Although I appreciate the karmic irony of EA Sports losing its burgeoning Formula 1 series when Sony acquired an exclusive license on the marque in 2003, a tactic EA has often used itself, it's been a difficult dry spell for me. The final PC-based F1 sim modelled the 2002 season, and many things in F1 have changed since then. As you can imagine, then, it was a real treat for me to score a few minutes driving Sony's latest iteration of their series: Formula One Championship Edition. This was also to be my first exposure to the PLAYSTATION 3.
I was not disappointed! I expected to be dazzled by the high-end graphics of the state-of-the-art console, and I was. Between the visual effects of the shimmering view through a competitors exhaust to the rooster tails of spray trailing the cars in a rainy race, the eye candy truly delivered. The three tracks that I drove a few laps on were very well detailed, and to my surprise, not even the polygon-laden Monaco track caused a stutter in the butter smooth framerate.
Controls, always an issue on console racers, worked as expected in joystick mode (read 'twitchy'), but the SIXAXIS mode was a significant and innovative improvement. I had a few of the default drivers aids on, but the physics seemed well suited to offer a good balance between the limitations of console steering devices and a realistic level of challenge. I was able to get a few laps in with only minor slides and spins. I also managed to get an intriguing first look at the complex damage model, and came away impressed.
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