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Free-to-play online game from the makers of F1 2011? Yes, please!

Not content with having a the ace-looking F1 2011 heading to 360, PS3PC3DS and PS Vita, Codemasters wants you to have more F1. But don't think it's another assault on your poor wallet - it's going to be free-to-play. Sure, you'll probably end up spending just as much on microtransactions for your brand new F1 team (we've got bagsies on Fick Shake Racing), but still, this looks premium and it's going to be free. Sweet.

The reason it looks so good in F1 Online The Game (to give the game its full name) is because the track assets are all straight out of F1 2011. Sure, they're not quite as complex, but there's no denying, it looks mighty authentic. You'll be racing online against other players across a variety of modes, from single races and time trials to a full championship season, complete with practise and qualifying sessions. There will be online leaderboards and social network features too.


Above: Up the hill towards Casino Square at Monaco. But is the free-to-play model the biggest gamble? Eh?

All of the cars, tracks and drivers from the F1 2011 season will be featured, with you racing as them or even alongside them in your own team. And 'racing' is the key word. While it may look like an all-out management sim, with its near top-down viewpoint, apparently you'll be the manager and the driver. Quite how it's going to control remains to be seen, but we're intrigued.


Above: How much control will you have over the racing? More than GT5 B-Spec, that's for sure

It looks like there'll be plenty of depth and potential for customisation. If you are making your own team, you'll be able to design the car liveries and 'lead the development of a personal franchise'. Just like Williams, we'd imagine. As racer and team boss, you'll manage the commercial, research, production and race crew functions required for success on the track. That probably means keeping all the best car parts for yourself and letting your team-mate have your hand-me-downs, then scuppering him with team orders. Sucker.

The game's going to be browser-based and you'll be able to play it on PC or Mac when it hits in Q1 2012. You can sign up for news over at www.f1onlinethegame.com which will also get you details of the beta when the time arises. Sounds good to us - what do you think?

12 Aug, 2011

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