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Formula One 2003 (PS2)
- Official game of the FIA Formula One World Championship
- Includes exclusive 2003 season data
- Incorporates new qualifying rules
- Commentary from James Allen and Martin Brundle
- Diverse game modes cater for novices and experts
- Multiple car setup options
- Improved AI, dynamics, car and track models and more
- For 1-2 players (1-4 in Hot Seat mode)
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- Platform: PlayStation2
- PEGI Rating: Ages 3 and Over
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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"A truly outstanding racing game. 83%." -- PSM2 Magazine
"Includes everything fans could want and untouchable realism." -- Computer and Video Games Magazine
Following hot on the heels of the mighty Formula One 2002, Formula One 2003 continues to refine the experience, and makes for the finest Grand Prix simulation yet seen on PlayStation 2. Now totally exclusive to PS2, the latest instalment features all the 2003 season liveries on the cars, correct driver rosters and even the track alterations that have been made to the Hungaroring and Suzuka circuits. You'll also find that all the new rules and regulations that have been introduced to the sport--and made this season arguably the most thrilling for both spectators and drivers for many years--have been implemented, such as the one-shot Friday and Saturday qualifying laps. With an extremely strong engine already in place, developer Studio Liverpool has been able to turbo charge everything from the visuals to the AI of your rival drivers. Whether you're after pure white-knuckle arcade excitement or something a little more in-depth and realistic, Formula One 2003 has everything you could possibly wish for.
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Well...lets get the cons out of the way first......
The commentary does not run with the race itself (when pit-to car radio provides a heated string of information)- so Martin Brundle and Mr Allen only feature in the 'Spectator View". The car on car collision damage is still woefully inadequate, there are no safety cars (as in earlier PS1 series), and the flag system is incomplete (surely adding a green flag after the yellow to confirm that overtaking can once again be resumed isn't too much to ask?!). The replays are very useful, but just adequate, and the tv style graphics are totally absent - such as the F1 ident, and timings - replaced by uninspiring text. I'm yet to find any personel - a few in the pits would have been great as there is so much attention to detail otherwise.
The pros, however are a different story....
The handling is excellent or difficult (if you want it to be) in that it is so responsive - rumble strip hopping around chicanes is not advisable any more- as the loading of the suspension means that the car can lose traction then suddenly 'bite' when driven carelessly - aquaplaning into the kitty litter (I've managed to spin 180 degrees off of the startline also!) The in-cockpit view actually relays the experience of being connected witht the car and track, right down to skewed horizon through fast turns, and a sense of being dwarfed by normal size barriers etc... and the front end lifting slightly when 'monstering the curbs' as Mr Brundle would say! With comprehensive set ups, and steering wheel (joypad) controlled traction and brake bias selection whilst racing -there is never a second of calm! The backgrounds, though not 100% authentic are awesome - much better than GT3 - and details in overhanging trees or textures on wooden starting gantries, lie of the land, not to mention the beautiful opponent cars flow, pop-up and frame-rate drop free. Adding rear wing failures - and other problems into the equation adds up to a totally immersive experience and a pleasure to drive. You won't know where that sector time was lost - but you'll keep pushing until the car steps out on you, then you'll spend the time it takes to reload the race weekend regretting such a simple mistake....trust me!
In simulation mode, this game is great fun. I found it very difficult at first to get around the circuits without the odd wheel on the grass and the occasional resulting spin. After a few days of practise I am able to hit the podium but have not yet got a first place.
The simulation is not 100% accurate. As someone else commented, drivers in the real season work very hard to claim back a tenth of a second here or there. In the game, it is possible to claim back a half second or more a lap quite easily at the detriment of tyres. Very frustrating, though realistic, to put the hammer down only to reach your opponent with tyres so bad that you can't overtake.
All-in-all, I would say a very good simulation but the gaming aspect has not been forgotten. I for one do not want a perfect simulation where I cannot overtake and there would be no excitement!
The greatest aspect of the game is the computer AI. The competition is close, as opposed to other titles where it is far too easy to beat opponents after only a little practise. The AI here is immensely accurate.
The only criticisms I have are with the detail in the car profiles. The Minardi team are labelled as running with 'Asiatech' engines for example, which is completely wrong as they are powered by 'Cosworth' this season. There are a number of such errors, but it is a tiny problem and does not detract at all from the enjoyment of what is a truly splendid, detailed and fun title.
In this game you can test out all of the cars of the new season!!! Or take time out to watch your own race! It has the new modifications for France and Hungary and thank goodness the old overrated fellows (Massa and the Japanese guy Sato) are out. This year sees Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello stay at Ferrari. Williams retain the services of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen stay at McLaren and how about more. Renault retain the services of ex Jordan and Prost driver Jarno Trulli. Test driver Fernando Alonso partners him in the British-based French team.
Friday Test Session (Only if you are: Minardi, Jordan Renault Jaguar)
Saturday Practice 1
Saturday Practice 2
The gameplay itself is very diffuclt. On easy i'm currently lapping about 5 second slower than the slowest Minardi. At Â£20 in some stores this game is definatly worth the money.