E3 2011: F1 2011 First Impressions

F1 2011 chief game designer Stephen Hood talks us through what's new in this year's F1 title and how it'll make amends for last year's lackluster multiplayer.

Stephen Hood, chief game designer on F1 2011, says this year's Formula 1 game from Codemasters is all about the multiplayer, admitting F1 2010's multiplayer offering "wasn't brilliant at all." In a hands-off presentation of his game's salient points, Hood tells us this time there'll be a full grid in online multiplayer races (that is, 24 cars in each, with 16 of those driven by human players). After F1 2010 limited the cars on the track in multiplayer to just 12, properly filling the grid is a welcome upgrade--albeit a no-brainer. Also welcome is the prospect of the new two-player split-screen mode, featuring the same full 24-car grid.

Besides the year's new teams and drivers, what else does F1 2011 have to offer? Additional season 2011 rules, says Hood, along with the 19 circuits with additions for 2011. There are also kinetic energy recovery systems, which are battery packs that harvest energy from a car while it brakes, saving it for a boost of power later. New also are Pirelli tires and the drag reduction system that changes the state of the car's rear wing to aid overtaking.

F1 2011 also brings handling advancements with a view to "bring the pace down" and make players think about racing strategy rather than just moment-to-moment action, says Hood. And there's a new driver AI system in place to produce computer-controlled characters with more lifelike racing behavior. The damage system has been enhanced, we're told, with a car's handling degrading over time, for instance, based on the way you drive. Visual improvements are promised as well, with better-looking tracks, lighting, and a full day-to-night transition among the pledges from Codemasters.

In the game's more complete Career mode, Hood tells us players will really "live the life" of an F1 driver--not with wealth or celebrity girlfriends but by means of cinematics in the Parc ferme area, as well as enhanced garage visuals and atmosphere. There's also a new press feedback system in which you get sent press clippings with headlines based on your in-game actions. And, there's a co-op Championship mode, too, in which you can play with a friend as a teammate through an F1 season.

As promising as the new gadgets, modes, and upgrades sound, we've seen none of these in action in the shape of an actual live demo just yet. And we've had no word on whether we'll see a safety car this time around, but look for more at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, at which Codemasters promises to unveil a whole new game mode. F1 2011 is out on September 23 on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with a version for the Wii and Sony's next-generation portable handheld to follow later.

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63 comments
justletmesignup
justletmesignup

AI better have tyre degradation on expert mode... how on earth are you meant to compete against that? Especially with these quick-to-wear-out pirelli tyres.

madinime
madinime

never play f1 games, but this looks like worth trying

Hidden_Ace
Hidden_Ace

Looks interesting, I love watching F1 but never thought the game was as good. I might actually get this one..

flat7up
flat7up

F1 2011,at last its the official patch for F1 2010.Not buying this after last years mess,and 1 more thing,thanks a bunch for taking down the grid servers,u guys at codies certainly know how to piss off a community :(

ipodwizard
ipodwizard

i cant wait for this to be released. all the new additions will make the racing so much better

Zamolec
Zamolec

@bigblue38 Get yourself an Xbox and Forza.

runenakken
runenakken

Should be 24 player multiplayer on PC.

chyng85
chyng85

It's impressing me now~

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Super realistic crashes which signify amazing moments seen in racing and a great damage model would ultimately affect whether this can be a simulation or not.

oajlu
oajlu

they better fix bugs this time before they release it

masterleechan
masterleechan

Everything seems to be in order. Now september just has to hurry up and come along..

bigblue38
bigblue38

I really enjoy the overall experience of 2010, so 2011 is a no-brainer for my library. That said, what I would like to see most is the ability to have local multiplayer without split screen. I have a nice two-seat setup and the only race game I can fully use it with is GT4 & 5. Why do console race games lack support for local multiplayer sans split screen? :(

nyran125
nyran125

im still playing F199-02 + expansions for PC only. Still the best F1 racing game ive played, up there with Geoff Crammonds F1 games. F1 2010 was good and it was fun. But it still seemed to lack something only PC racing games like RFactor and Race 07 seem to be able to achieve. I like th ereplay systems of PC racing games too where you can watch an entire race from any angle and perspective. Something console developers like Codemasters doesnt seem to want to do on Console racing games of any genre. Thier replay systems are so limited. Whereas as SimBIN racing games on PC like Race 07 + expansion packs, i can watch the entire race again and feel like im literally watching a real race event. I meen a full 20 + laps if a really wanted to.

shawdad
shawdad

Will 2011 have safety cars? Would be cool if after someone had an accident, you would transition realistically from full race pace to behind the safety car.

jackacid
jackacid

@frasierfreak666 "For me the only massive and obvious thing they need to implement is the current qualifying system. I'm not really sure why last years game didn't include the, now standard for quite a few years, system of Q1, Q2, Q3. " It is included. You just need to race long weekends for it to be that way. Short weekends consist of fastest time in one 20 min session. Up the weekend and there are the true qualifying rules.

hockeyfreak611
hockeyfreak611

Nice everything I was hoping for they mentioned.But I hope they can include more tracks.To be honest I would love if they threw in magny-cours and imola,or even alternate versions like catalunya no chicane and whatnot.

frasierfreak666
frasierfreak666

I really enjoyed last years game. For me the only massive and obvious thing they need to implement is the current qualifying system. I'm not really sure why last years game didn't include the, now standard for quite a few years, system of Q1, Q2, Q3. A few of the rules also need tightening up as well!

ParappaDeAmigo
ParappaDeAmigo

this can't come soon enough for me...I recently traded-in my copy of F1 2010 to get DiRT3, and I'm already missing it... It would be nice if they included bonus tracks consisting of older circuits like Magny-Cours, Zandvoort and Watkins Glen...

Karnyelradal
Karnyelradal

Awesome, now there's one more circuit, Bahrain. 20 circuits total. How about safety car and podium!?

RedBullLordy
RedBullLordy

F1 is ace. Everything apart from the Safety Car + Podium. But is that their big news at E3? :D

colnavyseal
colnavyseal

I'm afraid that the only thing that can bring F1 really to life is the Safety Car, but from what I've understood it requires a separate license, so I doubt it'll be in the game. F1 2010 was decent, though it dreaded on and on, so you'd pretty much had it after season 1 (let alone after 7)

dark_rising76
dark_rising76

F1 2010 was decent but the career mode could have been much, much deeper. Some commentary this time around would be nice.

oneofthefall
oneofthefall

im praying for mechanical failures to be added that will be the reason i buy again

zato_number_one
zato_number_one

Damn, I still haven't finished last year's. It's too soon!!!!

tonyd1970
tonyd1970

Nope- (pc) 1) I prefer simulation type racing (codies said that 2010 would be good from new drivers all the way to simulation types) it wasn't. From driving model, to damage, to setups, to pitting.. 2) the support on 2010 was nothing short of horrible, patching was horrible, communication from codies was horrible. On the high side, it was the best looking racing game I have played...but even if it was flawless it was still far too arcade for my taste. Won't buy.

Bigcol1611
Bigcol1611

Lets hope codemasters promise with everything they said they would include *fingers crossed*

chez80
chez80

I really enjoyed 2010, and it sounds like they're going above and beyond with this one. Can't wait to see more!

robbob8888
robbob8888

Hmmmm. I'll see how this looks at E3. Then I'll decide on if I want it or not.

FsLeonhart
FsLeonhart

Codemasters has confirmed the KERS and DRS, but what about the Safety Car?

SchumiF1
SchumiF1

I really enjoyed 2010 and this preview sounds very promising :D

mjack70
mjack70

Looking foward to it, once again I will want to see gameplay, live the life last time, was just answering the same ol questions over and over again.

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

From the screenies, it looks like the art direction has improved. The last game was just a bit gloomy for me. The lighting was horrible. I will definitely be getting this game day one.

stalker2010
stalker2010

f 2010 was stupid ,infected driving maybe this will have driving like grid game

Tviper7
Tviper7

"DavidStorm No thx, after the almost non-existing support F12010 got, im not gonna fall for it again." @Davidstorm Understandable, but you do understand the support for 2010 could only last so long, and only so much could be fixed because they were already working on the 2011 update. cody is not a big studio they bought the F1 license for about 5 years they're trying to make the best of it, which might cause them sacrifice the support you'd get if it only came out every 2 or 3 years..

-DaNuTz-
-DaNuTz-

cool, F1 2010 was great, can't wait for this one

Blue_fin
Blue_fin

F1 2010 was a huge success but the multilayer was lame. Its good to see that the newer game has more emphasized on MP. Now thats going to take the game to different league. On the single player I want to see more aggressive and cunning AI. Also star drivers like lewis, button, vettel, Alonso should have their own racing traits so it would make the game more impressive.

orangepeel1972
orangepeel1972

I wanna see a separate Arcade and Simulator mode with Sim mode having realistic physics, handling, damage (terminal), AI behaviours, safety car, DNF's (engine failures etc), proper penalty system, punctures where you actually see the tyre shredding not just going wobbly, formation laps and sector 3 split times during Qualy. But I doubt I'll see any of these. Don't want much do I ? Hee hee

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

KERS being back should be good, as long as it's not implemented in the hilarious way it was on the PSP F1 games, where pressing the boost button gave off an arcadey nitrous oxide sound effect, screen blur and camera depth-change to look like more speed. That was just laughable. We want both DRS and KERS to be realistic please, not arcadey... this is F1 after all. And as for their comment on Pirelly tyres, I hope they get the algorithms for their degredation correct rather than just add "Pirelli" signs in white, yellow or red to indicate the compound. It has to be a tangible effect that the tyres have rather than just a cosmetic one. F1 2010 was an OK game, but I preferred the first PS3 2006 title in so many ways... I hope this one really steps up to the plate and they're not just Molyneux-ing us with impressive words and no substance.

robertwarnes91
robertwarnes91

F1 2009 was so shocking bad, I don't think I ever touch another Codmaster F1 game.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

I personally enjoyed last years offering and am looking forward to this one :D

mister2cc
mister2cc

In f1 2011 I'd love to have full race replays in multiplayer (they are there since indycar racing.....), more details at the end of the race (best laps, best sectors etc, comparison between players), the pace lap at the beginning, a visible green light, multiplayer season with save slots.....it should be fairly easy stuff to do. Codemasters do you hear me????

Sniper
Sniper

Every time someone launches a sequel, they criticize the previous version. But when they launched that previous version, they called it the greatest game, ever. It would be refreshing if developers broke this circle of marketing BS by bad-mouthing the new game, before it launches. Example: "F1 2011 will lick the boots of F1 2012, so save your money until next year!" That would make an awesome press release headline.

eliebaz
eliebaz

looks good but im not going to buy it if it doesn't have offline multiplayer

antonclarke
antonclarke

Agreed completely with those saying that above all the physics and AI have to be improved before this becomes a worthwhile game. So disappointing that independant titles like GTR (Simbin) and RFactor have such incredible physics and make for such entertaining racing, while these comparatively huge studios come out with drivel masked with pretty graphics and 'F1 driver life'.

DavidStorm
DavidStorm

No thx, after the almost non-existing support F12010 got, im not gonna fall for it again.

mertol871
mertol871

Will be crap as all of the new codemasters games.

bigblue38
bigblue38

@Zamolec Lol, I don't know how I didn't see this when you replied two years ago. I also have (and did at the time of this post) an XBox and Forza 3 and now 4. It still doesn't change my point that I wish more racing games (preferably all) should support local multiplayer on two or more screens. Forza and Gran Turismo are just two games. Why don't the other games also support this feature? F1 2010, 2011, 2012, Grid, NFS: Shift 1 & 2, V8 Australian Supercars, and on and on. And for the record, while Forza 4's menu system is massively better than GT5's, I prefer GT5 as a game. I also prefer that the PS3 has more options for wheel support so until XBox pulls their head out and do away with their proprietary setup for controllers, I'll stay Playstation.