Click here to return to the main site.

PC Game Review

F1 2011


Format: PC
RRP: £29.99
5 024866 345575
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 23 September 2011

Just to prove that synchronicity happens in the world, I find myself staring at the latest Formula 1 simulation, from Codemasters, at the same time as the real thing is happening on the telly.

F1: Formula 1 2011 is the updated version of Codemasters driving simulation game for Windows Live PC’s. I’m not really sure why they insisted that it be a Windows Live game, but there you go. What this means is that if you don’t have a ‘Live’ account then the game deliberately hamstrings its functionality. So straight out of the box you either play it the Microsoft way, or you don’t really play at all.

Now I’ve gotten that particular dislike out of the way, what was the game like? Well there appear to be issues with the loading of the game and once again a PC title reminds me why I prefer console games. After whacking the disc in the machine I sat back to watch it load, only it never finished loading. I tried this on two more machines, same thing; the loading gets half way through then appears to stop. Now the really odd thing is that I went back to my original machine, thinking to reload it only to find that the game played just fine. You have to wonder about a game when it can’t even tell when it has finished loading.

Once up and running there is the usual plethora of tweaking options which comes with simulations, I’m not sure that playing as different characters makes a lot of difference, but the changes that you can make to your car, through the game, are worth having. The game does assume prior knowledge of Formula 1 and in this sense is more of a realistic simulation than it is a casual game.

Whilst the game can be played, dipping in and out of the tracks, it is meant to be played in career mode. Here you join a team and get involved in all aspects of the racing game, both on and off the track. Not only that but in co-op mode you and a friend can join the same team and work together to win the season, though how your friend will react when you tell him/her that you have to win every race as its your machine, is another thing.

Codemasters have provided all the playing options that you could hope to see, from the single player game up to an on-line experience. The cars can be controlled by the keyboard alone, though I wouldn’t recommend this as its too fiddly. However, the game supports both the Xbox Controller and various steering wheels.

The game is visually impressive and both the AI drivers and the physical world appear to be an improvement on 2010. This extends to both the track and the cars, which now benefit from having their own distinctive look, right down to the steering wheels.

2011 is a major improvement over its immediate predecessor and for fans of this kind of racing will quickly become the ‘must have’ game in this genre.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£19.99 (
£24.99 (
£22.90 (
£24.99 (
£23.30 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.