The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
In a race, sometimes you're simply riding around conserving your fuel and tires, content where you are. F1 2013 feels like it's in such a rut; the game features a few new additions, but it's like its coasting on Codemasters' laurels too much.
F1 2013 adds a classic F1 mode, which has time attack, grand prix, and time-trial options that let you pick a classic car and driver. You then take them to one of two classic tracks or on one of the modern circuits. The disc also contains six historic scenarios (with more available if you bought the game's Classic Edition and as DLC), but even with these, the classic angle isn't that alluring. Perhaps that's because I'm not an F1 history buff, but I also feel that the mode's modest offerings and ambition are simply uninspiring.
The game's other career modes – the Season Challenge and Career – are pretty much the same as last year. The career mode offers mid-sessions saves and a handy Teammate Challenge chart that shows you how you're stacking up against your teammate in your quest to become the number one driver on the team, but these are hardly big additions. I think the Season Challenge is cool, with its compressed 10-race format tasking you with stealing the seat of other drivers, but like the rest of the game, it hasn't evolved since last year.
In a sport that symbolizes the cutting edge of car technology and the pinnacle of racing, the F1 series' slow progress is a contradiction. I enjoy the racing itself, but that only counts for so much. It's getting to the point that I'd rather see how other series like Forza incorporate F1 cars rather than play this franchise – and that's a bad sign.
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