Played: SBK 2011

New WSB game reviewed

The nerves are rising as I sit upon a factory Ducati on the grid at the final round of the WSB championship lined-up against the best riders in the World, the lights are about go out to decide winner… The reality however, is I've been working on my arse groove in the couch, in a darkened room with the remnants of last nights takeaway playing on SBK 2011.

SBK 2011 is the next extension in the bike racing game series. The two major modes in the game are the standard career and the SBK Tour. The career mode sees you form the idealistic dream of a virtual life in the racing paddock, literally signing on the dotted line to start in Superstock before progressing to World Supersport and finally reaching the ultimate achievement of being a World Superbike champion. SBK Tour sees the player take on a series of challenges across the WSB globe, beating lap targets and passing as many riders as possible in short-lap dashes.

Success in all the game modes including  time attack and quick races is rewarded in the collection of Legends. Riders such as Carl Fogarty, Frankie Chilli and Troy Bayliss amongst others and the bikes from the bygone era like the Ducati 998, Castrol Honda SP2 and Kawasaki ZX-7R. These form another portion of the game with the chance to recreate and imagine dream races between these heroes from the past.

Online you can face-off against a grid of 16 other players and create a customisable online championship.

The SBK franchise has grown to mimick the giant annual sport video games but still has some way to go as with the latest incarnation there only appears to be minor updates and some minor elements lacking, including the Aragon circuit. Graphically the game is not going to challenge the best HD televisions but it still looks clear, there are some spot-on digital representations of the bikes, the animation of riders' styles and the tracks.

Overall, SBK 2011 performs well in the bike racing genre strking a perfect balance between realism and arcade handling to make the player feel like a superbike star and emulate the impossible abilities of the riders in the real world.

By the way we're offering a fantastic competition if you haven't already entered. Ending on July 20th, there is the opportunity to win an Xbox 360, a copy of the game and two weekend passes to the Superbike World Championship race at Silverstone. Enter here.