Google+ Jack Leslie F1: F1 Race Stars: The Review

27 December 2012

F1 Race Stars: The Review

Sometimes Formula 1 games can get just that little bit too serious, so why not have a fun F1 game that can be enjoyed by everyone?
Codemasters have answered that question with F1 Race Stars, a Mario Kart style game for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It is fun and colourful, with cartoon drivers and exaggerated tracks that bring a new element to the world of F1.

I received the game for Christmas and have played it for a few hours, so here are my first impressions of the game.

One thing that really is evident is the fun factor. The racing is fun, fast paced and chaotic which is important for a game that caters for both young and old Formula 1 fans. I liked all the boosts and weapons to advance up the order or fall back down. If you get hit by one your car gets damaged, which I think is a smart thing to add in and something that similar games do not have.

However I was confused by what all the boosts and weapons did. I really think that in the booklet or game there should be an introduction to all the controls and what the weapons do because there were times where it would select a "power up" and I would just press the button to see what it was. I also think that despite most of them having a good affect, those with the rain need to have more of an impact on the drivers. Thankfully I did a little bit more research and found the official websites which has a detailed page on each element.

The handling is also a strong point of the cars, they feel very nimble and fast like a go-kart or Formula 1 car should (as it is essentially a mix of the two). However I feel that the handling lacks some kind of jump and drift element similar to Mario Kart to help the cars get round the corners with more ease. 

Another thing about the game that I enjoyed was the characters. Even the new ones are well thought out and look the part, and all the cartoon's are very well caricatured and recognisable. They show the stand out features of the drivers without offending or making fun of them. They are fun and "cute", but I do think the voices need to be changed as some of them sound very stereotypical. Whilst the voices are fun, I think it would be match them with the drivers rather than have common accents of the country. 

The circuit's are really fun and creative, with lots of different elements and corners. I also like how most of them have a mix of the actual race circuit and the surrounding cities and countryside, however I would like more recognisable features from the circuits to bring the F1 element closer to the game, as at times it feels quite far away. My favourite track at the moment is the Abu Dhabi one, it is fast, more flowing but also causes chaos. The two pit lanes are a nifty little addition too, but I would like the pit lanes to be more punishing for drivers who go through them. I also find it slightly annoying that not all of the tracks are included in the game, you have to buy or purchase them later on.

Codemasters have done a good job with the circuit design and have splashed them with fun, colour and creativity. However that can not be said for the menu's. The "pause" menu is particularly dull and unimaginative, not matching the colourful and saturated graphics of the game you have just been playing. The home menu is also similarly dull, as is the loading screen. Why not make the globe and sky colourful, instead of blue and white? 

So in conclusion, the game is a lot of fun and is great for playing in single player and multiplayer mode. However the menu's need to match the game, be bursting with colour and imagination. I also think some of the handling and the tracks need some adjustment too. 

A good game that brings the fun to Formula 1, but needs some tweaks to bring it up to the level of similar games like Mario Kart.

Buy the F1 Race Stars game on Amazon here:

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