With just over a month away until the next Formula 1 games (F1 2012) is released, and with the lack of reviews on this game, I thought it would be a good idea to review last year's effort.
F1 2011 is the follow up from codemaster first effort which was F1 2010, although very well received by the gamer and reviewers alike there was aspects of the game that were a let-down which took some enjoyment out of the game, the AI seemed to generate random pace in races, going much faster than qualifying, and the computer cars didn't seem to drive around the track like an F1 driver would. So there were issues in the game that needed to be sorted.
Before I get into the game modes I want to focus on the gameplay for the 2011 edition of the game. As soon as you drive out on the race track you can feel the changes to the gameplay engine from the off. Going around the tracks has a more realistic feel than its prequel, and a satisfied feeling comes when you hit the apex and nail the corners. You will also fine you spin out a lot less than you did last year much to the delight of many F1 gamers. The realism doesn't take too much away from the players who just want to pick up the pad and race around the track, in F1 2011 you still can just go into a race as the game offers a good balance of arcade simulation and realism to suit most players.
To these gameplay enhancements comes improvements to the AI. In the 2010 the AI just wasn't very good; it seemed like the other cars at times were just there to make the numbers up and would barely fight to defend their position try different ways to overtake you. Well this year that had changed and the computer cars compete a whole lot more, taking different racing lines to defend themselves adding to the whole F1 experience as a whole.
There are bugs in the game although a patch from Xbox Live solves many of these. It does seem to rain an awful lot in the game, and there is a very annoying pit stop bug where your pit crew but very used tires back on your car even though you have a unused fresh set which can spoil the race experience.
New to this game is the DRS (Drag Reduction system) which was introduced for the F1 2011 season. The new feature is fairly easy to use and with a press of a button a flap on your rear wing opens giving you a speed advantage. The system can be used at any time during any practise or qualifying session but only at certain points in the race. With DRS and KERS overtaking chances are increased. Also new to the game is the Safety car (although in all honesty I haven't seen it on track in the 11 months of playing the game). If a car or a number of cars crash and racing is deemed dangerous the safety car is supposed to come out for a few laps while the mess gets cleaned up. I wish I could give my own insight on the safety car but can't speak about my own experience since it hasn't happened. There are gameplay videos on YouTube of it if you want to look for yourselves but maybe there is a bug here as at time several cars have crashed on the track and the Safety Car just doesn't want to come out. The new F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli is also in the game, adding a whole new tactical approach in races.
The main feature you will most likely use in this game is the career mode with codemasters focusing on a be the driver experience. You will start the career mode being able to pick a team, the teams on offer depends on the amount of seasons you want to do. I'd recommend going for the entire 5 years available, although you have to start with the smaller teams it's a great feeling knowing you've earned your spot with a bigger team when the opportunity comes available. The career mode is pretty similar to how it was last year. There is a new email system, where you receive mail from your agent and your team on various subjects, from race objectives to criticism and praise. You will also see contracts other teams offer you on this screen. A nice little feature added here is press clippings, after each race you will see little articles that have been written by the press, although they are very repetitive. There are also a few new scenes added, whether you do well or fail miserably a scene is show following the race. What has been taken out of the game though is the post-race press conference which happened if you was on the podium.
If you don't fancy going through a career, you still have the options of doing a single race or season as one of your favourite drivers in gran prix mode. Or if you want to play with a friend there is a split screen mode this year as well as the online options.
To sum up F1 2011 is a must buy game for all F1 and racing fans alike. The game is much improved from the 2010 edition although the bugs in the game ruin the experience somehwat, but with the 2012 edition just round the corner; the current price offers very good value for money.
Without a doubt the best F1 game to date.
Previous versions coming out in 2001, 2007 on the Playstations were good but never great. They were always racing games and the only difference to them from any other, were the style car.
But now..Codemasters are on the scene, an F1 game has never felt so close to true life. (I myself never driving an f1 car...however, you can get a good like for like understanding of what it must be like)
When the game was being designed, they used actual f1 test drivers to assist with the feel and handling of the car. The 2010 version was close but this time, they've cracked it.
The graphics are superb, and the modelling of the cars looks just like the real thing. The dynamic rain (however annoying it might be, making your race that little bit harder) looks second to none, from light spray to huge reflective puddles. The online multiplayer can be fun and light hearted. Or if you want that simulation feel. You can turn all settings to realistic and may the best man/woman win.
Tyre degradation somewhat less critical in the game, as no matter what set up or how easy I go on the tyres. Making them last a few laps longer than your rivals is generally not worth the time wasted. I believe the tyre degradation is done purely on laps distance and off race track timings. I will say though if you stay away from the rumble strips. You will notice the difference.
The single player is just as good as the online. But there's nothing better than playing a full season in coop with a mate (who soon become enemies towards the final few races)
All in all a superb racing game and f1 simulation.
F1 2011 is a MASSIVE improvement on last years F1 2010, it beats it in every single way.
F1 2011 offers a great "Career Mode" experience that will keep you entertained for days! You will start of in one of the weaker teams such as "HRT" and work your way up season by season, trying to break in to one of the top teams such as "Ferrari" or "McLaren".
The online experience is also a great aspect of F1 2011! You can do a Co-op season with a friend, you will both race as team mates and complete a normal season, however you have each other to compete with which spices each race up.
You can also play full online against 16 other racers! This can be extremely fun if there is not a huge pile up on the first corner, which on some tracks there usually is! However it can be great fun and a real test to see if you are as good as you think you are!
F1 2011 is very realistic and is a perfect simulation of the F1 sport, the addition of DRS and Kers adds a more tactical side to the game, these 2 features are easy to use on the controller and are not hidden or in any place that can distract you from the race!
The graphics on F1 2011 are very good and are a significant improvement on last years game, the cars looks perfect and the tracks and a direct copy to real life!
Overall F1 2011 is a very good game, if you are an F1 enthusiast then you will love this game.