Clouds and weather effects are very nicely rendered indeed and as said, is a visual treat and the feeling of speed from the cockpit view of the car is breathtaking. You can almost feel your head whipping from side to side as you tear through the chicanes and roar around the bends.
It's very close to the TV presentation with the HUD showing the KER's charge and the DRS when activated. It also represents the G-force exerted on the drivers as they go round the circuit. It's that attention to detail that impressed me, though you don't always get the chance to study that part of the HUD seeing as you are going like a bat out of hell!Controls:
Slick and responsive. Cars handle very well indeed. Left stick is used to steer the car, Right trigger is the accelerator and the left trigger applies the brakes. Simples! KER's is used by a press of the left button whilst the RBS is activated with the Y button but all of the above can be customised. Feel free to mix and match as you see fit.Music:
No Fleetwood Mac's the chain in the opening! This is a shame as I have already said. To be honest the music is not a crucial part of the game for me. It's there and it works a-okay and suits the style and mood of the game.Voice/Vocal acting:
Again not a major factor in the game. You do get to interact with a TV crew between races and like 2010's game, what you say reflects how the team and your rivals see you and treat you on the track. Pay heed, it's not a good idea to upset your own team mate either, although the needle that may be generated can make your life interesting indeed! Likewise, criticism at someone else on the track can also backfire on you as well. It's all good!Online Play:
Again smooth and responsive. There is no pop up, visible lag or any drop in the frame rate. And if you do get bored of flying solo this is where of course, the new co-operative team mate mode kicks in. (though if he isn't on line that's a problem of course!) Can you beat him to the technical advantages offered by the team or are you going to be gracious and try and share? It's up to you!
Online races can be short affairs or you can go for the full on race experience with full length races on offer. The penalties (more on these as I said in the pro's and cons) can be full on or switched off, and if they are on, be careful, and if off, prepare for some high speed shenanigans indeed! Pit stops can be included or omitted as can car damage. The options are as varied as can be. Feel free to experiment.Physics:
Crashes are well rendered and if you are a victim of one, you will soon see the effects on your cars performance and feel it. The pad vibrated very authentically on me when I took damage to my left front wheel after a slight knock with another car and the car 'twitched' to reflect that damage. They are also very spectacular (or can be!) to watch providing you can avoid getting added to the pile up yourself!
Pieces of carbon fibre will fly through the air, smoke will cloud nicely and gravel gets thrown out if someone fails to take a bend correctly. An impressive job indeed.