Formula One Championship Edition - hands-on

Formula One games are generally lumped with curling and rugby as "foreign junk." But if it looked as good as F1 Championship Edition did at a recent Sony event, we'd even gladly play "Tea-Time Simulator." Sony's Liverpool studio is putting in extended hours in the garage to fine-tune F1 to make it a premiere racer for the PlayStation 3.

This game looks like butta'. Replays are always spiffy, but F1 kicks things up a notch with near photo-realism. We're not sure how many polygons make up each car, but our ballpark guess would be a bajillion. The gameplay graphics are equally impressive, with working rear view mirrors and the most beautiful steering wheel we've ever seen. It's almost a shame, though, that the coolest visual effects - rain and collisions - are most likely to screw up your race. Danger in beauty, we suppose.

F1CE is based upon the 2006 Formula One season, featuring all 11 teams and 22 drivers. You know you always wanted to roll with Super Aguri F1 Team. Modes include quick play, time trial (with ghost racing), Grand Prix Weekend, World Championships, and Career. The latter two are the most in-depth, obviously, encapsulating the 18 circuits. Career mode adds agents, contracts, and the need to finish in a minimum position.


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