Simulation feel not for everyone PlayStation 3 aliasing issues Comment Last year's F1 achieved something that few Formula One games had ever managed: coming very close to a perfect balance between simulation, arcade-style gaming and outright speed. It resulted in one of the most rewarding and enjoyable racers of this console generation. It was however not without its flaws, boasting multiple AI problems, weak online functionality and a patchy and awkward handling model.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit review 20 Nov Largely, though, the engineer chatter over the radio adds a great deal to the tactics and authenticity of a race, keeping you updated on when they predict other drivers will pit, how the car is holding up and encouraging you to open up DRS and pass the rival hogging the track ahead of you.
A stab of Y opens up the flap on the rear wing, reducing drag on a straight, but sends your back end twitching if you keep it open round corners.
While KERS is a simple, limited boost, hardly unfamiliar to video games. Also added to F1 is the optional safety car, a highly requested feature from fans after it was left out of F1 Opposing driver AI throughout F1 is notably strong too.
They will drive clever, searching for gaps to overtake you rather than just barrelling through and sticking to their pre-ordained racing line. The first corner of any race is always a fascinating scuffle, as all 24 drivers jostle for position without blindly bumping into each other.
Well, the AI drivers anyway. The racing ties into a strong career mode, though not one without room for improvement. You start off with as a rookie, offered contracts from a handful of lower teams, and your targets are set accordingly.
To begin with you will be expected to qualify around the middle of the grid, and hopefully nick a few extra places in the race itself, beating your team mate in a friendly rivalry while your at it.
Your hub is a nicely rendered motorhome, with access to emails from your engineers and real-life team owners, information on the next track and the chance to choose your helmet design.
Racing is accessed through a calendar, but getting from motorhome to track takes far longer than it should, with a couple of lengthy loading screens in between slowing everything down.
You also have to take part in TV interviews in between sessions.
Theoretically your responses will affect how other drivers react to you and have an impact on contract negotiations, though in my experience it all seemed rather inconsequential. Still, these are niggles, and Codemasters has concentrated on making sure the more important stuff is taken care of first.
And in that, F1 is a success, providing a compelling learning curve as you improve your reputation and perhaps move to one of the bigger teams to eventually challenge for the championship.
Here, Codemasters have struck a terrific balance. While the most significant multiplayer addition is the online co-op Career. Two friends join the same team and play through a season in an attempt to win the constructors championship, as well as the more important business of outdoing your partner.
So, for now, split screen racing is limited to smaller races. But Codemasters have made a plethora of improvements under the bonnet, polishing an engine that should prove a fantastic basis for the planned yearly iterations of their F1 franchise.