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Review

F1 2013 Review

  • Game release: October 4, 2013
  • Reviewed:

    F1 2013 takes you on a nostalgia trip into the history of Formula One, while compelling new modes and subtle improvements layer atop a familiar, but winning formula.

    If last year's Formula One game made Codemasters' series more accessible, then F1 2013 addresses the time commitment required to enjoy it. The addition of shorter challenge modes, coupled with some interesting departures into the sport's history, makes this year's edition much less intimidating. The bulk of the experience will be familiar to series veterans, but F1 2013 is a varied game that accurately mirrors the tension and excitement of F1 racing.

    You begin F1 2013 with the young driver's test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit. This two-day event goes over the basic mechanics of the sport by testing your skills in cornering, handling, and wet weather conditions. It's a worthwhile crash course in the rules of the sport, and a safe place to familiarize yourself with the unique ways in which F1 cars handle. Once you're into the game proper, there are a multitude of modes to choose from, and here lies perhaps F1 2013's greatest achievement. Previous games in the series focused heavily on the full Career mode, which requires a rather substantial time commitment. F1 2013 has modes that finally cater to a much wider variety of play styles and social lives.

    If you've got the time to put in, Career mode offers up plenty of challenge, but don't expect much difference from last year. You're asked to join a rookie team and make your way through consecutive seasons composed of full race weekends. If you impress the rest of the pack, better teams offer you contracts as you race your way to F1 glory. Season Challenge mode also returns; it's composed of a 10-race season, with five-lap races and one-shot qualifying. Here, you race to beat your chosen rival for a seat on his team. This compressed season can be completed in a couple of hours, and is much more friendly to those looking to get the season experience without having to dedicate hours of play time.

    F1 is really about those incredible racing moments that define drivers and live in fans' memories forever, and this year, a new mode centres on just that. Scenario mode builds on last year's Champions mode by placing your custom driver into 20 testing race challenges. These range from using a safety car situation to close the gap on a rival, to nursing a broken wing back to the pits and attempting to gain back your lost positions before reaching the chequered flag.

    Each circuit accurately portrays its real-life counterpart, while some wonderful improvements to the lighting and audio design bring each race to life.

    Some challenges even mirror real-life scenarios, such as Jenson Button's infamous final-lap victory in 2011's rain-soaked Canadian Grand Prix. These challenges are fun to compete in, and because each takes no more than a few minutes, you find yourself returning again and again to attempt them on harder difficulties. On top of this, mid-session saving is finally available across all modes, which means you can leave a race at any stage and return to your save state whenever you want.

    For fans of the history of F1, Classics mode allows you to race some of the sport's most famous cars around vintage circuits. The standard version of the game lets you take on the role of famous drivers from the '80s and race around in their historically accurate rides. Sadly, those cars are limited to racing on two classic tracks: Brands Hatch and Jerez. Additional tracks, drivers, and cars from the '80s and '90s are available only in the game's limited-release Classics Edition, or via downloadable content.

    The classic cars handle differently from their modern-day counterparts, wildly flying around corners and seemingly losing grip at any moment. Learning how to tame these shrieking, mechanical beasts is incredibly satisfying. Sadly, because of the small number of cars and drivers on offer, races include only 10 competitors cherry-picked from a variety of seasons. It's odd to see cars that never raced against each other sitting on the same grid, but races are enjoyable as long as you can suspend your disbelief.

    Classics mode also includes Time Trial, Time Attack, and Scenario modes of its very own, all of which use retro television graphics and an optional colour filter. While the main modes of F1 2013 include voice-over by Sky Sports' David Croft and Anthony Davidson, Classics mode is presided over by the legendary broadcaster Murray Walker. This is a nice touch that floods this area of the game a beautiful wave of nostalgia.

    You might be posting record times one lap, but by the next, your tyres have lost all grip.

    The rest of the modes will be familiar to anyone who has played previous games in the series. Time Trial and Time Attack return, allowing you to attempt record lap times and race against ghost cars. Grand Prix mode is back and lets you step into the shoes of any of this season's drivers and participate in anything from short races to full-length weekends. Multiplayer can be played in split-screen, via system link or online, and Co-op Championship returns for those looking to play an entire season with a friend. This wide breadth of modes would count for naught if the on-track action weren't up to scratch. Thankfully, some minor but noticeable improvements across the board ensure that fighting for position and aiming for a purple lap time are as fun as ever. Rival drivers are smart and overtake you if you leave a gap, protecting their positions if you try to do the same. Each circuit accurately portrays its real-life counterpart, while some wonderful improvements to the lighting and audio design bring each race to life: you find yourself looking off the racing line to enjoy Abu Dhabi's runny sunset, and listening for rival cars screaming through Monaco's tunnel.

    The cars are more fallible too; handling varies wildly depending on how a vehicle is set up and what the weather and track conditions are. Wander off the racing line, and expect to pick up marbles of rubber that reduce your grip, while a sudden downpour of rain causes havoc for drivers using the wrong set of tyres. There has been much controversy over the state of Pirelli tyres this season, and this year's rubber falls off the cliff remarkably fast. You might be posting record times one lap, but by the next, your tyres have lost all grip, causing you to lose speed on corners or, even worse, crash. Racing incidents around the track occur more frequently too, and if you find yourself involved in one, expect your pit crew to radio immediately with a "box box box." All this combines to make racing in F1 2013 that little bit more exciting.

    Next year will see the sport of F1 change with the introduction of new driving technology, right around the same time a new generation of consoles start appearing in our living rooms. And when that happens, there's a hope that the next instalment of Codemasters' F1 series will be more than just the mere update F1 2013 is. For now, though, there's still plenty of exciting on-track action here to thrill fans of the sport. Compelling challenges, shorter and more varied modes, and some nice nostalgic touches add to an experience that, while familiar, does a grand job of keeping you entertained for a few minutes or many hours.

    The Good
    Exciting on-track action
    Scenario mode caters to shorter play sessions
    Classic mode offers up a different, thoroughly nostalgic challenge
    Looks and sounds even more authentic than before
    The Bad
    Only a handful of classic cars and tracks in the standard edition
    8
    Great
    About GameSpot's Reviews

    About the Author

    Danny has been a GameSpot community member since 2005. Since joining the staff as a video journalist in 2011 he has lost touch with most of his friends and family. He looks forward to the day achievement points become legal tender so he can return to Ireland and fix its broken economy.

    Discussion

    192 comments
    mavraam
    mavraam

    My biggest issue with this series is that there aren't enough difficulty levels for the AI drivers.  There is literally a 5-6 second per lap difference in the lap times of AI players from one level to another. So on one level its way too easy and you're qualifying 3-4 seconds faster than everyone else and on the next you struggle to get out of Q1.  Neither option is very fun.

    JJMikhail
    JJMikhail

    More comments here about Danny than F1 2013.

    Good review - this isn't any different to last year.

    I'm guessing Codemasters are banking on the next-gen consoles so I will wait to see what they can do with those.

    ClevernameX
    ClevernameX

    Maybe its just me, but I find it strange that they are charging more money for contentThat is already finished before the game has even been released. I'm a fan of codemasters F1 games, but this seems like a misstep by them. Paying for extra content for a game that comes out every year seems a bit odd, given that the content is already there. Anyone else agree?Informative review thanks Danny. Was going to buy it regardless haha.

    XxXeroxX
    XxXeroxX

    I cannot see why anyone would buy this game for $60. Even for fans of racing, racing games in general are just...boring. To each his own I guess.

    shreddyz
    shreddyz

    The weather system, penalty system, set up system and the tyre degradation were all broken (can't think of the rest) in f1 2012. And that's even after 12 PC patches! I hope CM have fixed some of them this year. 

    nick-nikol
    nick-nikol

    I find it UNINTERESTING I might as well play the 2012 racing season. A few past legend races which a matter of fact are a FEW don't cut it to pretend that we have a braking through experience from the new game No thank you. CODEMASTERS return to the pits and maybe 2014 could end up better,as for the 8.0 score it looks a little overrated. Just for the number happy gamers a 6.5 -7.0 looks farer.

    ramthegamer
    ramthegamer

    i miss the red and white Marlboro mclaren honda of the legend ayrton senna.

    registeredpunk
    registeredpunk

    Gotta get this, because the engines and rules will change dramatically next year, so this will be most optimized version on current regulations.

    Monsterkillah
    Monsterkillah

    whats the point of buying this game ?

    we already know the winner its Sebastian Vettel


    WolfgarTheQuiet
    WolfgarTheQuiet

    also i still play F1 Challenge with mods, it was better then F1 2012

    expeditopaz2008
    expeditopaz2008

    Oh, great review. Nice to know Grand Prix mode is back.

    And here in Brazil, the game publisher said the Classic edition (with both 80's and 90's drivers and tracks) will be sold as the same price of the regular one.

    And one question: the classic tracks are exclusive for classic modes? Or can you drive a 2013 Red Bull on Estoril or Jerez; or drive an old Renault car on the modern Yas Marina?

    nait2k4
    nait2k4

    Cheers Danny, looks better than F1 2010. I haven't bothered with the series since then, so might be worth picking this up.

    The on track season this year has been a bit shit, I'm getting a little sick of Vettel.

    Voice_of_Wisdom
    Voice_of_Wisdom

    shallow review. This guy clearly doesn't understand anything about F1

    phbz
    phbz

    We need F1 cars in GTA!! 

    Now, seriously... I was naive enough to think that 2013 would feature the possibility of racing distinct seasons. With all tracks and players from that seasons. I was hoping something like the current season plus one from the 90s and other from the 80s. That was the only thing that could make me buy this game, since I already have 2012. Mixing all up puts me off from buying it. And not having Senna it´s like making a Super Mario game without Mario. 

    Anyway, 2012 was a superb game imo. 

    Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    Some of you liking Danny's reviews - especially those of you who flit from site to site - are going to learn the hard way that you are doing so just because you happen to like him - for now.

    Sooner or later, Danny's going to tell you something that you don't like to hear about a game that he reviews in the future - then you will rue having wasted your fancy thinking that any reviewer would keep telling you what you want to hear.

    With that said, that's an amusing poke at Red Bull's current poster-boy. :P

    Cyrona3
    Cyrona3

    Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't there two versions of this game? One focused on the 2013 season and one with additional 'classic' content? Which version is this?


    If its the '2013 season' edition, the minimal 'classic' content is nothing but a plus in my books, its something that, whilst doesn't directly appeal to me as my frustrations with F1 lie mostly with car handling, a mode dedicated to weaker, tail happy cars is a pass, can still be appreciated by racers looking for a change, Danny, enlighten me please? Haha

    SabzilaTV
    SabzilaTV

    Is it fair to say everybody likes Danny? So if the heads of Gamespot are listening they should realise his worth to the company and give him a pay rise and make sure he stays. Lets gets get a bunch of likes for his support!!

    mvfjet
    mvfjet

    does this game paint women in a positive picture?

    focuspuller
    focuspuller

    Good review, and good looking game. Let's do this!

    Elnath10
    Elnath10

    Well, the game looks awesome, but I agree, it could be a little bit better with more cars and historic drivers additions. Guess it is just the beginning for better releases in the future like in other sports game.


    I give my vote to Danny for the official GS reviewer of games... I wish he did the GTA V review...

    Bowser05
    Bowser05

    I always did like Danny. Good review sir! I look forward to picking this up in the near future.

    adrianjarca
    adrianjarca

    Finally managed to read the whole review (as opposed to just watching the video) and I have to say it's one of the most informative and to the point (aka good) review I've seen in the past couple of months.


    If I was Chris Beaumont, I'd give Danny a raise.

    Timmygun
    Timmygun

    Always wanted to pick up a copy of the Codemasters' F1 series, however i'm but aback by the unrealistic steering mechanics (the twitches/jerks on the joystick to go left or right). Guess you have to buy a racing wheel to enjoy this game properly.

    Although i think i'll pick up an older copy in the series to learn the tracks. This way watching the series irl is way more fun. By the way nice to see someone at Gamespot actually enjoys f1. 

    JulianMatheson
    JulianMatheson

    Question: Danny will you be reviewing Hotline Miami 2 when it comes out?

    Xero1246
    Xero1246

    @XxXeroxX I repied to your comment because we share the same user name.that will be all 

    Pac1Man
    Pac1Man

    @XxXeroxX  That's a big generalisation. Fans of F1 will get a lot more out of this game than you might think, especially with a wheel setup. I know I will.

    expeditopaz2008
    expeditopaz2008

    @XxXeroxX some people pay $60 every year for a new Call of Duty. Maybe racing games fans find COD boring too.

    phbz
    phbz

    @expeditopaz2008 wow, didn´t knew that Estoril was also on the classic tracks. I live relatively close to the Estoril track and really miss that F1 fever that invaded this zone once a year. 

    Now I think that I might get the game just because of that. 

    Gelugon_baat
    Gelugon_baat

    @Voice_of_Wisdom  

    I suppose you say that to anyone who tells you something that you don't like to hear about F1 video games.

    Horndawgie
    Horndawgie

    @Voice_of_Wisdom  Regardless, his review seems to be close to the mark so far of the average score. I have to laugh because your remark indicates absolutely nothing wisdom. Just trying to make yourself look good doesn't work too well around here. If you were truly wise, you would realize what a waste of time spent making that comment is.

    I swear gamers are the biggest ninnys. Where do you people come from?

    expeditopaz2008
    expeditopaz2008

    @phbz unfortunately, licensing Senna is quite hard... lots of stuff involved, including his sister's charity work, the Instituto Ayrton Senna. But, who knows about F1 2014? I would like to see Senna and Nelson Piquet on the game.

    mike9876543210
    mike9876543210

    @Cyrona3 im pretty sure theres a dlc pack that you can get that gives you the historic cars, i dont know, i havent really read up on it to be honest

    Cardinal7477
    Cardinal7477

    @Timmygun Correct, you would need a PC copy with a fanatec top of the line setup to get the feel of the steering to be anywhere near accurate. But I think they do a pretty top notch job with the controller. But a controller will NEVER feel realistic for the likes of F1.

    Cyrona3
    Cyrona3

    @Timmygun I use a XBOX360 SpeedWheel and I have to say, it makes the game for me, I could never go back to using a controller now, once you hold that wheel steady during a long fast turn (for example, monza's 3rd corner) Pick one up, I got mine for £15, seen them for £10, worth it

    dannyodwyer
    dannyodwyer staff

    @Timmygun Yea the pads and triggers aren't really able to cope with proper steering, or acceleration. You basically have to be on/off on the power which is the total opposite to the feathering required in real F1 cars. I think they do a great job of giving you assists to compensate for it, but for sure these games are most fun with a proper wheel/pedal set-up and a lot of the assists off.

    dannyodwyer
    dannyodwyer staff

    @JulianMatheson Hope so, if only to retain the fact that I only review F1 and top-down murder simulators.

    expeditopaz2008
    expeditopaz2008

    @phbz Estoril, Imola, Jerez and Brands Hatch are the classic tracks. Waiting for Paul Ricard, Zandvoort, Zolder, Kyalami on F1 2014:)

    nait2k4
    nait2k4

    @expeditopaz2008 @nait2k4 I dunno man, the forums say that the last two were just as bad annoyance wise. From the other gameplay videos I have seen, I am picking some improvements this time round, although I just know I'm going to get grumpy at having to have the assists on because I'm too cheap to get a new wheel.

    jonmar
    jonmar

    @coight30 @mvfjet In F1 2012 your agent was female... though she only existed in the form of e-mails you received occasionally. Does that count?

    phbz
    phbz

    @dannyodwyer @JulianMatheson You should consider being more polemic with your opinions and scores, so that you gather more views.

    OK, I was just being mean and cynical. 

    deterupit
    deterupit

    @andmcq @coight30 @mvfjethavent watched an f1 race in 10 years but back then there used to be gorgeous women in bikini on the starting grid and in the paddocks. f1 should be banned as a sport for objectifying women if that's still going on in 2013. and this game should be banned for discrimination against women by not including them. 

    F1 2013 More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    F1 2013 sees Codemasters introducing a new F1 Classics mode, opening up circuits and drivers from the 1980s.
    7.9
    Average User RatingOut of 57 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate F1 2013
    Developed by:
    Codemasters, Codemasters Birmingham
    Published by:
    Feral Interactive, Codemasters, Namco Bandai Games
    Genres:
    Simulation, Driving/Racing
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    All Platforms
    Mild Lyrics