In recent years F1 racing hasn’t been as exciting as it used to be, not so much to do with ‘I don’t listen to team orders’ Vettel but just in general with all of the new rule changes and tyres become less reliable, so it’s important the Codemasters don’t suffer the same fate with the latest F1 offering. Yearly updates are great but if there isn’t enough to keep the hardcore fans entertained the game will end up like a botched pit stop rather than a storming victory.

Keeping it fresh with classic F1 cars, circuits and drivers being thrown into the equation

Keeping it fresh with classic F1 cars, circuits and drivers being thrown into the equation

Thankfully Codemasters were aware of this and have made some effort to keep things fresh thanks to some classic F1 cars, circuits and drivers being thrown into the equation. In the classics section of the game you are able to drive vehicles from the 80s such as the Williams, Ferrari and Lotus with drivers such as Nigel Mansell, Emerson Fittipadli and Gerhard Berger. Brands Hatch and Circuit De Jerez are the circuits that have been recreated for the classic section of the game and they give you a great idea of what the drivers contended with in F1 from years gone by.

The classic cars can be used across a variety of modes including split-screen and online multiplayer modes and there is even a fleeting performance from Murray Walker. There are some nice presentation changes when in classic mode, first off the with 80s and 90s style filters giving you a sense of what the races were like on the TV back then. The next change is the experience you get from the classic cars, they are a lot smaller and there is barely a nose on the front of the car when you are in the cockpit or TV pod view you feel even closer to the track. Codemasters have done an amazing job to recreate how the older cars behave and respond to the track, compared to the current day cars they feel much wilder and are begging to be thrown around the circuits. The two circuits bundled with the classic content are a pleasure to drive and are well worth checking out.

There is DLC available to those who haven’t bought the classic edition of the game, giving you access to cars from the 90s as well as another two tracks. It’s a shame that there is so little classic content as it’s an excellent part of the game but hopefully Codemasters can spend time over the next year really building up a catalogue for the next-gen version of the game.

Back in the present day the game feels very familiar to those who have played the series over the last few years. The graphics look like they have been improved, especially in wet weather and during the night races. As ever the sound quality is amazing. If you are new to the F1 series then the game will ease you in gently by starting you on the young drivers test. Hosted in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit you will go through a series of exercises teaching you the basics in the car. You are awarded medals for your performance, as you unlock more medals a larger range of teams become available for you to drive in career. More experienced drivers can jump straight to day 2 to take part in more difficult exercises.

Back in the present day the game feels very familiar to those who have played the series over the last few years

Back in the present day the game feels very familiar to those who have played the series over the last few years

Career mode has very little different to it from F1 2012, though the ability to save your race mid-session is a great touch, especially for those who want to take part in the full race but may not have the time to finish it in one go. Scenario mode adds an extra dimension to the game, challenging you to try to overcome a 10 second penalty and still beat your rival, or overcome an obstacle to win a race, all the scenarios are different but the overall objective is about winning. It would have been nice to have to try to consistently complete laps within a certain time, or attempt the perfect pit stop, hopefully things like this can be considered for future games. Season challenge is also back giving you the chance to choose rivals and try to win a place on their team; it’s a pretty short mode but gives you a good chance to race with lots of different teams.

As for racing with the current crop of cars there has been some good improvements, for a start the handling feels much better this year and there is a better sense of speed which I felt was lacking slightly from last year. Managing the throttle feels more accurate, the cars are more likely to wheel spin if you push too hard at the wrong time – you tend to notice this at the start of a race and until you get the balance right you’ll lose your hard-earned qualifying position all too easily. The AI drivers are also much improved, pushing you into making mistakes and more willing to fight for their positions on the track, it makes for more interesting races and is much more enjoyable.

Handling feels much better this year and there is a better sense of speed

Handling feels much better this year and there is a better sense of speed

The online portion of the game works well, being able to add AI drivers to half empty lobbies is great as there were plenty of times where they were sorely needed, races were fun and I didn’t suffer from lag which always improves the experience.

Codemasters have done another good job with F1 2013, I feel they should have done more with the classic content, and possibly tried to do something with the game modes, there is just enough to encourage owners of 2012 to buy the new version. If you are new to the series then you are getting a brilliant racing game that has been getting better and better over the years, I just hope they have something up their sleeves for next-gen.

Review: F1 2013
Take your marks
  • Classic mode is a welcome change to the game
  • Graphics are as brilliant as ever
  • AI drivers are much improved
Drive-through penalty
  • Classic mode should have been more in-depth
  • Not a huge change from F1 2012
  • Pre/Post race animations and engineers voice-overs are exactly the same as F1 2012
80%Overall Score
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When he isn't changing nappies or learning the latest songs on Cbeebies you'll find him taking the world on at FIFA or bouncing around on Kinect games.