F1 2013 Mac Review
Codemasters did a sterling job last year with F1 2012, but when you compared it to F1 2013, it’s been outclassed. Codemasters has gone to great lengths to rectify the issues F1 2012 had and make F1 2013 feel just more alive. The cars don’t feel like a bunch of pixels anymore. They feel organic, real. That’s how good F1 2013 is.
Feral Interactive initially planned to release the Mac version of the game in December of 2013, but due to a few technical issues, the launch date was postponed to March 2014. Although it’s slightly disappointing that the port took such a long time to come, better late than never right? Plus, Feral has singlehandedly secured so many great racing games for Mac, it's just crazy.
Enter F1 2013
Whether you are a Formula 1 fan or not, F1 2013 does not disappoint as a racing game. The cars feel alive, the tracks detailed and the racing is more intense than ever. F1 2012 wasn’t exactly shabby but the cars felt glued to the track (like Scalextric cars), the tracks felt too similar and the AI was tame, to say the least.
In this latest iteration of the F1 franchise, realism is taken to another level and hence you’re on the edge of your seat all the time. No longer can you pin the throttle coming out of the corners, even with all the assists switched on, the cars will slide. Fortunately, the game gives you enough time to apply some opposite lock. The physics give you a taste of what a real formula 1 driver might feel but cuts you enough slack to let you have some fun.
When it comes to the other racers' AI, in F1 2012 they were rarely challenging, unless they had a better car. They would never dive down the inside to try and make a move stick. In F1 2013 though, the AI is a lot more aggressive, even in the easiest mode. They make reckless moves down the inside, muscle you out of corners and sometimes they even try to block you. The ante has definitely been upped. Racing under these conditions means you’ll rarely miss racing multiplayer online.
There are many modes to satisfy your preferences. There’s a quick race mode where you choose your car and driver and jump straightaway into a race weekend. There's also the career mode which starts with the Young Drivers Test, a sort of tutorial that gets you up to speed with the controls of a Formula 1 car. Depending on how well you perform in the Young Drivers Test, you can choose which team you start your career with. The career mode takes you through 5 seasons and your performance will define if you get a call from the bigger teams to win races and ultimately championships.
Career mode is fun but the problem is that it's still virtually the same as in older F1 games. They could’ve added a couple more options, such as a ‘Manager Mode’ or maybe a more technical mode with telemetry and data for those who enjoy that sort of thing.
The Season Challenge is a compressed and faster version of the Career mode where you have 10 race seasons and you have to beat a selected driver over three races to get his race seat. Then rinse and repeat. Time Trial is a good place to beat your own records and practice driving on different tracks with different cars. Time Attack is where you challenge yourself against ghosts, beating each one to get a bronze, silver or gold medal. Scenario mode is another fun mode where you have to drive according to the given situation.
The much advertised newest addition to the game is the Classics mode. This is where you can drive as one of the so called bad boys of Formula 1. The old turbo era cars. Some of them had close to 1000 under the hood. Needless to say, they are a handful to drive. There are a number of cars, from different teams and years, and you can drive them on two additional classics track. Although it might look like a novelty addition, it’s actually a lot of fun to drive these classic Formula 1 cars. Even the scenario mode is quite exciting as you fight your way to the sharp ending of the grid, executing spectacular drifts as you do.
Also, Codemasters added a very useful feature to the game, Mid Session Save. So now you can save while you’re in the middle of race, and quit the game, and you can come back to it later. Nifty touch.
F1 2013 took care of that and then some. F1 2013 is Steam-Play enable and features cross-platform multiplayer. Yes, cross-platform. Now you can face off against your Windows-PC friends. With Steam having a reputation of being practically bulletproof, F1 2013 multiplayer races are a sublime experience. F1 2012 suffered severe lag in multiplayer, be it LAN or online. Codemasters has thankfully ironed these issues out, giving us a trouble-free experience now.
You can also play Co-Op Championships where you can participate in a championship with your friends online, as teammates.
F1 2013 is a huge step forward from its predecessor. Everything is much slicker. Even the menu graphics have a flatter and more attractive design.
In the higher graphical modes, you can actually see streams of sunlight in the dust as you exit the pitlane. The crashes are much more detailed too and the replay camera lets you see them in the most spectacular angles. You can also see the shower of sparks when the cars bottom out on corners and the dust kicked up by the cars ahead also looks much better than in previous versions. When you pit, you can choose to either see the pitstop from a TV camera angle, or from your cockpit. TV camera angle always gives a nice feeling, try it out and you'll see what I mean.
F1 2013 Performance
F1 2013 is a big game and requires quite a bit of firepower to really show its worth. But even though my machine barely met the minimum system requirements, the game ran smoother than I thought it would using decent (medium) settings.
Although the frames-per-second would take a hit from time to time, the experience was smooth all-around. Another step up from the previous game are the loading times. Everything loads much faster now. You can start racing from within a minute from the main menu.
Minimum System Requirements:
- OS: OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks
- Processor: 2.4 GHz
- Graphics Card: 512 MB VRAM-AMD 4xxx series, Nvidia 6xx series, Intel HD 4000 series or better
- RAM: 4 GB (8 GB for Intel HD 4000)
- Hard Drive: 15 GB available space
- Model: MacBook Pro (13-inch)
- OS: OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks
- Processor: Intel i7 2.9 GHz
- Graphics Card: Intel HD 4000
- RAM: 8 GB
The game features realistic physics, substantial improvement in graphics and cross-platform multiplayer.
F1 2013 is yet another Formula 1 game in the line of games by Codemasters, but the addition of the Classics and cross-platform multiplayer make it a must buy. The gameplay and graphics both have received substantial bumps from F1 2012 to make it a worthy successor. The fact that Feral Interactive has made nearly every controller compatible is just a bonus.