Ive written this review using the Xbox360 version, these are my initial experiences and thoughts on F1 2011.
Virgin dont have KERS so havent yet used that, but they do have DRS which is a fun little toy. Open the wing too soon on a corner and your off in to a barrier or a spin Equally if you open it too soon your car can start sliding out at the back, which revs the engine and loses you speed. Seems realistic so far. Would have been nice to have the option to press and hold a button, at the moment you press once to once, press again to close (or just hit the brakes, it closes automatically).
They have been redesigned to now have an outer surface rating (1.0 for soft, 0.4 for hard) which is for your 1-2 laps in qualifying, so the super quick laps, then a further 9.0 for driving on race day. Seems to work well, I can easily tell the difference between soft and hard tyres, the wear levels are better than F1 2010, but I havent experienced the "drop off a cliff" effect they are supposed to have. At least not yet, on a 12 lap race I ran with softs for 5 laps, which they managed with ease.
Live the Life:
Just as boring as F1 2010. Different people asking the questions, but the same old questions and answers have come up so far. Ive just for instance, in a virgin, in season 1, been asked if I will be in the chase for winning the title this season. Sigh. There are movie scenes congratulating mechanics after the race, I was bored after seeing it the 2nd time.
Dry and Wet:
In the dry, the car feels better then F1 2010, the suspension has been worked differently and spins can now be prevented, no more random spins on slow corners.
The wet track has been greatly improved, you have to be very careful to avoid spins, and thats with ABS and full traction control on. I didnt manage a single lap without at least one spin.
The telemetry screen shows all sectors.
Pit stops, there are no delays
Graphics still look excellent
More music to listen to
Additional customisation options
The racing interface, cleaner and easier
Better loading screens, showing random facts about your career so far
Mini map, displays a colour for if your sector is red/green/purple on the time sheets
The fuel mixture is a great little toy to change throughout the race - I feel like a real F1 driver constantly fiddling away at the steering wheel /controller
Hold full throttle, boom lights are green, sit there, sit there, sit there, turn 1. Would be nice to set clutch levels or at least have an idea what kind of revs to maintain for a good start.
You get emails to read, but cant scroll down when reading them.
I have raced with 3 difficulty settings, Intermediate, Professional and Legendary. With Legendary I was seconds behind everyone, with Professional I was qualifying top 10 and finishing top 5 in the race, in a Virgin Racing car. With most assists on - these should be slowing me down (although avoiding me from spins etc).
The damage system is unrealistic, same as F1 2010
In Qualifying, cars dont move out of my way until Im on top of them, at which point it is too late.
I did an entire race on 1 set of intermediate tyres, no drying line ever came up, the tracks grip remained constant and predictable.
This game is an improvement over F1 2010 certainly, but has not met my expectations. It seems to have 2 modes - way too easy, or way too hard. I can certainly see the potential, but the levels of difficulty need a major re-balance.