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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: August 21, 2000
If one were to judge solely by the number of software companies producing racing simulations, Formula One racing, which has tested drivers’ mettle since 1950, may very well be the most popular form of automotive sport. To name just a few of these titles, we have Ubi Soft’s Monaco Grand Prix Racing Simulation 2, Psygnosis’ Formula One 99, EA Sports’ F1 2000, Sierra Sports’ Grand Prix Legends, and Hasbro’s new Grand Prix 3. A year ago Eidos joined the pack and issued Official Formula 1 Racing, developed by Lankhor, and now the two have joined up again to release F1 World Grand Prix, in the hope of beating out this intense competition.
Officially licensed by the Formula 1 Association, F1 World Grand Prix sports real teams, real drivers, and real car models that reflect both the appearance and handling of the actual vehicles. This sequel differs considerably from its predecessor in covering the 1999 rather than the 1998 Formula 1 World Championship and in having a whole new look to both its menus and in-game graphics. Each vehicle has been fastidiously replicated to look and act like the real race cars, and each circuit has been faithfully reproduced not just in the area immediately surrounding the track, but in the background environment as well. All 11 teams, 22 drivers, and 16 circuits are included here.
The racing choices available are wide and contain an interesting wrinkle. In addition to standard Quick Race, Single Race, Practice, and Championship modes, there is a special Scenario mode (first introduced in Official Formula 1 Racing) in which you get to view or participate in any previously saved scenario created in replay mode during a race. Within a given circuit, it is convenient that you can generally select any Grand Prix stage — free practice, qualifying, warm-up, and race — you wish. You may also set the number of laps, number of cars, your position, and weather conditions for each race. Two multiplayer modes are available: you may play in split screen mode with two, three, or four players competing locally at a single computer, or in network mode with up to 12 players competing remotely.
There are very extensive car setup options, and there is a lot you can adjust with respect to your vehicle, but the range is not as great as in those offerings that are strictly racing simulations. You may specifically tweak braking balance, tire type and tire wear, front wheel camber angle, rear wing configuration, body height, gear ratios, and fuel capacity and consumption. It is possible to have different setups for an individual driver for qualifying and for racing. Even small adjustments make an impact on your driving, and it is nice that you get to see this change clearly through a display that shows, in real time, the effect of each setting on your car’s performance. You implement these alterations by going to a multifaceted garage menu, but I do miss the three-dimensional garage environment where you could do this in Official Formula 1 Racing.
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