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F1 2011 Review (PS3)



It’s always a fantastic surprise when you pop a game into your console and get absorbed into it and turn away to look at the time and realise you have just lost about five hours of your life.

There is something in this year’s edition of the F1 franchise that will just completely pull you into the entire world of Formula 1 and, to be honest, I’m not sure what has actually been improved compared to last year's title but there are a few subtle differences here and there and it's definitely a step in the right direction. Something about it just encapsulated me completely.

F1 2011 F1 2011

The biggest thing that any F1 fan will take away from F1 2011 is that the handling of the cars has been changed. They still behave very realistically (I speak of course from my years as a professional F1 driver) but are far less twitchy on the track now. I found myself getting really excited when I started to reach the break-neck speeds of the F1 car and the cars have some brilliant high-speed handling with a much heavier feel on the car itself, which works wonders.

In terms of difficulty, there is a learning curve here. The game is more difficult than F1 2010 but it is more rewarding when more time is spent on it. The cars feel much more realistic and gamers will be able to perfect their racing track by track as they begin to learn their car. Soon you'll be setting some epic lap times.

I found that the game was a little unfair as I got penalised for ramming another racer, which I actually tried to avoid, and then another racer a few laps later on did the same thing to me and got off without a penalty. That was the only error I encountered in the somewhat flawless AI because the other drivers on the track will catch you if you make the smallest of mistakes and concentration is paramount at all times.

F1 2011 F1 2011

Each race in the career mode is separated by practise, qualifying and the actual race. Gamers will be able to skip ahead to the final race but at the end of the day, it’s an F1 simulator so learning each and every track will be vital for success and time needs to be put into the game in order to get the most out of it. Don’t feel bad if you place last in your first race because the game is supposed to be difficult.

Admittedly I’m not a huge Formula 1 fan but I thoroughly enjoyed the tactics behind the game. Using the full race weekend and tyre management are important factors when doing the qualifying as the track will change over the race weekend.

Some of the new features included in the game this time round include the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and DRS (Drag Reduction System) for the car which can be used on the fly while racing. KERS will add a small speed boost to the car where it recovers kinetic energy that has been stored in a reservoir over time for later use and DRS will reduce aerodynamic drag to promote overtaking.

There is also a safety car that has been added into the game that will come out after a severe accident to pick up the leader and have the rest of the pack following in its tracks.

Visually there are some improvements to the game but it still leaves a little to be desired. While the tracks are meant to be seen in a fashion that has the scenery whizzing by, the slower racer will be able to spot things that look a bit out of place.

The weather systems have been substantially improved and the game looks fantastic under any other weather conditions. I also found there are some frame-rate issues at times which take away from the actual experience of the game and gamers with a trained eye will easily be able to pick that up.

Overall, F1 2011 immersed me in a very good way and it deserves praise for that.




Review Ratings

Gameplay:9.5
Graphics:8.5
Soundtrack:9.0
Immersion:9.0
Overall Rating:9.0
Industry Rating:8.1


Pros

  • Improved vehicle handling all the way around
  • Realistic
  • Exciting


Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Some frame-rate issues


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