Now here’s a game that’s technically detailed, created in concert with the official body, full of engine noise, and with lots of controls and options to tinker with. Yes, today I am reviewing A320 Airbus
on the Commodore Amiga.
Pardon? I’m not reviewing A320 Airbus
on the Amiga from 1992? I’m reviewing the official Formula 1 game for the PlayStation 3 in 2007. Well slap me vitals!
Some history and context: The first F1 game I reviewed was Geoff Crammond’s F1GP
on the PC in 1992. It was wonderful. It was, after all, Geoff Crammond – who went on to write MotorStorm
… sorry… Stunt Car Racer
The first time I went to a motor race of any kind – aside from the start of the Rally of Ireland, which was outside the pub I was drinking in, in Galway – was the Le Mans 24 Hour. Aside from cars going around in circles, the event also included an awesome freakshow (fattest man, bearded lady, that kind of thing) and a tent within which some ladies did things with ping-pong balls that gave a whole new meaning to ‘Nürburgring’. That was 1992.
The whole event ended in tears though, resulting in a broken limb, marriage, parenthood and the consequent inability to go to any more motor racing events. This may have tarnished my previous fondness for sport of racing in all its many and varied forms, but I don’t think so.
That fondness was especially felt in relation to F1. For me, it’s the gladiatorial splendour of this world-polluting pursuit. I think of drivers such as James Hunt, Ayrton Senna and Niki Lauda, who would think nothing of vaulting over hospital walls and by-passing security in order to visit injured colleagues; or wearing the slogan, “Sex - Breakfast of Champions” on their uniforms.
But then the name Nigel Mansell arrives, technically correctly, into the pit lane of my affection for F1. With Nigel (a nice bloke, don’t get me wrong, a very good driver) my mind is filled with active suspension, semi-automatic gearboxes and traction control; and with all those come innumerable rule changes.
So, here, 15 years after my first encounter with an F1-based game I am reviewing the next-gen, HD, Sony PlayStation incar-nation, and I’m quite enjoying the experience as well – even if it is the 2006 experience, so by now everybody’s changed team or gone to NASCAR.
Let’s be straight with each other for one moment and base our reader/reviewer relationship one fact: if you don’t already like Formula 1, you are not going to enjoy this game. It’s like cricket-based videogames, you have to have the requisite taste, the refinement, and a level of commitment to the cause that transcends all the politics, rule changing and, to some extent, boredom. So, with that out of the way...
First up, the Sixaxis. Yes, that’s the point here. Does it work? Yes it does. So, huzza for your investment. I know that if you’re going to buy this title, you are not going to start at lidde-widdle, painted driving line, auto-assisted everything mode, you’re going to go hardcore, driving by the seat of your pants, manual the-lot. If I was you, I wouldn’t. A few early flings around first Silverstone and then Imola using the Sixaxis’ tilt controls will pay off. If, you’ve been given F1 CE
by some selfish ‘relative’ who really just wants an excuse to use your PS3 to watch Blu-ray porn, then you should definitely go baby steps to start with. Once you’ve got the hang of the system, I think you’ll actually reap more enjoyment from it than the standard analogue.