World-class racing, speeds of up to 220 miles per hour, and extreme dynamics come to mind when thinking about Formula 1 racing. Breakneck speeds and the over-powering sound of the engine as the cars strategize to gain one more position never cease to amaze. Although not as popular in the US due to its competition–NASCAR and Indy Car–it is definitely a racing staple to the rest of the world. Now that Formula One racing 2011 has hit the Xbox 360, all racing fans can suit up, put their helmet on, and see if Formula One really is pure excitement and thrill, or if it's just an absolute multi-car collision into the terrible.
Formula One Racing 2011 is a racing title that lets the player take control of their favorite drivers or create one of their own in hopes of taking the racing world by storm. Essentially, Formula One Racing 2011 is the video game interpretation of the real sport. Just like Madden and the NCAA games in regards to football, it wants to provide players with an experience that gets you up close and personal with the excitement of single seater racing.
Formula One Racing provides players with a few modes straight out of the gates. First, it offers career mode. Like many other sports games, you create your own driver, sign with a genuine team, and work your way up the ladder, from worst to championship.
Of course, you’ll get tired of being yourself all of the time, so the Grand Prix mode is where you’ll end up next. Pick your favorite genuine, actual team, and pick a driver from that team. Once you pick one of the drivers from the Formula One world, the player has the option to choose one of the intense and seemingly undriveable racetracks available.
Other than that, there is a multiplayer mode, which has local and online play. Online, you can play with up to 16 players on any of the beautifully recreated tracks. Locally, you can play split screen with one friend.
F1 Racing 2011 is a quality game. The loyalty and realism portrayed to the sport is extremely gratifying; it makes little to no mistakes in taking F1 Racing from the real world to the virtual.
After this game, you will have an entirely new appreciation of what racing at a high level is actually like. If you are used to Need for Speed, crash-into-walls and still win the race type games, this is the complete opposite. It will take extreme concentration, strategy, and precision to pull into pole position. That’s right. You won’t have nitrous oxide, spinners, or a dope sound system to help you win any of these races.
Unlike NFS type games, F1 Racing will penalize the driver for “stunts” pulled out on the racetrack. If you cause a collision or overtake opponents illegally, the judge will penalize your time, making it extremely hard to compete due to the high caliber driving skills of your opponents.
Not only that, but you actually have to learn to drive with strategy and skill. It will take every ounce of racing skill you have in your body to keep up with your opponents. F1 Racing does take it easy on you a little bit–the levels of difficulty control what the car does and doesn’t do for you. On the easy setting, the car will automatically brake for you, making it extremely easy to maneuver through turns throughout the race. As the difficulty increases, so does the amount of responsibility you will have with controlling your car.
Not only does F1 Racing get the racing aspect down, but visually, it looks incredible. All of your favorite racetracks are available, along with some beautiful and absolutely powerful cars. Along with the visual beauty of the cars breaking face-melting speeds, F1 Racing 2011 creates a new and inviting environment that makes you feel as if you are the newest racer in the series. The menu before the race, which lets you see daily weather reports and allows you to practice, qualify, and race, is an absolute pleasure as you deal with everything sitting in the comfort of your newly entitled racecar. There's even newspaper clips about the driver you create. Sitting in your single seater with the crew around you as you browse through menus and decide what to do, makes it feel a lot more realistic than racing games of the past, and a bit empowering, which is always fun.
F1 Racing doesn’t make many mistakes. Trying to improve on the F1 Racing games of the past, they have gone above and beyond with this title. However, there are still some gripes you should know about.
Although the developers definitely offer ways for players to be able to compete as soon as you load up the game, there is a learning curve to new players of F1 Racing. It will take tweaking and working with difficulties to learn your car and your way around the tracks. That being said, once you figure out your car and how to control it, it is one of the most stressful, yet satisfyingly fun experiences you will find in a racing game this year.
Other than the learning curve, there is one more issue. Along with the game, there is a redeemable code to put in to unlock the multiplayer mode, online and local. Without it, you will not be able to use these modes at all. If you are buying the game used, you will have to buy the multiplayer mode via Xbox Live, when this title should offer the multiplayer mode without any code or download. Although it won’t ruin the game for you, it is an unnecessary hassle.
Formula One Racing 2011 is an absolute thrill to play. The amount of stress, skill, and precision you must have to compete will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout each race and the game. Made with loyalty and extreme realism, F1 Racing 2011 makes a name for itself as being one of the best racing titles of the year.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]