In a world of mundain arcade like racing games with unrealistic controls, sloppy physics and horrendous AI, F1 2012 is a light in the dark. My first impression on this game was like many who look at racing titles with a unenthused "Meh". However, after devoting time to it, you'll easily see how great this title is. Whether you're using a controller or you're a hardcore sim racer using a steering wheel, you're find many hours of enjoyment in this.
First and foremost, the graphics are stellar. If you have a machine which can handle the graphics, crank it up. You'll be blown away by the level of detail. Next for me is obviously the gameplay. You genuinely get the "race car driver" feeling as you race in search of that extra .1 second you know that you can take off of your qualifying time. You race to get your team on top, your name on top and to come out on top. You also feel like you're part of a team as your crew chief/engineer gives you track data as it pertains to you. If you've never played a racing title before, you may find the learning curve of the racing terminology to be pretty steep. You'll have to learn about KERS, DRS, prime tires, optimal tires, intermediate tires, wet tires, when to use them and also about fuel mixes which can help you save fuel by using less of it (at the cost of speed) or use more fuel which makes you go faster. All of which play into your general lap time and track position.
One of the best things I love about this game is the AI. They're smart. They don't try to run you off the road but they're aggressive just like F1 drivers are. If you leave a gap on your inside before a turn, they'll slide in and take it. However, when you're coming up on lap traffic, they'll slow down and pull to the other side of the track to let you pass. You can really get into some close racing action on here. The one and only downside I can see is the difficulty level. It's hard to find a middle ground sometimes as you can find yourself running away from the field or find the field running away from you. The gap between Intermediate and Professional is quite large. In Intermediate you may qualify 1-2 seconds faster than the next car whereas in Professional you may find yourself 2-4 seconds off the pace. But, there's a lot of ways to get faster and they all involve playing the game and simply getting better at it!
All in all, this a great game which I would recommend to anyone looking to have some close racing action.
Easily an A+ in my books!