Score: 8.5 out of 10
When the 2010 version of this F1 franchise was released, it raced ahead of all the other competitors. This new version is more intense and oh so wonderful to watch so I think we can confidently say that Codemasters have done it again.
When I say that it’s more intense, I refer mostly to how merciless the game mechanics are when the player doesn’t get it exactly right. Perhaps some will find this frustrating to start with, but I predict that it will serve well as much needed encouragement to practice, practice, practice.
Some new F1 technology has found it’s way into this release and along with that the need to master it. With the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) and Drag Reducing System (DRS), you might find yourself muttering dark things as you take the wheel for the first time. For those of you that found yourselves masters of F1 2010, you may find that these new elements will serve up a healthy dose of humility. But of course, once conquered, these additions will take you to new heights with better lap times.
Further to the difficulty described by the addition of technolgy, the intelligence of the game’s AI drivers have incredulously increased, thus allowing you the opportunity to pit yourself against the best AI drivers I have ever seen. They are quick and clever enough not to take risks at the expense of vehicle damage.
As with all racing games, you will do best if you learn the tracks. Both Buddah International and Nürburgring have been added to the lineup so you prepare for some long nights. There are 19 tracks in total.
All of the tracks are wonderful to look at. You may not have much time to observe the scenery, but Codemasters have outdone themselves with their immaculate attention to detail. The visuals pertaining to the softer graphical elements such as rain and dust are incredible to behold. In particular the rain and the effect it has on your surroundings is truly fantastic.
In terms of the multiplayer aspects of the game it is certainly an improvement. Codemasters have worked hard to provide an experience that isn’t weighed down by the quantity of players and the level of detail in the vehicle models.
Single player career mode is a little more exciting than before, but there are some awfully long waits for you when you complete races and start choose new events. Something is wrong here and I hope they manage to sort this part out.
An interesting add-on to this version is the addition of the safety car. The hard-core fans have requested this for some time and here it is at last. For some this will be an incredibly irritating addition, but for those that requested it, it will simply add another layer of realism to an already near perfect simulation.
I’m not the biggest F1 fan in the world, but I have to admit that this game brings racing realism to a new level. F1 2011 represents a very good simulation and a very real driving experience.
Available on: X360, PS3, PC, 3DS