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F1 2001 comes into its own in several areas. Graphically it's the most impressive Formula One title to date and with a hint of motion blur on the onscreen visuals there's an almost tangible sense of speed. Weather effects are truly spectacular; rain in particular is horrific, restricting visibility to a frightening distance. Other truly great additions to the mix are interactive pit stops which allow the player to fully control vital tyre changes, and the addition of Gran Turismo-style driving challenges which help to develop a variety of racing skills. This testing section really helps when making the transition from quick race to full-on Grand Prix mode, even though it can be quite tricky to master.
Thankfully, EA have ditched full TV race commentary in favour of radio messages from the pit controller which not only add to the flavour of the game but don't have the infuriating repetitiveness of Murray Walker's ramblings in Sony's Formula One 2001 offering. Perhaps the most impressive inclusion in the game though is proper driver AI. Don't expect to see perfect driving from your opponents because it won't happen--and there's nothing like seeing Jenson Button pirouette past on a tight right-hander and disappear in a cloud of dust--marvellous stuff! --Chris Russell
So I was really looking forward to this game and was expecting a lot. I was hoping to rent it first to make sure I didn't waste my money. Unfortunately, my local game store didn't have it. I then looked at the amazon reviews and the first one said it was very, very disappointing which put me off. Then the second review said it was the exact opposite so I decided to buy the game, as I was desperate for an F1 PS2 game.
I will now try to break the game down into good and bad points: -
1) Challenge mode - These are like a breath of fresh air. Challenges include driving around each circuit in the fastest time without leaving the track, pit stops, braking, weather changes, etc.
2) Appearance - All the tracks and cars look great and realistic
3) Replays - You can speed up and rewind/forward replays
4) The intermediate split times are the same as the computer cars. People who have bought games like F1 championship season 2000 (PS1 EA Sports) will know that at one intermediate you could be 5 seconds down on the computer cars and at the next intermediate you could have the same time as the computer cars. This really helps to see how you're really doing on a flying lap.
5) Weather changes
6) On board cockpit view - This is just unbelievable!. The attention to detail is amazing from the helmet design, car manufactures logo on the steering wheel to the driver peeling off a tear-off. It feels just like one of ITV's on board shots and all you miss is Martin Brundle's commentary.
The game however is let down by numerous gameplay deficiencies. It's too much of an arcade game - real F1 fans won't get a lot of enjoyment because the racing is unrealistic. It will only hold your attention for short periods. Those who want to feel the excitment of a real F1 race will be soundly disappointed. You won't find yourself in a situation whereby you are inching up on your opponent taking tenths of a second out per lap, or become involved in a hard-fought battle for position. It's all quickfire overtaking or losing position.
Another thing I don't understand is why hitting the wall doesn't hinder your progress. At Monaco you will get your fastest time by crashing your way through the streets of Monte Carlo rather than carefully navigating on the track.
I hate the replays. It appears as if the cars don't actually slow down at all for corners. The views are inadequate - I'd like to view the cars from television camera angles.
Collisions are also unrealistic - possibly one of the worst aspects of the game. Even with damage turned on they do not portray a real life F1 collision. Whether you ram a car or they ram you, you are instantly able to continue. You might push someone off the circuit at high speed - they'll be back within a few seconds. Impacts are soft, AI cars don't ever really spin out of control and it is impossible to get a chain collision.
Multiplayer modes are no good either - when playing two player, you can't view your car from the normal on car television camera - completely anyway. The head is chopped out of view!... Read more ›
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