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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: SCE Studios Liverpool
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-11
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: February 27, 2007
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screensots: Link
Amazon: BUY NOW!

Formula One is the premiere sport of Europe and Asia, which is why there havenít been that many gamers over the years to grace North America. North American is dominated by the love of NASCAR, which is American born and bread. With Formula One, Sony is attempting to cater to NASCAR driven fans, while at the same time, give racing junkies a fresh and intense experience. So how does the title fare, keep reading and find out how.

Sonyís own Formula One differs from previous F-1 racing titles by including several different options, which opens the sport to new and exciting alternatives to keep the action enjoyable for all ages. For gamers who are new to the series or racing in general, there are several options, which can be turn on or off, to help in the learning curve. For those who are knee deep into titles like Gran Turismo, you have the option to go under the hood and customize the engine and suspension to create the perfect racing car, suitable for #1 spots and the best lap times possible.

If you are serious about jumping directly into the title, you have a couple of options. For those who want to relive the life of an up and coming F-1 driver, then the Career mode is for you. Those who just want to jump in a race through a season; then the World Championship mode is for you. Within the career mode, you are a no name driver that must qualify for a team before you get a chance to actually race. The team will either ask you to be a trackís lap time, or comprise a slow race time (3 laps). Depending on your experience with F-1 titles, or games like Gran Turismo, these feet might be that big of an issue. For newbies like myself, I found that I had to complete this task several times before I got it right and successfully passed.

Getting from the team trials to the actual race tack is a long road for some. If your skills arenít good enough to make the cut, then you could end up testing out various settings and items on cars, while waiting to find out who won the race and what position your teammates came in. Over time, you can go from a successful test driver to a possible driver spot which is good for those who just donít quite have the driving skills needed to win. But where Career mode struggles, the World Championship mode picks up the slack.

A nice draw I found with in this title is that the attention has shifted from the car to the race track. Most racing games are all about learning how to drive that particular car and how to customize it, while Formula One is all about the technical side to racing and knowing your race course. The cars of F-1 can pick up speed quickly and stop without effort, so there isnít much need for customization. The competition is no push over with this title, so knowing the course and when to accelerate and brake are the keys to success. There are several turns, some sharp, that requires you to know exactly when to brake and how much, in order to hit a 180-degree corner, which spinning out of control or running into another driver.

Comparing this title to wrestling, Formula One is more of a Bret Hart, while titles like Burnout, Mario Kart, etc. would be more like Rey Mysterio. This title isnít all about amazing crashes or flashy maneuver and/or feats. Like I said before, this title isnít for everyone, but if you are a Formula fan, then this title will certainly not disappoint you.

The biggest draw for me to Formula One was the true to life race courses, which are included within the title. From Indianapolis, to Monte Carlo, each course is very stylized and a true representation of the real-life courses raced on every year. The vehicles of Formula One, primarily the F-1 cars, are highly detailed about polished. With playing Gran Turismo for several years, and sampling Gran Turismo HD, Formula One isnít the most photo-realistic race title out there, but you do gain a since of realism ranging from the vehicles, to the race tracks, and even the realistic atmosphere surrounding the title. There are a few minor issues within the image perspective of this title, but they donít distract or keep you from enjoying the racing experience.

But most impressive feature within this title is the lighting and reflections used throughout the title. This title boasts a pretty impressive roster of effects, which keeps the game interesting and true to life and the sport. Examples of this is when you are driving into the direction of the sun in the game, your visions is obscured temporarily. Even lighting affects can reflect off the various cars, which could hinder your vision (darn those sun glares). The inclusion of rain is a very nice touch to the title. It changes several of the atmospheric perspectives given within the title, while at the same time ushering a change to gameplay mechanics, which a lot of race titles overlook.

Within Formula One, you have several options for how your want to control all the action going on. Of course, you can use the traditional SIXAXIS controller and its analog sticks, but the biggest and best draw comes from the racing wheels, which are fully compatible with this title. The immersion factor is very high, but just like the controller, there isnít the inclusion of Force Feedback, which is a addition that makes the experience all the more real.

Thereíre several options; when playing Formula One, to extend the lasting quality of the title. Some find an enjoyment in playing Time Trails over and over to perfect their driving skills and get the best time possible for each and every course. You can also attempted to unlock all the classic F-1 cars, which is a nice touch, but just like anybody else, I wish these titles were made available for using during the actual game instead of just Time Trials. But then again, you will have a desire to spend more time in Time Trails now because of these new treats on wheels.

The biggest draw for me is the online gameplay. Though not in-depth as most titles, there is certainly a lasting quality that makes me want to come back for more. By playing online, you can have your stats tracked, which is a big draw for those who want to be #1. While online, you can build your stats by racing by yourself against 21 A.I. controlled cars, or gather up some friends, and compete online in heated races or self-constructed tournaments to see who the best is.

In a market thatís dominated by NASCAR racing titles, this is certainly a nice title for North American gamers to get their hands on. This game is truly tailored for those who are fans of the sport and who are into realistic racing titles. Though there are a few issues here and there, this title is an all-around success that is worthy of a race or two.


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