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PlayStation 3 Review: F1 2011

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Racing games are a bit of a hit and miss affair in my opinion. Rarely does a title wherein one is required to speed across a selected tract of land in a souped-up competition sports car, (hopefully) overwhelming the rivalry in the process, only to be awarded an animated gold-plated cup instill any non-racing adherents with the urge to so much as qualify for said contest. For me, a racing game has to offer something a little different in order to entice me to warrant wasting the ample amount of time I have on my hands towards the fulfillment of the potential diversion it promises. I want to be awarded with oodles of action, thrills, music, and possibly even a few boobies.

Naturally, I feel that it should probably go without saying that I must tone down my expectations from a simplistic racing game each and every time one lands in my lap. I have to accept that, yes, these games are about making it from Point A to Point B without the unlawful assistance of rocket launchers, prostitutes, or a notable amount of appeal in general. And yet, even after suspending my overly-ambitious, utterly sophomoric reverie of probability that these “cars-that-go-vroom” will somehow pique my demented interests enough to justify my undying adoration, I’m still unable to say F1 2011 really did all that much for my entertainment quota.

Of course, I am not attempting to imply that the game is bad. It isn’t. In fact, it’s quite good: you just have to be a devotee of games of this caliber in order to appreciate it.

Alas, I’m not one of those folks. But, of all the themes at play in F1 2011 that I was able to appreciate, the tactics each gameplayer has to expect and exploit are the most enjoyable. Much like the world of real racetracks, fuel mixes, weather conditions and extraneous debris on the pavement can play a major part in the course of a motoring event — to wit you need to choose your strategy accordingly, or else suffer the career killer of an accident. Should such a mishap occur, however, a safety car will find its way to the crash site and lead you until the contest can be resumed.

Speaking of careers, the game’s Career Mode option is vastly similar to many of the other racing games out there: you start out as a nobody, but are intent on making a name for yourself via a good sponsor and your own dynamic (?) skills (where available). There’s also a Co-op Championship Mode incorporated into this title (something new for this particular F1 series) wherein you can join your friends (or enemies — or both) online and encounter a match together, should the option of going ‘round and ‘round with virtual versions of real-life Formula 1 personalities not prove interesting enough fer ‘ya.

In short: F1 2011 is good fun, though it was sadly not my cup of tea.

F1 2011 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Mild Lyrics. This game can also be found on: Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.