Game Reviews

Grand Prix LiveRacing

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Grand Prix LiveRacing

There are racing games and there are Formula 1 games. At one time the Grand Prix games just featured a different style of car, but as simulations have evolved, Formula 1 game racing has become a beast all of its own.

Grand Prix LiveRacing roars with top notch features, but it struggles to find the balance that F1 simulation demands.

The tracks of my tyres

While the majority of racing games come equipped with a premise that allows them to take vast liberties with the cars, driving mechanics, and tracks, Formula 1 really doesn't allow much wiggle room. The cars need to handle accurately and the tracks offer a very specific challenge.

Here you're presented with four classic real-life tracks: Monza, Monaco, Sliverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. The inclusion of real racing circuits is nice – it's a good mix of venues that add a natural level of difficulty to the game, not to mention authenticity.

Two hands on the wheel at all times

Where things flounder is in the handling. The sensitivity level of the accelerometer can be adjusted as desired, but steering accuracy is fundamentally flawed beyond the corrective action of adjusting the options.

Keeping the car running in a straight line is immensely difficult, so more time than usual is spent trimming the verge with the car's axles. Handling on the corners is equally precarious, with the brakes feeling to do little to help with control, leaving almost every bend insurmountable for the car's turning circle.

Hit the edge (and you will) and the car actively steers into the barrier, making it extraordinarily tough to get back on the right track. Coupled with uncontrollable spins, you're thrown into even at low speeds and a race can be lost in the first turn.

Back on track

Still, Grand Prix LiveRacing isn't without its charms. Admittedly it's not flashy or feature rich, but full online multiplayer at this price is hard to turn your nose up to.

Admittedly, it becomes entertaining on a less serious level than, say, F1 2009, but try to picture the hilarity of the Three Stooges getting behind the Formula 1 wheel and the appeal of a Grand Prix LiveRacing becomes obvious.

What the game also has going for it is simplicity. You're not bogged down in parts tuning or repairs and Career mode is a straightforward matter of earning enough cash to buy additional vehicles and tracks.

The promise of multiplayer fuels interest, but regrettably the driving mechanics give reason to leave Grand Prix LiveRacing by the side of the road. An overhaul of the driving mechanics is essential for it to meet the stringent demands of a Formula 1 racer.

Grand Prix LiveRacing

Some great features bundled into a budget price game, but the skittish driving makes for a frustrating few laps
Spanner Spencer
Spanner Spencer
Yes. Spanner's his real name, and he's already heard that joke you just thought of. Although Spanner's not very good, he's quite fast, and that seems to be enough to keep him in a regular supply of free games and away from the depressing world of real work.