Last year’s smash hit F1 game gets an overhaul. Dominic Sacco gets hands-on and discovers what’s new.
In terms of sheer thrills, F1 is probably the perfect sport to adapt into a video game. Forget the tactical flair of FIFA and button-bashing Olympic games – F1 is all about driving at 200mph, overtaking by an inch and winning.
Since Codemasters obtained the F1 licence it has seen success with F1 2009 on Wii and PSP and F1 2010 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The latter went on to sell over 2.3m copies worldwide, helping it pick up the Sales Triumph MCV Industry Excellence Award this year. Proof there is a strong market for F1 games.
Now F1 2011 is revving its way to retail complete with a revised selection of multiplayer modes, new circuits, rule changes, driving features and an expanded Paddock and post-race area.The game has also received Codies’ biggest ever marketing campaign (see below right).
And it’s go, go, go!
As a first for the series, F1 2011 gets a split-screen mode as well as Championships that can be played co-operatively online. 16 players can now compete online at once with as many as eight AI drivers.
Two new tracks make it into the game – the Buddh International Circuit in India and the legendary Nürburgring in Germany. A revised media system puts players in front of the cameras between races.
KERS, DRS and other tactical driving features have been introduced, with the former giving players an extra speed boost and the latter reducing drag. Of course, all the real teams, drivers and cars are here. Even the safety car debuts.
F1 2011 also looks better than ever. Powered by Codies’ EGO engine, tracks have been given a visual makeover.
Fast, stylish and realistic, F1 2011 is on course to be one of the biggest racing games out this year.
Ads will appear on ITV, Channel Four, Channel Five, E4, Film Four, Sky Atlantic and Sky Sports. It will debut on a Champions League broadcast, while cinema spots are running, too.
Watch the F1 2011 debut TV ad here.
The Sun and other national papers will include F1 2011 ads on the game’s release day – September 23rd – as will Sport Magazine. The print ad is a mosaic-style collection of pictures of fans.
Social media activity for F1 2011 has grown massively following F1 2010, with its Facebook and Twitter following growing five-fold in one year. The game will also get a promotion with Talksport.
Bigger, faster, better
Jeremy Wigmore, Codemasters VP of publishing, EMEA, explains how F1 2011 builds on last year’s game: “One of the things we try to do which is important when you launch a sequel – and something we did for Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 – is listen to what people are saying. Split-screen was something that came out that was missing from last year – the guys have introduced it. The quality of the graphics have been upped as well.
“The challenge is how you make that whole experience, that whole environment, that whole game more fulfilling than the last one. And I think we’ve succeeded.
“The difference between F1 2010 and F1 2011 is stunning in terms of its clarity, composition and detail. We haven’t just updated the cars and the teams, we’ve updated the whole game. And as a franchise, it has that wider demographic appeal.”