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September 7 2011
F1 2011 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
22/9/2011Namco BandaiCodemastersCodemasters Burmingham
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Car detail in F1 2011 is stunning.
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Wet weather effects look superb.

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Close racing around the corner.
Of all the car racing categories around the world I've always had a love of Formula One above all else. I've been watching the sport since my early teen years and in recent times have been following Mark Webber's career with much interest. Unfortunately the 2011 season, despite being only half way through, is almost wrapped up with Sebastian Vettel dominating the season and having a near unassailable lead already. Fortunately that's where F1 2011 steps up to the mark with the ability to replay the entire season, and see your favourite drive win the Championship.

Being a racing game there isn't a story here as such, but the game, with its official license, includes all the circuits, teams, cars and drivers from the 2011 season. The developers have included the all-new Buddh International Circuit in India which has joined the calendar this season as well as the Nürburgring which has taken over the German Grand Prix this year from The Hockenheimring in 2010. Furthermore rule changes for the season have been included such as Pirelli tires, the Drag Reduction System (DRS) and Codemasters have recently confirmed that they have added in the Safety Car for races over 20% of full race length, and red flags for extreme conditions.

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F1 2011 is out in late September.
If there is one slight negative with releasing a racing game half way through the actual season it's that the developers, and gamers miss out on the ability to run the races at the same time as the actual events and in future we'd love to see developers link the races to real-time weather and race result data. Another small issue is that due to licensing restrictions Codemasters haven't been able to implement mid-season driver changes. So there's no chance to pick newcomer Aussie Daniel Ricciardo or one of several other drivers that have replaced others during the season.

For the 2011 Formula One game Codemasters have put a heavy emphasis on the multiplayer options which were adequate, but somewhat underwhelming, in last year’s title. This year the developers are implementing a split-screen mode for local multi-player, but when you head online the game supports 16-players online, with a further 8 AI controlled cars filling the grid. A local co-op championship mode allows two players to select their own team to work towards the driver, and team, championship.

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Two Red Bull's in a close race.
Visually F1 2011 is one of the most impressive racing games we've seen with highly realistic car models, accurate recreations of the tracks seen throughout the series thanks to Codemasters' own EGO 2.0 Engine. Indeed while the tracks looked fantastic in last year’s title, they have been revamped for more realism. The game includes races that take place at different times of day - including night races under lights and the Abu Dhabi race which takes place at twilight - as well as dynamic clouds and varying weather effects including some gorgeous wet weather racing. Let's hope the game holds up a rock steady frame rate as well.

When it comes to racing games Codemasters have really come forward as a developer that knows what they're doing including this racing franchise. Last year's first effort F1 2010 was a brilliant first outing and this second game looks to add another layer of polish, as well as several gameplay improvements. Expect a release in late September.