I’m certain my old Commodore 64 could make the same engine sounds. Maybe I should look up the tutorial on sawtooth sounds for SID (You have to be a bit old to understand that reference ). Gameplay. A lot of people have said that the game has to much under-steer and is unplayable. This may have been the case for the demo but once you have the full game and you've spent some time setting up your wheel, pad, keyboard or even joystick the car handles fine. Its then that you come to the real issues. Is this an evolution of F1 2011 or F1 2010? I ask because I feel like I’m driving the 2010 car with the 2011 wheel controlled changes and the ability to move the brake balance. In short this does not feel like an advancement but a mash-up of the last two games and one new option thrown in to make it more 2012ish. Rules. Well this year we have Parc Fermi (If I have spelt this wrong go and shoot yourself for knowing that its wrong ) which stops us making changes after practice finishes. After the 3 patches it seems that this system is now keeping your car set-up saved between each session. If you go from Q1 to Q2 and then quit the game, the next time your set-up from the end of practice will be on the car without you needing to load anything. This is working fine for me but I am still reading about people who say it is not. Try it out for yourself. Anther big change to the rules is the way the car responds when being driven of track with little to no traction available. This is a blessing for online players! The main reason why I stayed away from F1 2011 was due to the number of drivers who would ignore the RD race club rules and just drive over corners without penalties. At least now they will suffer the loss of traction which should make things a lot more enjoyable and possibly bring back many of the old league racers from the 2010 game. Now I know I haven’t touched on all of the areas the game has issues with or even all of the improvements but after spending a year waiting for the game to come out I’m now going to go back to playing it. Thanks for taking the time to read this personal rant and keep an eye out for our non-exclusive review of multilayer... Now its over to your the players for some questions... What is your favourite new feature for F1 2012? What is the worst feature of F1 2012? Which game mode will you play the most? Which of the three games do you think is the best so far and why? Till next time folks! You can't win a race in turn one... But you can loose it.