the writings of a mind

Title: F1 World Grand Prix
Genre: Racing Simulation/Arcade
Big Word: Fuelish
Strap: Youíre under starterís orders. And youíve gone off.

Apparently the days when licenses were given out to one company, and one company only, are long gone. As if distributing confetti upon an excited crowd, the FIA are throwing the rights to convert their little sport into pixels to anyone who asks nicely. Last month saw the anticlimax that was EAís "official" attempt. This month sees Eidos have a goÖ "officially" of course.

There isnít really any way to review an F1 game that avoids comparison with older titles. While it would be nice to judge each entirely on its own merits, and thrust love or hatred accordingly, it would be completely useless to you, yes you, the Great Game Buying Public. With of so many F1-based games to be tripped over in the shops, we need to know which holds the penthouse key to the tower of greatness. Or without the bollocks, we need to know which oneís best.

So for F1WGP to be a high achiever, it would have to be impressive in a large number of areas. It would need to be graphically superior to others, it would need to be more realistic than others, and it would need to be more fun than othersÖ It isnít, it isnít, and it isnít. Which is consistent at least. What we have here is yet another console title brought across to the Land of PC, with little more than some new shiny shoes, and a pair of tinted contact lenses.

F1WGP is based on the 1999 F1 season, which already dates it out of the market bearing in mind that EAís flawed F1 2000 uses the current seasonís drivers and cars. So we hark back to the days when Hill was ignoring his urgent need to retire, and so many other important changes had yet to occur. With such a rapidly changing sport, it is ultimately unsatisfying to be gaming in the past.

However, while Eidosí offering is not the best there ever was, it is competent enough in all the areas it need be. You can drive all 22 cars, from all 11 teams, and tweak each and every part of each and every car to the finest detail. You can drive on every track, each replicated with reasonable faithfulness. You can do everything that you would come to expect from such a game, but just not well enough. It easily becomes laggy even on low graphics settings, relying on heavily fogging to disguise a wonky engine, and the AI of other drivers is simply appalling, seemingly under the illusion that it is controlling bumper-cars.

If you want something to tide you over until we finally get F1GP3, this will keep you going, but it isnít going to spray you with happiness-fuel and then set you alight with a sparking joy.


Margin Note:
No Comment

It seems to be common practise with so many racing games to ensure that we can hear a familiar voice commentating our each and every turn. From Brundle to Walker (no relation), we get the excited ramblings almost describing what is happening on screen, until after about three minutes when it becomes so incredibly annoying we turn it off. Eidos have fitted F1WGP with an energy saving feature that relieves us of this effort, by not having any commentary in the first place.

 While a competent F1 game, nothing about it is good enough to win our hearts.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Eidos
Minimum System: P166, 32Mb RAM, 4Mb 3D card (not likely)
Recommended: P350, 64Mb RAM, 32Mb 3D card
Multi-player: Up to 12 on network game
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