F1 2013 Review

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Last race diary by Bruno PuntzJones (deceased)

Round one: The grid. That’s where F1 2013 really starts. The qualification rules the competitors, but the race will make them.

My name is Bruno Puntz Jones. I am a full-time Formula 1 racer and former children in the hall sketch character. A month ago I was pulled out of the darkness and thrown behind a wheel. At that time I could hardly turn a corner. My tires were so familiar with grass and gravel that they could have started a freelance gardening business. To be honest, I thought KERS was just a collective term for a bunch of rough-hewn gentlemen.

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This is me. In a typical high-flying position.

And today? Today I’m going great.

Round three: When I think about it, that was a terrible pun and I apologize. It’s hard to focus on puns when you’re driving 180 mph in the rain. I’m actually not even that good, but thanks F1 2013 “Young Driver Test” course I can at least put my racing gloves on the right way round and see an ideal line.

Still small steps. Baby… accelerations. However. First you learn to stay the course, then you try to perfect it.

Round four: Sure, you can use all kinds of driving aids as a crutch to get around. But if you want to shave that last chunk of every second on every single lap, you have to understand how your car feels. Manual gear changes. The right tire and output setup for the conditions. Knowing when your engine and tires will screech like they’re about to jump off your chassis until you actually skid.

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Even without the green guideline, this section of the route is quite easy to handle.

Round nine: F1 2013 offers as little or as much guidance on this craft as you wish, and doesn’t really care how you spend your time honing the finer elements of control. I got to know my car on several romantic drives through exotic landscapes to Korea, Monaco and Brazil. It was blurry. A whirlwind of twisting, winding asphalt. Vehicle and driver joined together as one through a veil of time trials and “time attack” races. Hands stroking the steering wheel as we climbed and dived through… Sorry my cockpit is getting a little fogged up here.

Round ten: Memory. Contact an agent for an erotic F1 miniseries on HBO for demographics.

Round fifteen: To my detriment, I know that love will only take you so far. Over the course of a season, a career, rivalries come and go. But there are always rivals. push you into corners. Cut you off in the chicane. Formalized by rivalry or not, sometimes it seems like all the drivers are out to get you. F1 2013 has a penalty system that can’t always distinguish between a cheater who blatantly cornered and a driver who was rammed by an opponent, but still gets a “collision time penalty”. However, I have found that human drivers can behave in a similar way.

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Can’t we just hug it?

Round Nineteen: do you believe in magic I do. The dark and mysterious deities of Formula 1, the ancients known only as Ecclestonians, have bestowed on me fearsome powers of time control. With the blink of an eye I can rewind events and correct mistakes. Take a corner again. Avoid a psychotic AI driver. Except it doesn’t always work, as the penalty often doesn’t appear until the window to trigger a flashback has expired. Still, I’m quite a track wizard.

Round twenty-one: Whisper it softly, but I can even use my powers to go further back. Back to the 1980s. I’m not strong enough to sustain the rift long enough to live a full career there, but it’s possible for me to own the bodies, souls and cars of Formula 1 greats of the past. you think i’m crazy? I’ve seen the 1988 Lotus 100T go neck and neck with the 1980 Williams FW07B at every modern track you care to mention. I can trace the shape of Brands Hatch without even thinking. Or the devilish hairpin bends of Jerez.

I would give you more examples but these are the only retro tracks I can get at without blacking out and waking up with the words.F1 2013 DLC’ tattooed on my forehead and the taste of blood in my mouth.

Round twenty-two: I should probably keep a closer eye on the road when that happens.

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Ok, which one of you pranksters put smarties on my steering wheel?

Round twenty-seven: Speed. speed speed speed. No matter where or how you ride, once you find the perfect line and traction F1 2013 will fling you around corners with a grace that is always on the verge of disaster. If you stray too far, better prepare for a handshake with Mr. Gravel Pit or an urgent meeting with Ms. Advertising Hoarding. Filling with your breaks risks, at best, wasting time. More often than not, you would be heading for a damaging slide. Unscheduled pit stops are costly, so avoid them whenever possible.

Round thirty-four: Maybe you are different from me. perhaps F1 2013 isn’t your first trip around a lopsided oval in a fancy motorized roller skate. You are a veteran of this series. A legend of the track that already had to beat the best codemasters to throw you. You won’t find any structural difference to Seasons mode, with its five-round, ten-course championship that can easily fit into an evening or two. Career mode won’t surprise you with new features either. However, the scenarios have been expanded to include an evolution of fast racing setups from novice to championship winner.

Each puts you in a mid-race situation (e.g. recovering from a bad pit stop) and ranks you according to your performance. They’re fun and imaginative, but not really a feature that would justify buying them on their own.

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Unfortunately, my face doesn’t have a wiper.

Round thirty-nine: F1 2013 taught me to drive. Me, a person who could hardly pick a Formula 1 driver from a line-up, even if he was squirting champagne like a madman. It made me care about racing lines and memorizing the track, and instilled in me a deep and abiding fear of puddles. That’s quite an achievement.

But part of me wishes I had more insight into how it compares to previous games in the series. If you’re an F1 series veteran, a handful of classic cars and a few advanced scenarios might not be enough. Handling is, according to its own terminology, a practical matter. For me, a complete novice, it felt right. To someone else, who knows? It’s a shame that Codemasters seem so resistant to demos these days.

With F1 2013 You get a game that’s as slick and shiny as a wet Grand Prix surface, but it might be one that looks vaguely familiar.

Round forty: Speaking of wet ground, I guess I should be careful where I ride

(Muffled explosion.)

Also check out the multiplayer video from IncGamers Plays.

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