With the offseason, Red Bull Air Race fans need a way to wet their whistle and with the help of the Playstation Home Network, the Red Bull Air Race can be played by those who have a Playstation 3 and an Internet connection.
I was told to try this out the other day and was a little skeptical because I don't really play video games all that much, but it turned out to be a lot of fun! There is only one level, and flying fast and clean is tough, but not to the point where you will get frustrated and throw your control at the television!
The world you are racing in is a combination between the Hawaiian Islands and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. It is stunning and you might end up spending all your time exploring the area rather than racing!
When it comes to air gates, you only have red gates, quadros, and chicanes. When it came to the chicanes, I realized why Matt Hall and Pete McLeod both loved it: They are dynamic gates and a lot of fun to maneuver around.
For the red gates or quadros, where you have to fly at a knife edge, a shadow of the aircraft is visible to show you at which knife edge—left or right—you have to take in order to get through the gate.
When it comes to penalties, the player is forgiven for many of the penalties that are given in the real thing. You are not given penalties for flying too high or too low, but are given three seconds for incorrect knife edge, 10 seconds for hitting an air gate, or 15 for hitting two air gates in succession (like in a quadro).
The game has a lot of good things to it. It is simple to play and you can always improve your time. I started off with a 2:40 with a ton of penalties and was able to whittle it down to 51.45 seconds!
There is no leaderboard, and quite frankly I'm happy with that! It makes you enjoy the game more for fun than trying to beat the guy in China who was .01 seconds faster than you. If you want a competition, check out the Red Bull Air Race game on their Web site where you can fly the tracks that were used in the 2008 season.
The down side to the game is that you only have one type of aircraft, the Extra 300S, an aircraft that will no longer be used for next season. However, you have the choice of whose aircraft you want to fly: Hannes Arch, Peter Besenyei, or Mike Mangold, and all of them have the livery of the respective pilots.
In the real series though, only Besenyei used an Extra for half the season before switching to an Edge 540.
Probably in the next upgrade, we might see additional levels, more pilot's aircrafts, and possibly even customize a level for yourself?
Overall, the game is fun to play, quite addictive, easy to control but not too easy to insult your intelligence. If you have a Playstation 3, check out the game, you'll be playing for hours!
Check out the official Red Bull Air Race website for their take on the game.