I dove into F1 2012 as a complete beginner: I’m not much of a racing game fan and I think I have never watched more than 5 minutes of an F1 race. I did spend some time in a Formula 1 simulator and found it so freaking great I was excited to try F1 2012 out! So how does F1 2012 do with a first timer? Quite well! Read on for all the details!
Originally published and developed by Codemasters, it came out on PC and consoles in September 2012. The game was released on the Mac by Feral Interactive on December 2012; only 3 months after the PC release (if you have been following Mac gaming, you’ll agree that 3 months are quite good 😉 ).
The third entry of the series, F1 2012 comes exactly one year after its predecessor and most call it the best one yet. With most critics giving solid reviews to the PC version of the game (it has an 80 Metascore) and Feral always bringing top-notch ports, how good is F1 2012 on the Mac? Are there enough improvements to convince F1 2011 players?
Enter F1 2012
The first and most important thing you should know about the gameplay is that The sense of speed is great. I may not be a huge racing fan, but I have enjoyed several racing games in the past. I have played hours and hours of Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport games, and even some Need for Speeds games, Shift and others. With that in mind, I can safely say F1 2012 pulls it off.
The visual effects, the wind and engine noise, it all comes together nicely and makes you feel like you are indeed going 300 Km/h. This, of course, translates into exciting races. Each race has this intense and dramatic feel. It pulls you in, even if you’re not a Formula 1 fan. The vehicle handling is also top-notch, very precise and punishing.
For a Formula 1 game, you can safely assume it will not play like an arcade racer but more like a simulation. It may not be as hard as the brutal F1 2011, but still, this game is tough! F1 2012 is challenging, and if you are a first-timer, prepare to spin all over the place, crash into everyone and spend lots of time in the dirt. Every second counts and penalty and even disqualification can come easily.
Luckily, F1 2012 offers several difficulty levels. Beginners can play in Easy or Medium difficulty and get a somewhat challenging, yet satisfying experience. F1 aficionados can bump the difficulty to the highest level (disabling most assists and racing lines) and have fun too. There’s something for everyone here.
F1 2012 also has a “flashback” feature that lets you rewind and replay those last few seconds before you lost control in a corner and ran into Alonso.
Overall, the gameplay is great, yet not perfect. The main thing that bothered me was the collision system. It’s too easy (at least in medium difficulty) to bump into another racer in a corner and overtake him. In other words, collisions are not punishing enough.
Controller wise, I was able to play the game using my Wireless Xbox 360 controller and it worked like a charm. I used it with TattieBogle drivers and found no issues. The game always detected my controller at start-up. As you can imagine, a controller improves the experience. I did not have the opportunity to try F1 2012 with a racing wheel, but I can only imagine it must be a riot.
Graphics-wise, F1 2012 excels. I will even go as far as to say F1 2012 is one of the best-looking racing games on macOS right now. The vehicles look fantastic, especially when you use the cockpit view. All the details are there and remind you how impressive F1 machines are. The racetracks look good too and offer tons of authenticity.
Beyond pure graphics and polygons, the game definitely has some spirit too. Every race begins with a polished cut-scene of you and your teammates preparing for it. A dramatic background music plays while some cinematic shots from your car and some of your competitors’ are shown. During the race, you get radio feedback from your teammates. The tension feels palpable, as the weight of your colleague’s expectations. Put simply: you feel the pressure.
It all looks and plays great, it enhances the experience and helps you be immersed in the game’s universe. A lot of work was put into emulating the Motorsports atmosphere and it shows. The campaign is the main part of the game. You start off as an up-and-coming driver and you have to start your career with the Young drivers’ test which basically lasts around 40 min and explains you the main rules and mechanics (such as KERS and DRS). After that, it’s up to you to rise through the ranks and leader tables and be promoted to the biggest clubs out there.
How does the game run? Flawlessly. Feral Interactive keeps bringing top-notch ports: good performance, frames-per-second and bug-free. The minimum system requirements are:
- OS: OS X 10.7.5
- Processor: 2.0Ghz
- Graphics: 512MB
- RAM: 4.0GB
- Free Space: 12.0GB
I played this game with my Hackintosh Pro (prefer it for gaming than my MacBook), which is as fast as a late-2012 iMac:
- OS: OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion
- Processor: Intel i7 3,4Ghz
- Graphics: GTX 660 Ti 1GB
- RAM: 16GB
- Geekbench Score: 12701
- Screen: 27″ Apple Cinema Display
I can play this game smoothly at full resolution (2560-by-1440 resolution) with pretty much all settings maxed out. I can also play it smoothly at 720p while recording the gameplay (which of course, is performance-hungry).
- Immersive experience
- Great sense of speed
- Challenging, yet rewarding gameplay (precise)
- Overwhelming rules for beginners
- Punishing game (especially at first)
- Collision system not punishing enough
F1 2012 is a solid package, with an immersive atmosphere, terrific gameplay, and a deep career mode. This game has lots to offer, especially to those willing to take on the challenge and learn the rules of the sport and the subtleties of the gameplay mechanics. Give this fine game the opportunity and you may end an F1 fan too!