previews\ Dec 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Formula One Championship Edition - PS3 - Preview

In the United States, Formula One racing (usually called F1 racing by us Yanks) has never really achieved a mainstream following the way that NASCAR has. However, Sony seems to be making strides to rectify this with their upcoming PS3 F1 racing game, titled Formula One Championship Edition. Offering a bit more of an arcade styled experience than dedicated simulation, Formula One is looking to bring gameplay that people unfamiliar to the sport will be able to get into. And with a ton of customizable features and driving assists that will allow you to gear the game to your own personal driving preferences, Formula One could give the sport a push with American audiences.

Formula One lets you race as one of 22 different professional drivers from 11 teams. You’ll race through several real-world courses like Shanghai and Monte Carlo, and experience different weather and track conditions along the way.

Aside from a hefty career mode, Formula One will introduce the Grand Prix Weekend. Grand Prix Weekend allows you to tune and tweak your car for the race ahead, so you’ll be able to own the track when the time comes.

The game also utilizes a race path as a driving aid. It’s very similar to the one used in Forza Motorsport, as it will basically present you with the best line to take and is color coded to let you know when to hit or let off of the gas or use the brake. Of course, if you’re too good for that sort of thing you can turn it off along with most of the driving assists.

The driving assists do make a very noticeable difference in the driving mechanics. For example, you can change the brakes and how they affect your driving, and the turn assist will actually pull your car onto the road if your driving gets rough, definitely helping F1 noobs (like me) stay on track.

Graphically, Formula One looks very sharp, with extremely detailed cars and courses. One thing that stood out in the preview build was the weather effects. One track had the rain effects turned on full blast, and the way the raindrops would bead and roll off of the screen was very impressive.

Formula One is a customizable racing game that will appeal to a broad audience of racing gamers, and should be one to check out. It just may bring about a new audience for F1 racing.

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