F1 is all about serious racing, stats up to the sky and ultra realism. F1 Race stars is the cartoon version of this; cute, colorful and totally out of this world. This game boasts an official F1 license so all the usual teams and suspects are present here. Again this is a cartoon-y game and it plays like a traditional karting game. You have weapons to shoot and boosts to take on and heck there are even pit areas you drive through to get your F1 car fixed after a particularly nasty weapon hit. This is a good game, its not fantastic but equally it’s not poor. If you like karting games and let’s be honest you do, then this maybe for you.
So the menus are first up and typically they look lovely and are very smooth as you would expect from a Codemasters racing product. All the options you could want are here and are easily accessible. You can even change your avatar image with many in the game and have a motto as well. You then start and its time to pick your driver. All the teams are present with the big boys; Ferrari, Mercedes and Redbull as well as the minnows of Marutia and Toro Roso. There are even a few made up characters in there if you don’t wish to play as these guys. You can then choose single race or career. One thing I like is the staggering amount of cups to play through in career mode as well as the different “ccs” to choose from including 1000cc up to 3000cc. Single play mode allows you to choose one of the 12 tracks in the game and just jump right in. The tracks available include Monaco, Great Britain, Abu Dhabi, and Brazil. Many of the tracks feature famous sections from their real world counterparts, such as the Curva Grande in Monza, and the crazy chicanes of Monaco but they all have twists. As this is a funky game the tracks are also funky. There are holes, conveyor belts, traps and just mayhem in general.
This is not what an F1 game is all about? Well no but this is what a fun game is about. There is also of variety in the track design but sadly it leaves you thinking that this has all been done before. This is the same karting game but with an F1 license. Every karting game has weapons and they are present here with yellow and red bubbles which are essentially green and red shells. There are also trap bubbles, as well as the safety car, DRS and wet weather conditions. You can send over a nasty cloud to rain on the parade of someone effectively slowing them down. There is also an electric pulse you send out that takes out nearby victims. My favorite is the safety car as you can slow down the front runner because they cant overtake the safety car. It’s a nice idea to have F1 specific weapons in an F1 game. The KERS system is also here which can be activated by the trigger when you turn to fill up your battery and once full, let it rip. The gameplay itself is very familiar and pretty much anyone can play this as the controls are basic and easy to use.
There is also four player split screen which is pretty good as its fun driving past Hamilton as Michael and just showing off with Alonso. There is also a 12 player online option that you get when you sign up to the free Racenet system. It’s worth it as this is really fun. Real life people just make the game better as they can strategize with the driving and weapons. The AI is pretty good at times but the frequency with which they get better weapons is unfair. There are also a few modes on offer here that are pretty decent but sadly nothing new. Elimination nation is your basic elimination mode where at regular times the last placed driver goes bye-bye. Refuel is an interesting idea as you need to pick up fuel cells to keep the kart going. This is a pretty decent attempt to bring karting to F1 fans and for the most part this is really fun. It does not bring anything new to the table but what it brings it does pretty well. This is a game for everyone as the young and old can play it easily, the controls system is instantly usable and the weapons give a nice balance to the game.
The graphics are nothing amazing but they are pretty nice. The drivers look dead on although they are all the same height which is isn’t accurate. The tracks themselves are made with love and attention and this is evident. The spectators are pretty cool and they are just red or green squares, a nice way to get around mapping people and it fits in with the whole cartoon theme. The cars or karts look really cute, all the sponsors and logos are present and you can really see this is the cartoon version of the real thing. Sound wise this is not as bad but the various accents the drivers have is just silly. Comparing English to Spanish and German is laughable but again that’s the whole point. It’s a game that pokes fun at itself and I commend them. This is a decent game for all, not amazing but good enough for a few hours of fun with your friends. Online and the career mode will give you many hours of gaming. Just up to you if you want to partake.
- Great cartoon graphics, bright and bubbly.
- Easy to pick up and play, great for all ages.
- Not bringing anything new to the karting table.
Summary: F1 racing but in cartoon mode. The drivers are silly and so is the racing. A nice little game.
- Format: PS3
- Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
- Publisher: Codemasters
- Release Date: November 13, 2012
F1 Race Stars – Review,