F1 2011 for the 3DS review

f1 2011 for the 3ds review formula 1Quick show of figurative hands—raise your hand if you know what a K.E.R.S. is. Ok, now keep them up if you are familiar with a DRS. And once more, do you know when to utilize those in an F1 race? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then F1 2011 for the 3DS may be worth a look, despite a few flaws. If those words aren’t in your lexicon, this game isn’t for you.

Typically, games like F1 racers have always been something of a niche market, at least here in the States. They take the racing genre to the extreme, but they do so at the cost of familiarity. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially for fans that hunger for realism, but it makes the games slightly inaccessible and hard for novices to embrace. The 3DS version of F1 2011 by Sumo Digital (taking the portable reigns from Codemasters who focused on the console and PC versions) is not only no exception, it is the perfect example of a game made almost entirely for fans. And only fans.

Again, that isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case it is. It isn’t that newcomers and casual fans won’t like the gameplay, it is that almost everyone won’t like the gameplay, but hardcore fans will be able to overcome that and grow accustomed to them thanks to the some customization tweaks, or just old fashioned stubbornness. For fans of the series and the genre, Sumo Digital has decent, albeit not great offering. For everyone else, it will be frustrating to the point that most won’t have the patience to bother learning the game—a fact that is further exacerbated by the complete lack of anything resembling a tutorial. There are numerous aids that you can turn on or off, but that always ends up limiting what you can do, which quickly makes it boring.

But putting all that aside and focusing on the pure mechanics of the game, there is some decent fun to be had, but there are also technical issues that are hard to overlook. The first of which is simply the difficulty that controlling an incredibly fast car faces with the nub analog stick of the 3DS. A standard controller offers a bit more room to move, which can make a huge difference. But the settings can be customized, and assuming the controls are something you can embrace, then there is the AI. Which is murderous.

It really is best to just accept the inconsistent AI, or you may find yourself asking for another 3DS this Christmas to replace the one you just broke. Sometimes they will try to murder you and crash into you, other times they are placemats, put there only to make you go around them. It makes racing far more nerve-racking than fun.

f1 2011 for the 3ds review 02Thankfully, there are several other modes to help keep you entertained once the AI has forced the rage upon you. Along with the career mode, there is the standard quick race, a time trial, a grand prix, a championship series, and the challenges. Of them all, the challenges stand out as the best way to spend your time. Each offers you a specific goal, and you receive a grade for completion. There are 60 in total, and receiving the best score could keep you going for a long time.

There is also a multiplayer, both local and online, but the online remains sparse, and fairly devoid of racers. This could always change though.

Then there are the graphics. The tracks are dull and quickly feel familiar, and the textures are at best average. The most annoying visual problem comes from the 3D though. When you have it on at full, there is a slight ghosting issue. When you read text, a feint shadow of the words appears. That is annoying, but harmless. When you are on a track trying to keep above 200 mph, having a second line can be disastrous. It is best to keep the 3D off altogether, which means that one of the main points of playing it on the 3DS is rendered moot.

Conclusion

F1 2011 is a game that will likely appeal to hardcore fans of the series and F1 in general, and hardcore fans only. It is brutally unforgiving, which could be overlooked if there were a logic to it, but there isn’t. The AI is brutal, and the controls are difficult to get used to—but not impossible.

The graphics are also a major issue. There is a lot of content here to keep fans playing, but the look quickly makes everything feel repetitive. There are some good times to be had, but you will have to go out of your way to find them.

Score: 6.5 out of 10

 (This game was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS on a copy provided by Codemasters)

Gaming

Activision not doing itself any favors with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 loot boxes

New loot boxes added to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have caused a somewhat uneven playing field for those who choose to spend extra money. Certain limited-time items can now only be found in loot boxes.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Computing

Logitech’s G MX518 gaming mouse pairs classic looks with all-new tech

Logitech is relaunching one of its most popular classic gaming mice, the MX518. Now called the G MX518, it sports upgraded internals that give it a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and new and improved memory.
Gaming

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.
Gaming

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Gaming

Everything we know about Devil May Cry 5, including characters and combat

Devil May Cry 5 is just around the corner, and is the first game in the original series since Devil May Cry 4 in 2008. Here is everything we know about the game, including its playable characters.
Gaming

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.
Gaming

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.
Gaming

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.