|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Release: September 20, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Lyrics|
Multiplayer options are also varied. This year's edition allows for a full grid in online races—16 live players and 8 A.I. racers. The Custom Grand Prix mode that's available offline is also available in online multiplayer, and players can even go through the entire career with a friend in the Co-op Championship mode. Even local split-screen and LAN multiplayer options are supported, with a wide variety of options for both.
Visually, the game is a bit of a mixed bag. It never actually looks bad; it even occasionally reaches that hyper-realistic level we've come to expect from Codemasters' games. (See the DiRT series for proof.) It only really looks fantastic during replays, though. Other than that minor complaint, the sense of speed is almost palpable, and the way weight transfer and level of grip are communicated to the player is excellent. This is especially noticeable in the cockpit view.
The audio—from the paddock to the garage to the track—is also good. Tires screech and squeal, and engines whine in up to 7.1 surround sound if your setup supports it. The music isn't bad by any means, and generally only plays during replays and in menus. Controls are tight and fully customizable, though a good wheel setup would probably be the best way to go if you're going to play seriously.
Other than the fact that there's already a software update available, the only real problem I have with the game is that it's very serious, and that's actually more of a compliment than anything else. It stands in direct contrast with DiRT (the "party" part of Codemasters' racing mullet) but it's easily just as good. Fans of Formula One can finally rejoice that their favorite sport is being faithfully represented in the video game realm, and fans of racing games get another great series from a great developer. It's a perfect 1-2 finish.
CCC Contributing Writer