Developer Codemasters Racing
Publisher Codemasters Racing
Platform PS3, Xbox360
Release Date Out Now.
F1 Race Stars is not something you would expect to come from Codemasters Racing who in recent years have become arguably the best developers of realistic motor sport titles in the industry. It would be quite fair to describe F1 Race Stars as a side project. Not in a derogatory sense but rather that it is a massive release for the team after building ultra-realistic highly refined games for so long. It is almost as if someone came in one morning and said here is the F1 license go nuts and they did, the result is a lot of fun.
With the full F1 license to play with including actual F1 teams, real life F1 drivers and real sponsors Codemasters have created a bizarrely fun kart racer. This is fun from the get go from the huge bobble head versions of the drivers to the cartoon art styling of the tracks.
The game itself has all the stuff you would normally expect from a Kart Racer such as power ups, speed boosts (KERS) and wacky weapons. They have been able to bring in aspects from real F1 racing too, as mentioned KERS are included to give you a burst. As with most karting games you pick up boosts from the track and this is no different you charge the battery on sections of the track by lifting off the throttle and pushing it back on in the set zones. Once off the path if you do it correctly you will be sent whizzing down the track.
Other racing favourites have made the cross over too including pit stops to repair your kart although this could have been handled a bit better but it is still fun to see items like this incorporated into the game.
You will get the chance to race as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel albeit bobble head versions. You will get the chance to race around well-known tracks albeit wild variations of those tracks. Codemasters have taken well known features and sections from the drivers and tracks and used those as the base for the game, so while it all looks very familiar it is still very different and the variety of tracks keeps things interesting although the variety in drivers is purely down to the perks. As for the cars we did not notice any real different in the cars or teams from a driver aspect.
The game play is a lot of fun, it is a true pick up and play game that will suit all players of all ages and skills. Anyone that has played a kart racer will be instantly at home the cars handle well, the items make sense from the boosts on the tracks to the weapons and power ups you pick up,
It does use a balancing which keeps everyone together, if you are in the lead it won’t last for long. If you are falling behind the game will dole out boosts and attacking power ups to help real in the leaders. This works to keep things tight, it is not a game about driving tactics it is a game about having fun with your friends.
Overall: F1 Race Stars comes out of left field and does offer a good multiplatform alternative to Mod Nation or Mario Kart.