Quick Note: My review is based on the Mac App Store version in which the game includes only split screen and LAN multiplayer racing and not online multiplayer. Thus I did not include an online multiplayer component to my review. I apologize for this. I just thought this review might help people to understand the game itself.
When Feral Interactive released F1 Championship Season 2000 all those years ago, they let us F1 fans know they were here for us. It was a while before we received another F1 installment, but F1 2012 was a great surprise. A modern F1 game on OSX that looked great and played just as well. But there always felt like something was missing…. Well, F1 2013: Classic Edition gives us that little bit more.
Well, what can I say about the graphics? Anyone who knows Codemasters games knows this game looks great. From the beautiful sunlight shining through trees and objects to the gritty and realistic damage model, the game is one of the best on the Mac. The car models, especially those of the classic cars, are painstakingly recreated for our pleasure. The lighting and shading in the game is some of the most realistic you can get in any game as Codemasters has been honing this tech for many years now. The game is quite simply, beautiful to look at. Subtle lighting effects and the not so subtle "marbles" built up outside the racing line add to the aura and realism of the game. Oh yeah, one extra addition I really enjoyed this year, the hand gesture when someone collides with you. Thank you Codemasters as this is what I would probably do in real life.
The sound in any F1 game is normally measured by a couple of things. Number one, engine sounds. Well, make no mistake, F1 2013 has the most realistic F1 engine sounds I have ever heard over my 40 years. Granted, F1 game sounds were not very good in the early days, but these are fantastic. The classic cars boast the most beefy engine whines and the 2013 cars sound like the real thing. If you have a nice audio setup for your Mac, turn it up! You will not be disappointed. Secondly, crash sounds along with the gravel and grass sounds are done very well. Finally and probably the most important sound for the racing sim junkie is the tire squeal to let you know when you are on the edge of control and it this is done very well in F1 2013. If you are using a Logitech wheel that supports Force Feedback, the tire squeal will make you a better racer and shave precious tenths off of your lap times.
Well, the gameplay is as you would expect. Just right. Codemasters have included a lot of assists for novice racers and for the more seasoned virtual racers, turning the assists off along with the higher difficulty settings can make for a very challenging experience. But this category all comes down to, "how does it feel to play the game". Using the keyboard or a gamepad works very well and will get you quickly into the game. But the game shines when you have a Logitech G25/27, Momo, DFGT, etc. plugged into your Mac. While Feral Interactive does not officially support Force Feedback for this game, it does work very well for OSX, even within Mavericks. The FFB kext needs to be installed into the OS though. It is simply a blast to play. I have been playing the game with my Mac racing sim setup since it's release and I have not been able to stop playing. The classic 80's and 90's cars have me really hooked. Don't get me wrong, the 2013 cars are the bread and butter of the game and are fantastic to drive, but the classics take this game to a whole new level. I remember watching these monsters run in the 80's and 90's. But to be able to play as Mario Andretti and Michael Schumacher in the same game is…. well…. let's just say I am a very happy Mac racer. There is even a scenario mode in the Classics section that lets you play out different scenarios with your favorite classic drivers.
If you are a Mac racing game fan and like F1 games, this game is a must have for your system. Being able to play as some of the classic F1 drivers is not just a novelty, but a very exciting part of this game. Add this to the already stellar 2013 season put together by Codemasters and brought to us by Feral Interactive and you have a game that is near perfect in so many ways. Remember though, you will need at least 10.9.1 to run the game which does leave a bit on the table for some of the older Macs. But if your Mac can play the game, BUY IT!