previews\ Jun 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm

F1 2011 E3 2011 Preview


Codemasters' F1 2010, much to everyone's surprise, was an extremely successful Formula 1 simulator. In this year's game, the developers want fans to know it's not just the same game with a few minor tweaks and updates. They aim to overshadow 2010 with the sheer number of changes, overhauls, and additions to the game.

One of the biggest features from the previous game was Live the Life, and they want to make sure you continue to feel as though you're not only just driving, but also experiencing the life behind the scenes. Interviews now have more impact and feedback depending on your answers, meaning you'll get a better understanding on how you impact your career through what you say.

The big changes are the 2011 season rules, which include KERS (kinetic energy reduction system), which is essentially a 85 horse power speed boost for 6.6 seconds, and DRS (drag reduction system), which controls a flap on your car's wing, giving you a 10-15mph speed boost. Another big addition is the co-op championship mode. You and a buddy can tackle races together, as you're part of one driving team. A feature that fans were disappointed to see missing in the 2010 game was split-screen multiplayer. Codemasters listened, and it is now an added feature in F1 2011.

The graphics also got quite an upgrade, as Codemasters showed us 2010 vs 2011 screens of the environments, such as the tracks and garage interiors, and the differences are obvious. Each track now features far more detail, adding to the overall realism. The tires also got a graphical update, providing real-time visual feedback by showing gradual wear.

I've been told that there will be no tutorials, as people might forget everything by the time they get onto the race track. An in-race feedback system--your pit crew--will recommend techniques based on how well you're driving, telling you tips and tricks to succeed. One thing that was strikingly unique was the driving line. Instead of merely updating real-time from green to red depending on when you have to break, it also rises above the track when you need to slow down. It's a very handy feature that is visually much easier to see.

Those looking to take their races online can look forward to a full lineup of 24 racers, though 16 of those are players and 8 are AI. The AI will also see some improvements to make their behaviors much more realistic.

If last year's game was any indication, Formula 1 fans have a lot to look forward to when F1 2011 ships out later this year for the 360, PS3, and PC as well as the Playstation Vita and 3DS.

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Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @Michael_GZ
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