F1 2011 Review
- Posted October 19th, 2011 at 16:46 EDT by Timothy Nunes
- 5 Comments
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F1 2011 creates a great and exact rendition of Formula 1 racing, but it doesn't give new fans a reason to play it.
- +Visually gorgeous cars
- +Authentic sounds
- +Split screen support
- -Dull tracks and backdrops
- -Bland online modes
- -Low replay value
Genuine racing games are much harder to come by in comparison to the genre stretchers such as Need for Speed and Split/Second. One of the few genuine racing games available are the Gran Turismo games, which cover nearly every aspect of racing even down to cart racing. F1 2011 takes on a stance of speciality, and it's striving for a spot above the rest of its contemporaries by giving the player the exact experience expected from Formula 1 racing.
The game opens into a very simple menu in front of a backdrop consisting of race car shipping trucks and a garage in a very exact and pristine detail. The menu consists of an equally detailed career mode, which starts with the initial signing to a car with a sponsor and a television interview. The mode is very specific, and it gives the player a first-person view in his trailer of all the options and information needed to run the races. Even more detailed is the initial entry into a race car, which gives a fully detailed overlook of the track and weather via a propped display on the hood of the car while the pit crew is working diligently on fine tuning the car. After fine tuning the tires and speaking with the engineer, the car is set down on the ground, and the player is directed toward the track.
Vehicle motion is very calm and smooth, and the tire rotation is well detailed to enunciate the proper motion with very smooth and clean spinning tire animations. Even running into walls or other racers makes parts break from the cars in a very vivid and realistic way, which gives F1 2011 a very authentic look. The sounds of the cars are very accurate as well, giving the high pitched hum of the engines, and the Doppler Effect definitely was instated very well in relation to the vehicles and how they moved past each other. The music is typically set only to the menu screens, since the engines would definitely convolute the sounds. Regardless, the accompanying score is soothing and it gave the atmosphere leading into and prepping for races a very calm representation.
Unfortunately, as many know, F1 racing consumes a lot of time per race. The initial practice race in Career Mode required me to lap the track 24 times before moving on to the official race, so F1 2011 will require a vast amount of diligence and patience to fully appreciate. My attention span doesn't require much to keep it interested, but being directed through each lap by green lines and listening to the hum of the engines without much change made for a very dull experience over the length of a race. Easy mode becomes even more uninteresting, because the braking system is automated so turns are done without any issue. On the other hand, a tool such as that can be very effective for learning how turns look and feel before doing them.
The multiplayer experience isn't very vast, but it does exactly what is to be expected. Unlike 2010, 2011 has incorporated split screen support to play with a friend. It also has added support for a full racing grid, which allows for 16 players and 8 AI characters to race together. The tracks themselves aren't enthralling either in the actual Formula 1 racing, and that fact carries over into this game to make the racing experience become a mind-numbing experience. I caught myself constantly veering off into the sand on curves because of zoning out from the game, and I would jump in surprise when I ran into other cars and parts flew across the screen (though, the vivid debris from collisions brought me back to perspective).
I can't say that this game is bad, because it gives the full experience of F1 racing in a very visually glorious way, but it feels a bit too repressed from difficulty, especially with the lines and automatic braking on easy mode holding my hand the whole time. Changing difficulty modes was more rewarding, since turns are precise and unforgiving, and having proper acceleration is rewarded with faster times. All it will take is time and effort to make this game worth its well-deserved time.
F1 2011 is a very authentic game, which gives the full experience desired ... (continued on next page)
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Varsh | UK-Varsh
- 6:51pm EDT - October 19th, 2011
One of the worst reviews I've ever read, not only that but most of it is nonsense and untrue. You can skip practice and even qualifying, you can turn off all aids and the racing line so you don't get bored on the track, and the tracks are not dull! I'm sorry where did you get the idea that all the tracks in F1 are dull?
Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Monaco... 4 of the greatest tracks to have ever existed and also miles better than any fantasy track in any game.
Go back to playing and reviewing your customising arcade racers and next time leave the sim racing game reviews to someone that knows what they're talking about. You've pretty much in one review lost all reputation you have with sim racers.
- 10:14pm EDT - October 19th, 2011
Thanks for reviewing the game; I was afraid it wasn't going to be covered by PSU and I like to be able to visit one website for PS3 gaming information...so I appreciate the attention to that PSU put into it.
However, while I do disagree with a lot of your conclusions on the game, I accept that your review is from the stance of a casual arcade style gamer and not a serious racing gamer. I agree this game is not for people with a poor attention span or for those who can't take time to learn some very simple rules of real racing.
This game is a direct competitor to Gran Turismo and Forza in many ways and conveys the sense of speed much better and has better tracks than those games. The handling is good; very good. These are highest performance cars that exist on this planet that you get to race here. There are no hatchbacks or fastbacks but state of the art 30 million dollar supercars so it will be difficult at first until you get a little time in the game...
There are millions of people who play Gran Turismo and it isn't a niche game. A lot of those people strive for hour after hour to be able to purchase a F1 car in the game...only to be restricted in using it. Those people, almost all of them, could play this game just fine without necessarily being F1 fans. If you like GT5 and want something with a faster pace and a bigger challenge then check out F1 2011.
- 3:05am EDT - October 20th, 2011
Thanks for the review. I can see you spent time in articulating your view of the game. Which I agree with completely. I did not enjoy what I got from this game. The high pitched hum of the engine after say 5 laps made me want to drill a hole in my head to stop the irritation. Also, if I wanted my hand held I would go back to kinder-garden. I don't have the best of TV. So, when it came to (what I take as the high point of the game) the vivid display of the race, down to parts flying off, was wasted on me. So, the next time a sim racer comes out I will make sure to read your review before wasting the rental fee on it.
- 4:13am EDT - October 20th, 2011
@1 well said there is nothing i could say that you didnt
- 4:53pm EDT - October 20th, 2011
This review is pretty poor tbh clearly the reviewer has spent 90% of the time on easy mode, was poor at the game, then when switched to a harder mode was even worse. I don't think the game can be criticised for the "green lines" and auto-braking/auto-steering, GT5, NFS shift1/2, Forza 4 ALL have the same options but nobody criticised those games for it. There's no mention of all the new features brought in for 2011 the DRS, Kers, safety car (which to my knowledge isn't on any other racing sim), the fantastic fuel usage and tyre wear.If you want a quick and more importantly accurate review of the game here it is:F1 2011 is the most complete F1 game to date, yes it only features F1 cars (hint is in the name) but Nascar series features Nascars, dirt 3 features rally cars (think you can see where I'm going).If you enjoyed F1 2010 then this years edition features all of the same plus more, the new tyres that have made the 2011 season more exciting have been implemented well within the game, tyre strategy is important even in the shorter 20% distance races. Fuel is equally as important, with no refuelling allowed in races the fuel you start with has to last, and with that comes the engine management, choose to pump more fuel through the engine to achieve the critical overtake or go lean when ahead to save some for when you need it. The penalty system in place is highly accurate (admittedly sometimes harsh) but the loopholes for smashing the competition against barriers has been almost removed, and its not so harsh when you cut a corner but gain no time advantage.The weather system has been highly improved and weather will come in and out during practice sessions and races and from what I've seen while watching actual formula 1 it seems extremely accurate, even the drying racing line adds a real dimension as to who dares to go onto the dry tyres first. Stay on the dry line you could easily be the fastest but one small mistake could mean the end of your race. Kers and DRS are both new to the 2011 season and are well implemented within the game and gives you that extra boost when you need to get past someone, or to stop them getting past you.The handling model also feels fantastic and the cars react just as you'd expect them to if you get used to the handling its possible to drive around the tracks with as much pin point accuracy as the pros, but again 1 mistake could make you end up seeing how realistic and visually pleasing the damage model is. Take a wing off and watch as the bits of carbon fibre are strewn all over the road there ready for you to get a puncture or to puncture another cars wheels.AI has also been hugely improved and most importantly, you're not the only one who makes mistakes on the track, I've often seen cars in front spin out, crash or just make contact and loose parts. If a car get's too badly damaged on track then the safety cars comes out will do enough laps until the car is cleared away then the race begins again just like in the real thing.For those who are new to F1 then yes there are "easy modes" where tyre wear, fuel, damage, penalties, traction control, abs, race length, AI difficulty, auto-brake/auto-steer can all be turned on, off or changed as required depending on how confident you're feeling.Obviously the main aim of the game is the career mode, and those familiar with 2010 will notice much is the same. The games gives you some questions to answer to decide who you are, who your racing for and how hard the game will be (can be changed later). Your job is then to race for 5 seasons and become world champion. But what happens on the track affects what happens off the track. your first challenge is to hit the targets set by your team (e.g. by the end of the season be 21st), this will be followed by single race targets (e.g. qualify 21st finish the race 19th) by doing this your team will hopefully like you enough to hire you for the next season, if your really good other, better teams will hire you. Unlike 2010 you only get offered the 5 bottom teams to begin with (HRT, Virgin, team lotus, force india and williams) regardless of the difficulty you choose. and just like F1 not all teams have Kers. This means on harder difficulties (or depending on settings and skill) the bottom 3 teams will be the bottom 3 teams even when you race for them (that being said on easier modes it's fully possible to win with virgin, HRT and team lotus but it's totally down on how real you want your season).Your next challenge is the team mate challenge that you get after a few races, it's pretty simple beat your team mate and become the no.1 driver and get all the upgrades first to stand a better chance at getting top of the table by the end of the season, thus having a better chance of getting hired by a better team (see upward spiral :) ). this records things such as fastest lap in races, how many times out qualified, how many times you get a higher position in the race. Consistently beat your team mate to get parts first and choose which direction research for the car goes in. that being said you don't just get the parts, In practice you will have to achieve a lap time within 7 laps to qualify for the part for the race and subsequent races.The next challenge is the rival challenge, half way through the season in an interview you will be asked who you see as your biggest rival, select someone who is close to you in the championship and beat them by the end of the season to get a bonus.Then there's the championship. All 19 races for the 2011 calendar are included, each race can be selected as either a short race weekend (practice, qualify and race) or long weekend (3 practice, up to 3 qualifying and the race) on top of that the race itself can be either 20% long 50% long or 100% long, your aim is to try to score points and win the championship. If you and your team mate both score enough points together then you could win the constructors championship, but it may take a few seasons to get a car and team mate good enough to do either.I won't lie the game isn't as pickup and play as maybe some other games are I personally frequently do full race weekends with my thrustmaster T500rs which is fully supported and the game feels fantastic and even though you have only a fraction of onboard changes to do compared to real F1 drivers (only kers, DRS, tyres for next pit and fuel usage) it gives a real insight into what it takes to be a real F1 driver (which is the whole point of a sim)I've not tried online yet but CO-OP is what the FANS wanted and codies put it in there for them which essencially the team mate challenge through multiple seasons but your team mate is an actual mate ( or a complete stranger which ever you prefer) and the standard online 16 players + 8 AI to make up the full track is also pretty spectacular when you see some other online racers. The likes of GT5 and forza don't offer this so I don't see how it can be called DULL one bit.All the effort that's gone into the in pit effects, the mechanics movements, the people walking about in the paddock is all pretty awesome too and well detailed (another thing not seen in many other sims) just like it having such better weather than seen in other games.In my opinion the ONLY things I'd rate this game down for are it's slight lack of pickup and playability and the fact that there's only 12 cars.All in all I'd give this 9.5 personally if your a fan of F1 maybe 8.5 if not because fan or not you can't deny it's fantastic and innovative features.A game can't be rated on how it plays on easy mode, christ I doubt MW3 will be rated on how it is on easy mode, and how the enemy never hit you and when they do its so unrealistic because even a nuke doesn't hurt you.I'm really sorry for the rant but I couldn't let this review go unpunished. :)
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