Devilish pace

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
Author and references

Last year, on the occasion of the review of F1 2012, we talked about how Codemasters was able in just one year to escape the sad "refrain" of sports titles that see them change little in the space of twelve months. The news on that occasion were the scenarios and the championship challenge; today we start from those well-chosen certainties but we add another of a very different depth: F1 Classics.

Those who buy the standard version of the game will be able to try their hand at five cars that made history in the 80s on two "mythical" circuits, namely Jerez de la Frontera in Spain and the very fast race in the English woods of Brands Hatch. Those who buy the Classic version at a higher price, in addition to these, will also be able to challenge the great talents of the 90s, such as Jacques Villeneuve, Jean Alesi, Damon Hill and many others, on tracks where today (unfortunately) there is no racing plus, like Imola and Estoril. In short, a significant added value both for young Formula 1 fanatics and for the elderly who were anxious to hear the voices of Mario Poltronieri and Ezio Zermiani, and which represents the only novelty in a package that has changed little compared to the last edition. , something that highlights his unsolved "long-standing" problems.

New content and old problems for Codemasters Formula 1 2013

As you want it

The game offer is, as per the manual, very full-bodied and all deeply customizable by the player. The extreme scalability of both the driving model and the way to enjoy F1 2013 represent a significant plus for the work of Codemasters. This is certainly not a novelty, but it is effective in making the English kids' Circus appealing to everyone, placing the game in that middle ground between arcade and simulation perfect for "generalist" console users. But it is enough to reduce or cut the aids altogether to make driving very demanding, which requires a handle, a lot of dedication and strong nerves to get to the finish line safe and sound.

By activating everything, the car practically goes by itself; only the curb and the braking point cause us some thoughts while, as written above, starting to lower the assistance, the cars immediately become more nervous, not impractical, of course, but much more fun to tame. By setting everything to zero, it is a completely different music: every total opening of the gas means turning around on oneself; it is therefore necessary to learn to choke properly, wait for the brakes and tires to warm up. In short, you have to play with knowledge of the facts, and take a lot of practice into account before starting to run on good times. Career is the highlight of F1 2013: it allows us to live five seasons, starting from a low-profile team (the results of the test for young drivers unlock the teams available to start) and then moving up to the teams that can aspire to the world title . Everything as expected, with internal objectives in the races to obtain developments to the car, and offers in progress. Really useful news is the possibility to save a session - even in the race - when we want. It seems like a minor addition, but it is terribly useful even when we set the duration of the race to a minimum (minimum to be understood as 14 laps), let alone when you want to do a one hundred percent Grand Prix.

The choice of how to play the career influences not only the player's time commitment but also the quality of the playing experience. Codemasters' desire to bring Formula 1 in its entirety on our monitors has fielded a whole series of real variants that we must take into account in order to try to bring home a decent season. Personalization is everything, not just the level of difficulty. If setting the traction control to halfway can undermine all those who know only open throttle / closed throttle, forcing them to come to terms with a high sensitivity on the indexes that shouts loudly "give me a steering wheel with the pedal!", Choose to make the rules and flags realistic can play tricks on your nerves, effectively ruining a race played on hundredths of a second.

The problem is ancient, and unresolved, perhaps only a little blunt compared to last year. The artificial intelligence of the opposing pilots is undoubtedly aggressive (provided that it is set to at least professional, the third of the five difficulty levels) and tends to attack us as soon as it sees a crack following its ideal trajectory, which is obviously ours too. Routines of this kind create situations that we would hardly see in reality, with the result that we will often run into penalties of ten seconds for accidents that we have not actually caused, also because we have not seen (and not always, then) that the nose of the other car for a split second. Without forgetting attempts to overtake almost on the grass. What to do then? We do not defend ourselves, we let those who are faster than us pass without trying to close the door or maybe we set the flags only on the cut of the curve, not caring about the integrity of the simulation? Obviously, this does not always happen, but in the middle of a duel you are always uneasy, and if you no longer have flashbacks, the omelette is done.

Unpredictability ...

All this also corresponds to the usual, hard to understand, damage management, which does not seem to have evolved compared to the past. F1 2013 almost always tolerates rear-end collisions; the nose seems to be made of steel, it is not possible to understand well which is the line drawn by the developers beyond which something must be broken. It is all very random; the damage is undoubtedly there, and effectively weighs on the driving model of the car, but they do not seem to enjoy real coherence with the racing situations, even obviously setting them to real.

It's a bit of a shame, because between a credible and realistic simulation of tire decay, without forgetting an intriguing application of the race strategy, complete with management of re-entries and the more or less "explosive" petrol mixing, Codemasters has done a great job to allow us to effectively relive the Formula 1 Circus. However, the dynamic weather stands out above all, capable of disrupting any previously prepared plan in the blink of an eye. Attempting to (re) explain it makes little sense, it's just like we see on TV. It can rain, the track can dry out more or less quickly, some areas of the track can be wetter than others, the choice of the moment to return to the pits to change tires is therefore fundamental. And then there is also a possible safety car to take into account. A real lottery in certain situations, but not always perfect, we witnessed some incorrect calls from our engineers, who invited us to ride slick despite wet track and modest rain, and then "scold us" to come back to change tires from dry, after the previous tour had recommended it to us. In conclusion, the usual problems, which cannot be solved year after year and which only thanks to the customization of the gaming experience can take second place, at the expense of total "fidelity" to the race weekend.

The rest of the game offer is the usual one (apart from classic single-seaters) and represents not a simple side dish to the career but something tasty, effective in cutting all the delays of the three days of competition. Championship challenge allows us to run in a shorter competition, ten races consisting of only five laps, with only one lap to attempt pole, and then immediately into the race. Fast and uncompromising, you have to give your best immediately without any management of the car, to earn the offers of the top teams and to win the championship. In addition to the timed, against the clock and the single race modes, there are scenarios, both for the 2013 season and for the classic cars. There are twenty for the current season: they engage us in extreme situations, simulating the difficulties of a career from rookie driver to legend in his last year of activity. It goes from being able to finish in front of your teammate, to recovering ten seconds lost after a penalty, up to those situations at the limit in which you have to try everything under water. In short, pure adrenaline, necessarily to be experienced when you have a good confidence with the tracks, capable of condensing all the reasoned frenzy of Formula 1 in a few laps.

Less electronics, more neck

And then alongside all this there are the classic single-seaters of the 80s, a real godsend for aficianodos, capable with their "exuberance" to entertain more if possible than the current ones. The choice of cars and drivers is not very wide, indeed bizarre for how it mixes drivers of the time and legends of the team (seeing Shumacher on Berger's 1988 car is strange, isn't it?), But it is capable of giving thrills a profusion once in track.

We have already written about it, there are two tracks and ten drivers, but of the caliber of Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi and also an incomprehensible Nakajima, but it is still possible to race on the tracks of the current season, consequently that that might seem like a skimpy game offering immediately earns sixteen more tracks. It being understood that there is no classic career, but only single races, time trials and the usual, well-designed scenarios. The real strength of classic cars is their driving model which returns a nervousness and a "jerkiness" light years away from today's missiles, but which is in the long run more fun and satisfying. The scalability is the same, but every help removed (or halved) feels twice as good as electronic racing cars driving with the tip of gloves. Opening the throttle means losing grip, without traction control the engine screams out of revs, triggering a recurring pendulum effect, braking times get longer, the cars give the impression of being lighter, changes of direction they are more sudden, they almost seem to dance on the asphalt. In short, a great experience, which deserves a steering wheel perhaps more than today's Formula 1, and which hopefully is not unique in Codemasters' projects. Here too the historical problems of the series remain, but thanks to the lower number of cars on the track, they are undoubtedly less noticeable. We conclude with the multiplayer offer, usually very full-bodied, complete with a cooperative career, split screen and local network. We can indulge in a little bit of all single player game modes; there are also cooperative scenarios, all obviously customizable at will, both in terms of difficulty and simulation.

In short, here too much to play. On a technical level, the tested version, the PC version, flexes its muscles with every frame. The detail and modeling of the single-seaters is of a high standard, the one on the seabed a little less, but objectively it is unlikely to notice a motorhome in the distance that is not exactly photorealistic when it is speeding at 300 km / h at sixty frames per second. The fluidity (net of a few sporadic micro shots) and the sense of speed are devastating on PC. They are also in the console versions without a doubt, but doubling the refresh rate is something that gives the whole an even more photorealistic impact. However, where F1 2013 leaves its mark is when it rains, that is, when the puddles on the track reflect the whole surrounding world (like the car bodies), when the water raised by the cars in front of us does not allow us to see anything, and that they make us cry out for the safety car. A terrible but beautiful show, in which you can do nothing but hope not to bump anyone, in which at the moment of departure you curse yourself if you have not managed to get the pole position. Even the particles are not joking, more generally the picture of the effects of Formula 2013 is undoubtedly flattering.


Version tested: PC


Readers (66)


Your vote

The Formula 1 of Codemasters is confirmed to be a pleasant appointment for all lovers of the world championship circus. Its immobility is shaken year after year by well-chosen introductions, but it is impossible not to notice that the same problems keep recurring edition after edition without being resolved. All at the expense of the game's desire for realism. Above all, the exuberant and fun classic cars stand out. Had there been more and with more historical tracks available we would have the definitive title dedicated to Formula 1 in our hands, for now they are just a small taste that will probably be fleshed out with DLC. For the rest, everything as expected, lots of content and in-depth customization of the game experience, to make F1 2013 suitable for everyone.


  • Classic Formula 1 cars alone are worth the ticket price
  • Lots of content
  • Graphically really beautiful
  • Extreme scalability of the gaming experience
  • Little incisive and random damage
  • Usual, problematic artificial intelligence
  • Some incomprehensible calls from the pits
  • More classic cars and more classic tracks are absolutely necessary

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • The editorial staff uses the Rog Tytan CG8480 Personal Computer
  • Processore: Intel Core i7-3770K a 3.50 GHz
  • Memory: 16 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB
  • Operating system: Windows 8

Minimum requirements

  • Processor: 2GHz Intel Core 2,4 Duo, AMD Athlon X2
  • Scheda video: AMD Radeon HD 2600, NVIDIA GeForce 8600
  • Memory: 2 GB of RAM
  • Operating system: Windows Vista, Windows 7

Recommended Requirements

  • Processore: Intel Core i7, AMD Bulldozer
  • Video card: AMD Radeon HD 6000 series, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 500 series
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM
  • Operating system: Windows Vista, Windows 7 64 bit
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