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Codemasters F1 2011 - As real as it gets!!

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BREAKING news: Reigning Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel has been black- flagged at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida before completing even one lap.
The Red Bull driver was disqualified because of his dangerous driving and causing several incidents ó one of which resulted in HRTís Narain Karthikeyan crashing out of the race.

Shocked? No sweat, that was just the result of my first race at Buddh International Circuit ó on Codemasterís F1 2011 . I had been waiting to get my hands on the game time after I was blown away by its predecessor F1 2010 . And after getting rid of the shrink wrap and starting the game, the excitement got the better of me.

Ignoring repeated directions from the pit crew to tone down my aggression, I paid the ultimate price for my overenthusiasm.

The voice on the headphones crackled to life: ď I canít believe it.Ē So true.
I had only myself to blame.

After all, the race was in my backyard and I was high on the energy drink of my team. Who had time for niceties such as FIA rules and the details? But the devil IS in the details for this installment of the game. Be it the newly introduced systems such as DRS or KERS or the realistic handling of cars, this game has every intention of jolting you awake if you thought driving F1 cars is a cakewalk.

It doesnít stop there. The game is accurate to the point of obsession. Steering wheels unique to each car, sponsors for the events, the graphics on the cars or the chatter of your friendly engineer, itís almost like the real thing. And you have to be very careful with the way you drive. Forget about the assists a la its predecessor. Theyíre there, but try slamming on the brakes and the tyres lock up. On the Buddh circuit ( in the game!), my car spun out of control and hit a barrier. Missed the track and cut across the gravel or grass? The debris on the tyres will make steering a nightmare.

Did the McLaren ( driven by you know who) clip the Ferrari ( again driven by you know who) while overtaking? Beware of the debris flying your way and causing you a minor mishap.

But newbies, donít worry about the game becoming too hard. You can still use the assists and tweak them to suit you just right. Trust me, thereís everything for everyone. Donít forget to get familiar with the rules of Formula 1 racing. Just remember its a racing simulation, NOT an arcade game.

The graphics are a subtle improvement over its predecessor.
The colours donít appear washed out, the tracks look more realistic and I love the fact that for late afternoon races, you actually see night turning to day as you race. And, of course, you can race at night. In HD. What I didnít like were the crash graphics.

They definitely arenít bad, but they arenít as realistic as the rest of the game. Call it nitpicking if you will.

Better get yourself a decent set of cans for this game. Or blast it on the surround system. The sound of the engines will give you aural nirvana. I was at Buddh for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix and the roar of the engines are still ringing in my ears. When the car roared to life, I thought I was back at the circuit. Again, the details left me hooked. The sound of the brakes as you slam them on at sharp corners, the engine begging you to change gears as you race down the straights, the same engine complaining when you shift down suddenly, you get all of that.

As with its predecessor, you have the choice of a career as well as a quick race. In career mode, you start as a rookie from one of the teams placed at the bottom and work your way to F1 champion.

One significant addition to F1 2011 is the ability to play in coop mode. You and your friend can share the driving honours or could ace against each other, leading your favourite team to victory in the constructorís championship as well. And this happens in split screen, via LAN or online. This version boasts all 19 circuits, the 12 teams as well as 24 drivers. So you can race as Narain Karthikeyan or any of the Force India drivers, if youíre feeling patriotic. The paddock and pit lane look realistic as do the drivers. If you already have F1 2010 and donít consider yourself too much of an F1 fan, its a pity because this is the better of the two and would have compelled you to change your mind. For an F1 buff, this is a worthy upgrade.

The game leaves you with renewed respect for the drivers, whom we envy because of their glamorous jet- set lifestyle and hefty pay packets. If only they had a life in the game as well.

That is one aspect the developers can improve on. After all who wouldnít want to be Jenson Button ( who incidentally is 2nd on the drivers championship points tally at the moment) and romance his glamorous girlfriend Jessica Michibata after a keenly fought race?


  1. vrishtisingh's Avatar
    Good post..............keep it up...thanks for sharing