Release Date: November 20, 2012
Developer: Codemasters Studios Birmingham
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: E for Everyone
Codemasters decided to release one more racing title for the holiday season as F1 Race Stars speeds onto the raceway! This is by no means a top of the line F1 2012 or Grid. Instead, they’ve taken a much simpler approach, kart racing. But the question lies, did Codemasters stay in the right lane?
F1 Race Stars give gamers a realistic cartoon in so many words. At first glance, you’ll immediately consider this to be none other than Mario Kart pushed to other platforms. In a way, yes. But it steers clear from being a complete replica.
If racing games is your preference, you’ll appreciate the use of licensed cars and players. In fact, this is a first for any kart racing title. Real race tracks from across the globe are tweaked with stunning props and effects as well.
During races, which you can choose from 1000cc to 3000cc, the game delivers an arcade feel. You’re speeding to the finish line with plenty of perks on the track to give you the advantage. Stars light up granting you bubbles that causes your opponents to float and lose their speed and momentum, balloons that burst and spreads confetti all over the other driver’s helmet and more.
The very thing that sets F1 Race Stars apart is the ability of taking damage and the process of repairing. Unlike like most games where your vehicle is destroyed and you respawn, in F1 Race Stars, once you take damage, pit stops begin to open up. The more damage you take the slower you drive and the more your kart starts to spark. A quick stroll through the pit stop will fully repair your vehicle and get you back in motion.
While the pit stops places a unique difference in kart racing games, it doesn’t feel needed. Kart racing games are usually targeted to the younger audience or family. The quick match, start to finish is quite traditional. Codemasters, on the other hand, wishes to expand more authenticity. This is in no way a bad move, some may enjoy the challenge.
Downside, F1 Race Stars lacks difficulty. Races are way too easy and there isn’t an option to increase the experience. It’s not so fun when you can “always” take a top spot with no competition in sight. Just special attacks hitting you from time to time.
Multiplayer is available, allowing you to split up to four players locally or go online in a 12 player race to the finish line. Career mode is available as well,but it’s more of the same.
Graphically, F1 Race Stars have some very detailed scenery, as far as kart racing titles. Controls are simple enough to master within seconds.
The end result is that F1 Race Stars feels more of an arcade game rather than a AAA title. It fails to deliver any type of wow factor. The potential was there to do so, but the outcome shows the opposite. The demo is now available for download, try before you buy!!!!!
Replay Value: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5