OS Scores Explained F1 2011 Overview (PS Vita)
Realistic driving mechanics, good variety of modes, great amount of depth for gearhead.
Not many unique drawing points, graphics are average, game not accessible to most players.
Bottom Line
F1 2011 is a deep simulation racing game, which means its not for the average Joe or casual racing fan.
out of 10
F1 2011 REVIEW

F1 2011 Review (PS Vita)

F1 2011 is one of the finest sim racers on consoles you will find. Translating that type of a deep and engrossing experience to a handheld, especially one with new hardware, is a daunting task.

What Codemasters opted for with F1 2011 is a straight up port of the game from a PS3 down to the Vita. This means that the game takes advantage of hardly any of the features the Vita hardware supports.

Ultimately, it feels like F1 was a mailed-in type of title -- with little inspiration on the Vita -- but still there is enough here for F1 fans and race fans to enjoy.
There's not much additional imagination applied to F1. Which means you get a familiar experience.

F1 2011 is an almost direct port of the PS3 game. The gameplay here is familiar and friendly to fans of the series.

First off, the default control method A has you accelerating, and braking using the button pad is an enormously frustrating experience since the buttons are so small. Why couldn't the default have been to accelerate and brake using the shoulder buttons like on the control method of B?

While your AI opponents are capable enough, they tend to stick to their lines and there's not much creativity with them. Also, there's clearly some rubber-banding going on, which is always annoying.

The overall customization of your car is still intact, where tweaking your way to victory is the name of the game. If you aren't interested in changing the height of your spoiler to eek out the extra tenth of a second on a lap, F1 isn't going to be the type of game you can ultimately enjoy to its fullest.

The overall driving experience is fine if you do two important things, change your control scheme to B, and invest time into the game.

There is a deep variety of game modes, including the game's deeeep career mode.
Game Modes

There are the standard fare of Quick Race, Time Trial, Grand Prix, Career, Challenges and Championship modes. Each is equivalent to it's console brother, with Career mode being a rather engrossing experience overall. The others are pretty basic, but you'll find that you have more than enough to do within the game.

The mode I'm most intrigued by is the challenge mode, where you have to complete a series of challenges in order to advance within the mode. The thing I hate most about the challenge mode is that it has to be a bunch of special mini-games where you have to pass a certain amount of checkpoints or avoid obstacles. Why does pick-up-and-play racing modes have to resort to this nonsense?
The career mode basically offers the same options as the console version. That means you'll be fighting for sponsorships and to move up the ladder towards teams with better racing equipment and more money. There are a lot of things you have to do in career mode to balance from your image to the result in race day. Simply put if you are into the game, the career mode will suck you in for quite awhile.

Why can't the challenge mode be something more like, "Go from worst to first in eight laps in the rain in Turkey." But alas.

The in car view is one of my favorites.
Final Thoughts

F1 2011 is the only true 'sim' racing title on the Vita thus far, and it plays the game safe. The game is careful to not do more than it should -- I'd like to call the game a careful port of it's console brother.

With that in mind, if you are a gear head and want something to satisfy your realism bones, F1 is probably your only good answer for now on the Vita. But the game is simply good and doesn't even dare go beyond that, but for many that's going to be just fine.

Graphics: Very solid. The framerate is smooth at almost all times, which is just so important for a racing title.

Audio: Another solid effort. Don't expect to be wowed by the audio quality here, but it's definitely good enough.

Controls: The default 'A' setting is atrocious on the Vita. My favorite is the B setting, which will likely be yours too.

Learning Curve: Immense. If you want the most out of F1, even on the Vita, you have to invest time in tweaking your car -- lots of time. If that thought excites you, go buy this game now.

Entertainment Value: F1 isn't a pick up and play type of racer unless you are in to wonky challenges. Quite honestly there are already better options for that. F1 is an invest your time into type of racer to get the most out of it.

Score: 7 (Good)

F1 2011 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Rules @ 02/24/12 06:34 PM
Solid review. I have both versions and you are spot on with it being a stripped down port. Very challenging and it definitely is worth picking up for those who want realism.
# 2 RunN1st @ 08/09/13 04:27 PM
I've been turning laps on the PS Vita version lately and I'm really digging it! I turned a 1.23 at Melbourne which blew away the 1.33 I'm turning on the 360. I don't have any of the aids on except for the auto-shift. Besides that I'm playing the game on hard, 100% race length, albeit damage off.

If anyone out there has the game please let me know. I would love to test online.

PSN: Runn1st

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