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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that F1 2011 is a hyper-realistic racing simulator that is loaded with corporate logos and may be much too difficult for some players (especially younger ones). The game presents Formula 1 racing in a true-to-life fashion, blending all the complications that go with navigating a winding track as competitors race past you and the business side of F1. That makes it extremely unwelcoming to casual driving sim fans. While the commercialism is authentic, it's also nearly overwhelming, so parents sensitive to that might want to think twice. Violent car crashes can be turned off in the menu.
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What's it about?
In F1 2011, players slip into the confining seat of a Formula 1 driver, zipping through claustrophobic hairpin turns at one point, then managing aspects of their career (from managing contracts to signing sponsorships) the next. They'll also have to maintain their vehicle between races, in order to remain competitive, and customize it to fit their style. The game plays close attention to F1 rules, too. Try to take a shortcut and it adds a 10 second penalty onto your time.
Is it any good?
If you're a F1 enthusiast, you will be squarely in your element with F1 2011. If you're not overly familiar with genre (or with any sort of hard core racing sim), you will be downright baffled about what's going on. The game is a fantastic simulation of the popular racing sport, but it throws players immediately into the deep end and lets them sink or swim. The amount of information presented to you at the beginning is nearly overwhelming, but it gets even harder once you're out on the track, where the Artificial Intelligence used for controlling the other racers is ruthless, speeding past you whenever it spots an opening. All of this said, the game is beautiful and handles as precisely as you would expect. Fans will be incredibly happy with what developer Codemasters has put together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the amount of advertising in the game and how distracting it is. Do children notice it more in this game than on televised Formula One events?
Families can also discuss if the simulator feel of the game, with all of the details to keep up with, adds or detracts from the playing experience.
Families with teens who are just learning to drive might want to pay attention to a study that suggests that playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life.
For kids who love competition in their gameplay
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.