Reviews for F1 Championship Season 2000 in Driving for PC-Personal Computer ( PC ) :
Last year, EA sports entered the Fomula 1 sim market with F1 2000. With an excellent physics engine by today's standards, authentic sounds, and an F1 license to include all of the drivers, this game was sure to take the spot at the top amongst today's formula one sims. But even with a monster of a machine exceeding 1 gighz and with the top video cards, there was no way this game could be played at full details unless you were comfortable driving with stuttering graphics. Not mention, the AI were a bit silly out on the track and usually ended up causing the player to finish with many DNFs's by their wreckless behavior. Also missing from this game were weather changes to the track that other games, such as GP3, and MPGRS2 were able to successfully implement. You were limited to good weather only. Sadly, this game was overlooked by many F1 racing fans were eager for the release of GP3.
But not content to see the competition pass them by, EA SPORTS went back to work on this game to improve many of the aspects that were missing in the first game. Now boasting a more enhanced graphics engine, full wet weather racing and enviromental effects, improved force feedback, adjustable agression for the AI, driving school, new sound effects, enhanced throttle response to enable burnouts and spins, and track enhancements that included a redone version of Spa, did they finally succeed in making an excellent F1 sim? In two words. "pretty much".
Lets talk about the new school mode for a moment. The first test was nothing more than a controlled spin from the start of the race. Simple stuff. The second test ****'ed me off. You have to drive to a three way fork in the road to where you are randonly directed into another lane. The computer instructor makes it look easy. Trust me, it isn't!
Off to to real racing... I went ahead and selected all of the driving aids off in the options, put the
drivers strength and agression to 100%, and started a race at Monza. This track is very easy to drive and perfect for a newbie like me. Or so I thought. At the start of the race, I mashed the gas and spun right into the wall. Well, that didnt go as planned. So I restarted, and this time eased the gas as the start and started hauling down the straight. With the AI getting a bit bunched up in the first chicane, it didnt take me long to realize I should learn to brake sooner as I drove right up and locked the brakes and slid into a poor unsuspecting AI car. Yellow came out, and I restarted
After a few more tries, it didnt take me long to get the feel for driving this game. I was able to drive side by side, slipstream pass, and duke it out with the back of the pack (notice I didnt say the front. They just drove away without any chance of me catching up). I would dive into turns and cut them off, and on the next staight, they would just slipstream right on by. And this would happen lap after lap.They would even go side by side into corners! Once you start turning up the aggression levels, they were just every bit as smart and ruthless as the AI from Nascar Heat. Give the AI an inch of room, they would take it. And if they didnt, you could always up the aggression levels till they do.
As with almost all driving games, I recommend driving only with a steering wheel. The controls were easy to set up, and a really good thing that Image Space (the actual developers for this game) did was give you the option to adjust every aspect of the controller, from the sensitivity to the dead zone. This helped out alot since by default, the brakes were a bit too touchy and it was too easy to lock them up.
When selecting a single race, you can select to have either dry, overcast, wet, or randomized weather. When you select a championship season, you will follow the seasonal patterns of the year 2000. For instance, at the US grand prix, the weather was overcast, just as it is in the game.
Two feature that are missing from this game that should have been included are:
1) a save during the race feature for us that have lives outside of PC game, but still want experience the stragedy of racing a full race
2)a telemetry viewer that allows us to tweak the setups to the fullest.
Overall, gameplay is not an issue with this game. There is plenty enough to keep even the most avid sim racer busy for a long time
While the physics in this game are incredible, the graphics could have been a bit better. If you have ever played Sports Car GT, then you know exactly how the graphics are in this game. They have almost a pastel shade to all of the textures. I cant explain it, but they really dont seem realistic. What I think I am referring to is that on some tracks, like Monza, you could see the color of the sun into the textures. On other tracks, like Germany and the USA, you really dont get the feeling like the sun is out. If you want an example of this. look at the screenshot of my school foulup on the right which was at Indy on a sunny day. And on Germany, you can sometimes see these blue horizontal lines popping up in front of you. If you can remember the first Formula one game by Psygnosis for the PSX, then you know what these blue lines are. On other tracks, they do not show up.
But the highlights of the graphics are the wet weather effects. The roads will reflect the buildings lining the track. Tracks are created on the pavements as cars reach higher speeds, as are the plumes given off by the tires. I should mention one thing about the weather effects. They are not dynamic as they are in GP3 or MGPRS2. If you start a race in the rain, it stays rainy to the end. If it is overcast, then it will never clear up or turn to rain. Bummer actually.
Still a bad thing in this game, the starts do make for a slide show until the field spreads out. And even then, a few options still need turned down. For starters, reduce the mirrors to low quality and the specular highlights off. These are the two biggest robbers of frame rates.
The sound seem pretty decent. No matter how good an F1 game sounds, the sound of the cars is going to become annoying after a while. The positional sound effects are good though. The spotter is excellent, providing useful information and not getting anoying. Forget those useless commentators, this is the way to go.