Games News and Reviews | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Games : Worth a Look
Ranking:
Sale Price: $29.86 Last Price: $32.5 Buy now! 3rd Party 24.99 In Stock
Release Date: November 29th, 2013 Movie Release Year: 2013

F1 2013

Overview -

Not ready to let the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season go? Good, because now instead of cheering on your favorite teams in your favorite cars as they blaze around your favorite circuits, it's your turn to jump into the driver's seat. Welcome to 'F1 2013', Codemasters Birmingham latest and perhaps greatest Formula One racing simulator to date. The game is out on PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam, and will soon release disc versions for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC/DVD. PSN and Steam also have the option to download the 'Classic Edition' (more on that in Bonus Content) for a $15 premium. On PSN, that's $74.99. On Xbox Live, the Standard Edition is $49.99 plus $9.99 for 'Classics Content' and additional $9.99 for 'Classics Tracks'.

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Standard Edition
Video Resolution/Codec:
720p
Audio Formats:
Dolby Digital LIVE
Release Date:
November 29th, 2013

Video Review

Ranking:

Many reviewers seem pleased with the HD graphics displayed in 'F1 2013'. And, yes, they're not terrible... unless you're like me and can't help but judge all car racing games / simulators off the Pixar-esc rendering engines that make 'Grand Turismo 5' look ever-so-close to photo realistic. Next to that benchmark, and knowing what the PS3 is capable of outputting, 'F1 2013' looks pretty good, but not great. The visual highlight is definitely the cars themselves, which have a real-ish 3D metallic sheen, and do a great job of reflecting their environments. Rain effects also displayed appreciable detail. Unlike some driving games, the physical environments (the circuits and the surrounding landscapes) seemed rather simple, and pre-race human characters (your team) were pretty low poly, but decent enough.

'F1 2013' really suffers when it comes to digital blemishes such as aliasing and banding. If this were a Blu-ray movie, I'd assume there were some digital enhancements to uprez this game to HD. If you are a visual purist and know your display can really handle contrast, and show extreme detail without any (for lack of a better term) "edge enhancement", you will be sorely disappointed with this game environment. Please remember that I'm coming mainly from a movie background where perfection is much more possible and expected.

Most gamers will be pleased with 'F1 2013'.

Audio Review

Ranking:

While I found the HD renderings, at times, troubling and bland, 'F1 2013' sounds terrific in a full 7.1 surround sound system. My fat-generation PS3 decoded the game's Dolby Digital Live track to 5.1 PCM, which was then converted to 7.1 via my receiver's Dolby ProLogic IIx.

'F1 2013' boasts an articulated and immersive sound field with superb surround matrixing. Engines whine as you accelerate, "tyres" chirp as they lose traction, your competition swarms around you in a full 360 degrees. When you're on the track alone, practicing and testing, the game can seem a little quiet. 'F1 2013' really shines in a multi-car competitions, when each racer on the track is specifically placed in front, next to, or behind you. It's wonderfully realistic and adrenaline boosting. The sound even adapts to various camera angles; sitting inside the car might be the most immersive. Dialog, from game instructions to team radio transmissions, is clear and well placed. Another nice feature is the customizable sound mix, where you can balance various elements such as car and environment sound effects with music levels. I left mine as is.

The only issues for me was a lack of real LFE grunt and some of the sound effects seemed a little compressed or tinny. Essentially, revving engines were noticeably thinner than their real world counterparts, and most of the cars sounded the same to my ear. This is to be expected, to a degree, we're not dealing with the more guttural and low-end American V-8 engines of muscle cars featured in many games; there, I think, bass response can mask an otherwise weaker recording.

Nitpicks aside, when you're in the middle of an 'F1 2013' race, hitting that long straightaway, launching your car up to full speed in the middle of a pack with KERS and DRS, my living room erupted into a maelstrom a screaming engines. My competition. Hunting me. Chasing me. Pushing me onwards, faster, faster.

'F1 2013' might not have been my cup of tea -- turns out I'm more of an arcade racer than a simulation guy -- but it's a well made game that allows Formula 1 fans to become their favorite drivers, join their favorite teams, and best their favorite circuits of today and even a few classics of yesteryear. In terms of HD picture, the game is laps behind 'Gran Turismo 5' (and most likely 'GT6'). But, the surround sound audio is outstanding and immersive. Replay factor is through the roof, given the sheer number of online and offline modes, but unless you spring for the PC Classic Edition steam download, there is not bonus content.

Overall, 'F1 2013' is an easy recommendation for previous 'F1' gamers (especially those who haven't purchased the last couple series entries) and those who have the patience to seek driving simulation perfection. For the rest of us, I'll see you in 'Need for Speed: Rivals'.