Formula One Championship Edition
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|Formula One Championship Edition|
|Developer(s)||SCE Studio Liverpool|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Online Multiplayer|
Formula One Championship Edition is a racing video game, developed by SCE Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. The game follows the basic structure of Formula One 06 for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. The main differences include the updated visuals for the PS3 including a lot more detail, Sixaxis compatibility, real time reflections, car reflections on wet circuits and new wet weather effects. It was announced early in development that the safety car would be included in the game for the first time in an F1 game since Formula One 99 for the PlayStation. However, it was removed before the final release along with the PSP wing mirror integration shown at E3.
The game also boasts dynamic weather, and improved AI. The AI system is called "Live Action Racing" where one can pressure the opposition, causing them to make little mistakes such as running wide on corners, causing them to crash into other cars or spin off the road of their own accord. The AI will then try to seek opportunities to pass the player in a realistic manner.
The game is based on the early F1 season. Hence, Yuji Ide drives for Super Aguri when in reality he lost his super licence just 4 races into the '06 season, and Franck Montagny, then later Sakon Yamamoto took his seat. Other minor changes throughout the real 2006 season are also not represented.
In the career mode, players begin by running tests for one of three teams (Toro Rosso, Super Aguri or Midland F1) at either the Silverstone, Magny Cours or Catalunya circuits. The tests given vary between the teams. When the player successfully completes the tests, they are given the role of test driver or race driver, depending on how well the player performed in the test. After performing well as a test driver, the player will become the second driver of the team. From there the player can compete in race weekends through many different roles. As a test driver the player will try out different car settings in practice, and as a driver the player will have track position targets to meet to keep the seat. The player's performances are subject to review at several points during the season.
The initial release did not include force-feedback support, which is considered by many to be an important feature for simulation racing games used with driving wheel controllers. A subsequent update in early 2008 added force feedback. The game also lacks support for 1080i or 1080p output resolutions. Per the calendar, the Belgian Grand Prix is not included.
The game's cover in the North America version (as seen on the right) features Fernando Alonso (the defending world champion at that time in 2006) who drove for the Renault team, Jenson Button who drove for the Honda team and David Coulthard who drove for the Red Bull Racing team.
Formula One Championship Edition follows the 2006 Formula One season, with 18 tracks, 11 teams and 22 drivers. Driver changes that happened during the real 2006 season are also not included, such as Juan Pablo Montoya leaving McLaren after the United States Grand Prix and replaced by Pedro de la Rosa and Jacques Villeneuve leaving BMW Sauber after the German Grand Prix and replaced by Robert Kubica.
Formula One Championship Edition was released in North America on February 27, 2007. It was the first Formula One game to be released there since 2003, when Atari released Grand Prix Challenge exclusively for PlayStation 2 and EA Sports released F1 Challenge '99-'02 for the PC, and F1 Career Challenge for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. It was a launch title for the European and Australasian release of the PlayStation 3.
Formula One Championship Edition was the final release in Sony's series of F1 games which had been running for over a decade, with the announcement that Codemasters had secured exclusive rights to the sport following shortly after the game's release. As this game was effectively an update of the PlayStation 2 game Formula One 06, there was to be no 2007 version of the game - the first time the series had skipped a season since 1996.
This was the most recent F1 game given the three season gap before Sumo Digital's F1 2009 (published by Codemasters) game came out on PSP and Nintendo Wii. In September 2010, Codemasters released F1 2010 with all the official teams and tracks, available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
The first trailer of Formula One Championship Edition was displayed at E3 2005, during the Sony conference. The trailer shows drivers from the 2005 season, racing on the Suzuka circuit in Japan. Sony and SCE Studio Liverpool have released a second trailer, where the 2006 drivers are seen on the Monza circuit while demonstrating many new features, such as one where the player can use a PSP as a wing mirror. This feature has since been removed, while new features such as adjustable front and rear differentials, shock bound, shock rebound, tyre pressure, anti-roll bar and weight distribution have been added.
Unlockables for Time Trial mode
The game contains unlockable cars and a track, Jerez, which was last used as the final round of the 1997 season, and can be unlocked and used in Time Trial mode. The unlockable cars range from a Williams FW18 (used in 1996 by that season's champion Damon Hill) to Formula One's first turbocharged race winning Renault and a 1970 Lotus that was once driven by Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson. The cars are mostly unlocked by achieving the targets in Time Trial mode and can only be used in this mode.
- Renault's Mild Seven logos are replaced by the Team Spirit logo (as in real life).
- McLaren Mercedes's Johnnie Walker logos are replaced with the normal colour of the car.
- Ferrari's Marlboro logos are replaced by the normal colour of the car.
- Honda's Lucky Strike logos are replaced by Look Left, Look Right, Honda and Racing Revolution logos (as in real life).
- Williams Budweiser logo are replaced by normal colour of the car.
- IGN - 7.2 out of 10
- GameSpot - 7.2 out of 10
- Gamespy - 4 out of 5
- GameTrailers - 7.3 out of 10
- Edge - 4 out of 10
- Play - 72%
Compilation of reviews
A demo of the game has been available since November 2006 on the PlayStation Network via the PlayStation Store. In this demo, players can race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Autodromo Nazionale Monza tracks. The European version of the downloadable demo features 2 other tracks from the 2006 season; namely Circuit de Catalunya and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
- Play magazine review, issue 151, Imagine Publishing