The last time i bought an F1 game was F1 '97 for the Playstation, and what a fine game it was graphically as well as gameplay. Even today i reckon apart from the graphics looking ropey the gameplay is still good.
Not so for F1 2011 on the PC. It looks and feels like a console game port. Sure the graphics aren't too bad, but the game play is frustrating from the off.
Firstly the game takes minutes to load after you have logged into Windows live. Cannot use a mouse to click various options to advance through the screens more quickly, you have to use the keyboard buttons etc.
Eventually i was happy with the setup of my car as i opted to do a practice session on a familiar track i know well. The game loads to the track after a long pause. I take control of the car and i cannot keep the car on track. After several corners i head back to the pit to alter setups. I did this 5 or 6 times, each time increasing downforce and changing brake bias so as to be able to turn into the corners etc. But all in vain. The car's characteristics on track are that of driving on ice, i just couldnt get the power down properly even on the straights, this was because as the car drifted (all quite normal) i would attempt to make small/ subtle corrections to keep the car on the right bit of the track (all quite normal), however, the car would fishtail, often i ended up in the barrier or on the grass/ gravel run offs in corners.
I found that the handling of the car in the game was terrible.
I shut the game down for a bit and went back to it a bit later. By now i was familiar with loading up the game and navigating to the right screens that i wanted etc. But it wasn't any faster, still took minutes to get to the pit garage in the practice mode - this is just unacceptable, takes far to long! What were Codemasters thinking of? Or is this down to Windows (Microsoft) for the game taking a long time to load up?
The graphics are 'ok', nothing to get too excited about.
Far too many setup options for the car, to the casual racing game enthusiast it will be too complex, and for even a die hard F1 fan it's complicated.
The gameplay as far as i got was awful, labouring and in the end unexciting.
What was a game i had been looking forward to play for the past couple of months turned out to be a big let down.
The two stars i've given are for how the game looks.
If i had been able to sample the game prior to buying it i would have never bought it.