Formula 1 2011 PlayStation 3
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Formula 1 2011 Product Details
Released on 23-Sep-2011
From hardcore F1 nuts through to L-plate-sporting novices, F1 2011's plethora of skill levels mean you'll find a racing grid perfectly suited to your driving skills!
Move over Hamilton! Hit the Armco barrier, Button! Because there's a new driver on the Grand Prix scene – you! The sequel to the BAFTA-winning original, F1 2011 offers even more realistic, thrilling and tyre-shredding action in this official companion to the world's most exciting racing event. All the drivers, all the tracks and all the action make this racing spectacular rev its way right to the top of the simulation scene.
- Packed Pit! – multiplayer has gone mental in F1 2011, offering 16-player racing action, co-operative racing that sees two players working together to win the Driver and Constructor titles – and even a split-screen mode for sofa-loving Alonsos who prefer their racing up close and personal
- Circuit Crazy – all the famous tracks are here including the Budh Internationl Circuit, the location of the first F1 grand prix ever to be held in India and, for the brave-hearted, the dreaded Nürburging circuit that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned racer. Diaper not included
- Car & Driver – F1 2011's got the lot; from all the constructors through to all the stars. Race as Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and more – or create your very own track legend!
- Devil in the Detail – day/night racing, driving rain, a mass of atmospheric effects; the world of F1 is brought to life thanks to the game's astonishing graphics engine. And hey, if everything should go crash-shaped, then say hello to the official F1 safety car, another first for this series!
As the sequel to the BAFTA award-winning sports game that stormed the racing genre last year, Codemasters' F1 2011 has a lot to live up to. The studio could simply have fine-tuned a winning formula by updating the cars and drivers to match the current F1 season's and still had a great game on its hands but, refreshingly, it looks to have done a whole lot more.
F1 2011 features plenty of tweaks and additions including an enhanced damage system and improved handling and visuals, but the biggest difference will be felt in the title's multiplayer modes, the area in which racing specialist Codemasters feels the last game fell a little short.
Take the race online
To boost its multiplayer feature set competitive online racing has been extended, with 16 players now going head-to-head in Grand Prix events with up to an additional eight computer controlled drivers to simulate a full F1 grid of 24 cars. Two player split-screen play, another much-requested feature, also makes an appearance, allowing you and a friend to play simultaneously on one TV.
Arguably the best addition though is a new co-op mode that lets you and a buddy race in the same F1 team throughout an entire season. Even though you're acting as team-mates, the fact that ultimately only one of you can be the star of the show looks set to give proceedings a really competitive edge.
Of course, it wouldn't be an officially licensed game without a great commitment to authenticity. F1 2011 will feature all of the drivers and teams contesting the current F1 Championship, plus each of the circuits, including two new ones in the form of India's Buddh International and Germany's Nurburging, taking the total number of race venues to 19.
F1 nuts will be happy to hear that the game introduces features like the Drag Reduction System, which lets drivers adjust the rear wing on the car to give them a boost of up to 10km. while KERS also returns, giving players an extra 80BHP for up to 6.67 seconds, enabling drivers to blast past rivals.
Other additions will help the average gamer get around the track more efficiently. Cosmetic touch-ups mean you'll now be able to see when you need to get your tyres changed simply by looking at the condition they're in during a race, while the engineer's voice you hear over your car radio will be much more informative this time round, giving you a better idea about what's happening on the rest of the track to aid your strategy.
The game handles and looks better than its predecessor too. The steering is less sensitive and twitchy due to revised suspension and tyre technology that makes the cars more forgiving, while a day/night cycle, a new lighting system, improved background scenery and great weather effects combine to deliver significant visual improvements.
Codemasters could have rested on its laurels by simply re-skinning the basics of last year game to suit 2011's season line-up, but instead it has chosen to expand its horizons. We've yet to play the finished article, but the game looks like it is addressing criticisms from serious F1 fans and more casual gamers alike, a move that's likely to see it emerge as a strong contender in the racing and wider sports genre again this year.
The online multiplayer mode will allow two friends to compete for the same driving team over the course of a racing season, meaning they will work together to compete for the constructors' championship, while acting as rivals for the individual title.
It will allow players to experience the unique balance of cooperation and competition that exists among real-life Formula One teammates, while offering a more dynamic and personal experience than racing with an AI partner.
Chief game designer Stephen Hood said: "It's about trying to fight to be the leader of a team. It makes for a completely different experience, playing with a friend."
Codemasters has revealed that the new Sony handheld's conversion of its Formula One simulation will be a fully-featured experience that has been specially tailored to the capabilities of the hardware.
As in the home console version, players can expect to see all of this season's official teams, drivers and courses as they compete over the course of a full season, take part in time trials and live the life of an F1 superstar.
New to the PS Vita edition will be a special Challenge mode that is perfect for portable play, while a selection of four-player options - including two vs two cooperative contests - can be enjoyed via online and local wireless connection.
Meanwhile, the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS editions, which are developed in cooperation with Sumo Digital, will arrive at a later date.
Developer Codemasters has provided details of the new safety car feature that has been introduced in its new racer F1 2011.
This year's instalment of the popular Formula One series will be the first to include this real-life event, in which a slow-moving vehicle will emerge on the track to regulate speed during caution periods.
Its introduction will add a whole new tactical dimension to races, as players will be able to time their entrances into the pit lane when the safety car appears, allowing them to get a lap advantage over their competitors.
Drivers will also need to consider the distance they will need to keep between themselves and other cars, while performing weaving sequences to keep their tyres hot.
Stephen Hood, chief games designer on F1 2011, said: "Safety car - a lot of people have been asking us for it. We'd always said we'd only do it when it was absolutely right."
When you first start playing F1 2011 (Xbox 360, PS3) it will probably feel like little has changed since last year's F1 game. Developer Codemasters did the major building work for the series ahead of the launch of F1 2010 and the same framework supports the latest game too, but if you take a closer look under the bonnet you'll uncover a range of exciting new additions and more subtle tweaks. F1 2011 represents an evolution of an already winning formula rather than a revolution, but it improves on its predecessor in almost every respect and is undoubtedly the better game if you're looking to get into the genre.
What's clear from the off is Codemasters' dedication to authenticity, a quality that may be lost on some casual players but one that will certainly be apparent to F1 fans. As well as all of the teams, drivers and circuits from the current F1 Championship, safety cars and mechanical failures make their debuts in the game. The former can be switched off if it's not your thing, while the latter occurs as a result of overly aggressive or careless driving. This season's real world re-introduction of KERS, a boost which refills each lap and can be spent in bits or all at once, also makes the cut, as does DRS, which opens your car's rear wing for a huge speed increase that's only usable in specific sections of each course.
The Wheel Deal
On the track the handling model has been tweaked too, delivering a great mix of heavy in the corners, twitchy on the straights driving, meaning you won't simply get away with tearing around the track like a lunatic. Races feel pacey and dangerous as they should, and on the whole computer controlled opponents have been adjusted for the better too. They're stronger at holding their racing line and are generally more competitive, although on occasion their aggression can sour races on the tighter circuits like Monaco where pile-ups seem to occur a little too regularly.
Again responding to fan feedback, Codemasters has improved the game's multiplayer experience by extending competitive online races to a full grid of 24 drivers, with 16 human players battling it out with up to eight additional computer controlled ones. The introduction of two player split-screen play allows you and a friend to play simultaneously on one TV, while a brilliant new co-op championship mode lets two players form an F1 team and play through the season together.
Something for everyone
While the meticulous and repetitive nature of real F1 driving has limited the sport's audience, exciting additions like KERS and DRS aren't the only features that will appeal to casual race fans. Visual improvements mean you can now see when you need to get your tyres changed simply by looking at the condition they're in mid-race, while the engineer's voice barking at you over your car radio helps you make more informed decisions than was previously the case.
F1 2011 strikes an almost perfect balance between fantasy and reality. Less experienced players can enjoy the game on easier settings with the auto-aids switched on and they'll find it to be an exciting, dynamic racing experience, while F1 fans can up the difficulty and realism levels, turning it into a more strategic, challenging affair. Whichever way you choose to play, this is the best F1 game this console generation.
+ An F1 fans' dream game.
+ Multiple improvements over F1 2010.
+ It looks and feels great.
- Not the best racer for non-F1 fans.
- Can take a while to learn the ins and outs.
- Computer racers can be overly aggressive.
Getting fans of any given sport to shell out year on year for a franchised game is an exercise usually reserved for publishers with clout and conviction - or, to be explicit, EA. So how can the relatively diminutive UK outfit Codemasters fare as it tries to turn its F1 games into an automotive FIFA, releasing an all-new installment just 12 months after last year's award-winning outing?
The answer, for anyone who's got a thirst for petrol and a craving for the smell of burning rubber will be delighted to know, is very well. F1 2010 nailed the essentials as Codemasters - masters of all things on four wheels, having provided us with the excellent Grid and Dirt series - transferred its expertise and added in a heavy dose of passion for the world's fastest sport. The result was the finest F1 game for years - and the very best a console has ever seen.
For F1 2011, Codemasters hasn't rocked the boat, but it has taken a long, hard look at last year's game and spotted areas for improvement. First off, it's a better looking game than last year; trackside detail has been given a serious boost, and the orangey filter that's seen on many of Codemasters games is nowhere to be seen.
Cars too look great, and true to the real thing they're the ultimate boy's toys, all clean sci-fi lines and purposeful bulges. They handle that much better too; last year's game had cars that reacted violently quickly, whereas for F1 2011 they're a little more forgiving and a lot more flexible. Push it too far and the cars will bite, but it's now much easier to bring it back from the brink, meaning those heart-stopping sideways moments are much more common, and much less likely to send you straight to the scene of the accident.
It's not Dirt though, and F1 2011 feels utterly faithful to the real thing. DRS and KERS, two systems that are playing a vital part in the sport's makeup this year are featured, meaning that nailing a hot lap in qualifying stage is a very different challenge in F1 2011 than it is in other games.
This year's F1 season has been all about tire wear, and that's the case with F1 2011 too. The different compounds have been replicated accurately - stay out too long on the wrong set of boots and you'll lose grip dramatically. Get on the right tire at the right time, however, and it'll be worth a couple of seconds a lap.
Choosing the right tire at the right time is essential, and that's something that's truer than ever when the heavens open. Last year's excellent weather system has been subtly refined, and it's now more dynamic than before. Clouds will move in across the sky, making it that little bit easier to judge when to make a pit stop.
Get it wrong - and the opposition often does - and the results can be disastrous. Thankfully, this year there's a safety car included to slow the cars down while the mess is mopped up, and it adds another layer of strategy to a racing game that's already uniquely tactical.
Not bad for a number 2 driver
It plays a big part in a multiplayer mode that now boasts co-op and splitscreen, a welcome introduction of a feature that's increasingly becoming more common in racing games. F1 2011 also allows you to attack a championship with a friend driving for the same team - and while you shouldn't expect any "Fernando is faster than you" moments, you can certainly expect some simmering rivalries to emerge.
Again, it's this rivalry that's at the centre of a five season long career mode that sees you trying to beat your teammate as you progress from the back of the grid towards the ultimate goal of the world championship. It's engrossing stuff, though unfortunately it's come on little since last year, and with the more personal, RPG-like elements falling flat it repeats many of F1 2010's mistakes.
Still, that's but one gripe in a game that's a marked improvement on last year's title. As such, it's another fine take on the sport, and the very best that's available for those who worship at the altar of F1.
On the Button:
+ Looks and plays great.
+ All this years' teams and tracks.
+ Most authentic F1 experience around.
A bit HRT:
- Career falls flat again.
- Not enough to please the non-fanatics.
Fans of the recent official Formula One games from Codemasters will welcome news that the gamemaker has secured rights to create further games based on the high-octane sport.
The British publisher and developer has extended its partnership with Formula One World Championship Limited to create more new F1 games across multiple platforms in the coming years.
Having snagged the official F1 rights back in 2009, Codemasters produced the hit Wii and PSP title F1 2009, before following it up with the acclaimed F1 2010 and F1 2011 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
2012's official F1 game is currently in development at the Bafta-winning Codemasters Birmingham studio, while a brand new title aimed at younger racing fans is also in the works.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said: "Codemasters has created some of the best and most successful F1 games to date. We and the teams work closely with them and look forward to creating more award-winning games together in the future."
Codemasters has revealed the first details for F1 2012, the latest entry in its official Formula One racing series, which will debut in September 2012.
The new Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC game aims to be the most fully-featured instalment to date, with improved visuals, refined gameplay and the inclusion of all the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 F1 season.
This will include the debut of the Formula One United States Grand Prix in Austin, as well as the reintroduction of Germany's iconic Hockenheim circuit.
Meanwhile, F1 2012 will also introduce a new Young Driver Test mode, an ultra-authentic series of tutorials that will coach players on how to get the best out of their racing machines before earning their place on a team.
Up-and-coming British F1 racer said: "I think Codemasters have done a super job of giving regular people a proper insight into what a Formula One car is like."
Codemasters recently extended its deal to continue making its acclaimed official F1 games for the next few years, with a brand new racing game designed especially for younger players set to be revealed soon.
F1 2011 Preview (02/09/2011)
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F1 2011 cooperative championship mode… (09/09/2011)
Codemasters has provided details of the all-new cooperative championship mode that will make its debut in the new racing game F1 2011.…
F1 2011 for PlayStation Vita unveiled (16/09/2011)
The PlayStation Vita version of the forthcoming F1 2011 has received its first public outing at this week's Tokyo Game Show.…
F1 2011 to introduce safety car feature (21/09/2011)
Developer Codemasters has provided details of the new safety car feature that has been introduced in its new racer F1 2011.…
Formula 1 2011 Review (21/09/2011)
When you first start playing F1 2011 it will probably feel like little has changed since last year's F1 game. Developer Codemasters did the major building work for the series ahead of the launch of F1…
Getting fans of any given sport to shell out year on year for a franchised game is an exercise usually reserved for publishers with clout and conviction - or, to be explicit, EA. So how can the relati…
Codemasters secures deal for future F… (14/03/2012)
Fans of the recent official Formula One games from Codemasters will welcome news that the gamemaker has secured rights to create further games based on the high-octane sport.…
First details emerge for F1 2012 (20/03/2012)
Codemasters has revealed the first details for F1 2012, the latest entry in its official Formula One racing series, which will debut in September 2012.…
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