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Formula One Championship Edition review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Lots of realistic depth
  • Feels real. We imagine
  • Everything a true fan would want
  • Lacks real thrills and spills
  • Michael Schumacher's in it
  • Practicing exactly where to brake

Apparently, Formula One Championship Edition is the closest you’ll get to the real thing without being speared through the guts by the nose of a 200mph Ferrari. Formula One, you see, has been dying at an inversely proportional rate to the success of one Michael Schumacher - the more he won, the more people got bored and stopped watching.

So in order to make Championship Edition more exciting than watching the Antiques Roadshow on valium, you’ll want to head straight over to the options section and switch off every last one of the driving aids. Right from the start, no messing around. Alright, maybe you could leave the virtual racing line on to get a feel for the circuits and their respective braking points, although the game looks sharp enough that you can easily see tire marks tracing the racing line. Assisted steering, traction control, anti-spin, anti-lock braking - it all needs to go.



Once all that stuff has been ditched, you can embark on a tricky, grueling, World Championship season with almost as much head-spinning attention to detail as the real thing. Every race weekend goes through a number of stages: Friday’s free practice, Saturday’s free practice, three 15-minute qualifying sessions on Saturday afternoon and finally the race itself. While the first couple of race sessions can be ignored (they are useful for memorizing those all important braking points, though), the qualifiers are essential, otherwise you’ll be stuck at the back of the grid and more than likely to lose bits of your car as you attempt to slice through the field.

Then comes the Grand Prix itself. There’s plenty of big race atmosphere, just like on TV. As cars wait to explode off the starting grid - sometimes literally - a heat haze makes the screen go funny and a cacophony of whining engines reaches fever pitch. And when the lights go out, the race for the first corner is hair raising.

But a couple of laps in, on the Hard setting at least, the initial buzz dies down and races turn into lengthy battles of concentration - while trying not to fiddle with the impressive camera options (all the dramatic TV angles are included) and hurtling off the track. Get stuck in midfield, and you’ll find that the leading pack steadily and relentlessly pulls away, and the pit stop strategy you decided before the race becomes all important. Like actual F1 racing, it’s, you know, a bit boring. It’s fast, and sometimes you’ll come across wrecked cars, but it can be a very lonely experience as a race wears on. Unfortunately, there are no multiplayer options, either.

Championship Edition is super-realistic. Perhaps too much for its own good. For F1 buffs that’s ideal, but if you want an adrenaline-pumping ride on PS3, there’s another game, with a big desert and mad vehicles, which does it far better.

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Racing
Published by: SCE Liverpool
Developed by: Sony, SCEA
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending

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1 comment

  • tshef83 - February 10, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    What a terrible review. Who buys an F1 game? F1 fans maybe!! Do we want a cynical and uninformed review from someone who obviously knows nothing about the sport! Unfortunately you have misjudged your audience, because to appreciate motor sport is a requirement well beyond most moronic soccer fans. The drivel is typical of such a person. How dare you insult our sport as boring! How entertaining is a 0-0 draw between 22 nancy boys running around in their shorts! Great I'm sure if that floats your boat, but an experience far removed from a 200 mile grand prix. So GamesRadar, when the new F1 game comes out in 2010, the review should perhaps fall to someone with actual knowledge on the subject and a desire to inform the target audience. My review: Very good F1 game. Was cynical at first having been disappointed by recent PS2 games from EA. This game has hidden depth that may not be obvious at first. But if you really push the car to its limits then you uncover a technical simulation that is very rewarding. Michael Schumacher! The greatest driver of the modern era is apparently a disadvantage according the the above review. If those comments had any actual meaning then fair enough, but if you actually play the game for longer than 10 mins you see the developers have dumbed Schumacher down and his team mate Felippe Massa is actually the stronger Ferrari driver in the game (?!) Other than that the controls are a bit oversensitive but not a major issue. 8.5/10 Yours, A real F1 fan

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