So, onto Codemaster’s 3rd adventure into the high octane, high adrenaline world of Formula 1.
First off, if you’re not a dedicated, hardcore fan of F1, you’ll be left behind in the terminology used, and the handling of the cars. The game punishes you for a lapse in concentration, or for delayed reactions, but the 4 rewinds make up for this slightly.
So, for the true fans that are left, you will love this game. The career mode feels more realistic than in F1 2010, your ‘manager’ doesn’t bother you anywhere near as much, and most correspondence you receive comes from your mechanic, giving you track info and weather forecasts for the weekend.
The level of difficulty has been increased massively too, which is a good thing. I found myself too many times on the previous game being in one of the slowest teams, 20 or so seconds in front of the competition. This is simply not the case in this game due to the introductions of KERS and DRS to the cars. These two new innovations spice up the racing, as starting in a new team, you might not have access to KERS, meaning you have a huge performance disadvantage.
The newer teams have worse aerodynamic properties for thier cars also, making the levels of grip much worse, making the game more realistic. The team garages and motor-home changes colour, dependent on your team, as well as the odd team logo being dotted around, as you’d expect.
The motor-home has been tidied up as well. You have a laptop, a calender, a helmet and a door. All you really need. The helmet choices in this game have been greatly expanded (much better than the 6 alternative helmets in the last game) with a wider variety of colours.
The menus have been cleaned up a lot more in this game, with much more of a direct approach, you can easily find exactly what you are looking for, moving away from the DiRT 2 looking menus, where the labels only appear if you look directly at them. Highly annoying.
The online features is where this game has been massively improved. You can either play a single race against up to 18 other people, with 6 AI drivers, making up the full 24 car grid, or, you can play a whole career with a friend as your teammate. Players can choose the same car if they wish, for example, there could be 2 of Sebastian Vettel’s car, with no issue.
The usual free race and time trail modes remain, with very little to report. As usual, you can do the race, or the whole weekend, with any driver. Same as pretty much every other racing game.
So then, this game is not for those who want an arcade racing game, to just throw a car around a track. You have to be a dedicated fan, willing to put the time in, or you will hate this game. As an F1 fan, I love the game, the difficulty is just right, and the new rules and regulations have carried very well into this game.