"'If' is a very long word in Formula One; in fact, 'if' is 'F1' spelt backwards." So said legendary commentator Murray Walker, and he was absolutely right. After all, if Codemasters could apply the gloss and quality of GRID and DiRT 2 to their newly-acquired F1 license, success would be automatic. But that's a pretty big 'if'. Those games' OTT style isn't necessarily the perfect fit for F1. Thankfully, it has worked, but not quite as perfectly as we'd hoped.
I'm in a Lotus and running tenth at Valencia in a 20% distance race, with 'hard' opponent AI. Tenth is crap - I know this. But it also represents an opportunity to bag my first world championship point. However, due to a killer lack of KERS in my Lotus, I'm flagging and doing everything possible to keep the guy behind me at bay. I move right to block and suddenly a hell of a noise starts up in my right ear. What's happening? My engineer comes on over the radio. A puncture. In one instant, the whole weekend has come undone. This is F1 2011, and I love it.
Codemasters has set a commendable track record with its two previous F1 games. But instead of just releasing an annual update with updated drivers and cars, it's made some pretty major improvements on the formula. Pun intended. Come inside and sate your need for speed...
Even if you don't like Formula One, you do like great kart racers, right? Then you need to know about F1 Race Stars, which has undergone a magical final stage of development and turned out to be a cracker. Time for some Formula Fun...
Apparently trying to drum up anticipation for the release of Fable 2, developer Lion Head has spewed forth this mini-collection of minigames. While designed to be passable time-wasters, these three games, including Keystone, Fortune’s Tower, and Spinnerbox also have a nefarious hook.
Fable Heroes looks to take all of the dynamics of Lionhead's good vs. evil role-playing into... a multiplayer-focused cel-shaded game in the vein of Castle Crashers. Does it work out?
Forget acorns growing into oak trees. Forget a hero moulded by moral choice. Forget a world forged over 30 years. This is role-playing in the child’s sense: dress up and pretend. Example: at one point we played a highwayman.
When you first start playing Fable III, you’ll be forgiven for suspecting that Peter Molyneux has finally gone mad. Throughout Lionhead's action RPG sequel, you’ll be bombarded with design decisions which seem to have been made just for the sake of changing something, or even worse, simply for the sake of being quirky. It will all feel very odd. But give it time. Stop thinking about why things are the way they are. Accept them and just get on with it.
Within a few hours you’ll find that Molyneux’s marvellous lunacy is all with definite purpose. The realisation will creep up on you slowly, but when it takes hold you’ll discover that Fable III is a subtly clever beast indeed, and one of the most infectious and affecting RPG experiences of recent years. Though certainly not a niggle-free one.
Fable: The Journey is Lionhead's Kinect-only tale of heroism and spellcasting. Does it carry the legacy of its predecessors well? Read our review to find out...
When you launch a new product range, your first game/cheese/film/whatever has to embody everything that’s good about the brand. SSX was the perfect launch game for EA BIG because it captured everything the label stood for; that is to say exciting, extreme and over the top. Unfortunately for EA Freestyle, flagship title FaceBreaker couldn’t be a bigger mismatch if it tried.