F1 Race Stars Review

F1 Race Stars Review

Under the guidance of Codemasters, F1 video games have seen a massive resurgence in both quality and popularity. But with only one game a year being developed for this hot property in the last few years, Codemasters clearly felt they weren't making the most of their licence. That's where F1 Race Stars comes in, a rather colourful karting game that's meant to offer a much more casual take on the very serious simulation world of F1.

Initially, F1 Race Stars is a game that looks like it's been developed for the younger generations. After all, the different drivers all have stylised cartoon races and their rather powerful machines have been turned into karts. However, this doesn't quite behave like a typical karting experience. Yes, there are power-ups, but Codemasters has been very careful to try and make this experience as similar to the real thing as possible. It's for this reason that one of the most popular karting moves - the drift - has been omitted.

Omitting drift is a very bold decision, especially as many of the courses found in F1 Race Stars have rather tight turns. You just have to approach everything as a normal driving game, so if you're approaching a tight corner, you'll have to ease off the acceleration and maybe even apply the brake - something that would be unthinkable in many other karting games.

In another attempt to make things as authentic as possible, slipstreaming and KERS also play big parts in the experience. They will offer significant boosts to your speed that can only be beaten by using boost pads that are scattered throughout the various tracks. However, karting fans will be pleased to know there is still a rather wacky way of gaining speed - doing rotations during a jump.

Those who're confident karters might opt to go straight for the hardest difficulty - defined by the fastest karting speed - but they might be in for a shock. Due to how the game works, adapting to the system does take a little bit of practice. And even when you're more competent with your driving in F1 Race Stars, that might still not be enough.

The more you race, the more you'll learn to rue the power-ups that are present in the game. Some of them offer severe advantages and no matter how good you are at driving, if you don't make good use of power-ups, you stand very little chance of winning. Even then, you might still come off second best. One examples is the Warp power-up. Upon using this, you'll be boosted through a few positions in the pack without even having to do anything. If you're already at the front, you just get boosted miles in front.

It doesn't help that the rest of the weapons are rather bland too. A lot of them are just different coloured bubbles that can be used in different ways.


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