"Intensely Realistic F1 Racing"
I've never been a diehard F1 fan, but I am a huge fan of racing games. I picked up Codemasters first F1 game (2010) and gave it a shot. What I fell in love with was a title very few gamers I talked to had played, but those who had loved it. When F1 2011 was released, it was my hope that the game would not only remain as high of quality but even improve the series. All I can say is that my hat goes off to Codemasters for this year’s release of F1.
First I’d like to say that F1 2011 is not a game for everyone. F1 racing in real life is super fast, requires intense concentration, training, and skill. Even though hopping behind your console and gearing up to play F1 2011 is not even in the same universe as training to be a real driver, the game requires dedication and practice.
- The attention to detail in nearly every facet of F1 racing really pays off -
In the previous F1 game, the physics seemed to be a bit off, overly touchy, and not quite developed. With F1 2011, the redesigned physics system has you really thinking about how to handle turns and strategizing your breaking and acceleration, because if you master it, the gameplay really works in your favor. These new driving physics create an intensely potent game, having you sweat beads, not blinking an eye as you handle every track, attempting to hit every turn just right. Every track (19 in all) is perfectly designed for the F1 style, and players will benefit by playing these tracks over and over again, remembering every single turn of the road (if they want to get ahead in the game). A new addition, called DRS (Drag Reduction System), allows players to adjust the spoiler in order to attempt to gain speed. Utilizing DRS in the correct manner really helps out in the races by shaving seconds off qualification times, however, it is a true trick to master. KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System – basically a nitro boost without the nitrous) makes its return in F1 2011, and if used correctly, it can help out immensely.
As far as graphics, F1 2011 does a fairly good job all around, with a few elements seeming unpolished such as accidents. The game features mostly smooth graphics and no real slow downs, which means racing remains uninterrupted. The entire presentation of F1 2011 thrusts you right into the world and into the driver’s seat, with a presentation that makes you feel as if you are not only there, but also watching the entire race take place on television. Press interviews, media communication, along with real-life drivers and a new addition of a safety car (adding another layer of racing strategy to the game) makes F1 2011 stand even stronger.
In career mode, you will slog through the basic race story. You'll start off small, unrepresented, and with a weak team, eventually working your way up to the winners circle by the end of the game, gaining reputation and unlocking new things along the way. There isn’t much more here than that, but it is all that is needed to drive the game forward. Multiplayer modes are offered, where 12 players can race against one another in addition to a 2-player co-op mode where you race on the same team.
- Your skill as a racer will be tested in the extreme -
Those who enjoy F1 racing and are looking for a game that captures the same feelings and excitement presented in the actual sport will be quite pleased with F1 2011. Likewise, driving-sim fans looking for an intense, meticulous, realistic racer will also be very pleased. However, those looking for an arcade, Hollywood-style, hit-the-breaks-at-the-last-second-and-squeal-around-a-turn-while-flying-off-a-ramp racer will get frustrated right from the get-go. F1 2011 is not a game for everyone, but it is a very good game for its niche audience.
GameDynamo's Score for F1 2011 (PC)
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Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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