Reviews for Formula 1 99 in Driving for PC-Personal Computer ( PC ) :
: F1 ’99 is easily the best-looking F1 racer available on the PlayStation today. But is it the best overall?
It took a while to get into it, but once I started exploring the depth and taking the experience as F1 and not arcade racing, I was rewarded with what is probably the best F1 game I’ve ever played. If you’re at all into F1 racing, do yourself a favor and snag a copy
When playing a F1 game, there are two very important things to remember. Firstly, the games are damn hard-- across the board. You’re going to need practice to even hit the top 10 before the checkered flag. Second, the control and style of gameplay are completely different from any other style of racing. You’re not going to powerslide anywhere. In fact, if you’re sliding, you’re probably either in a crash or about half a second from entering one.
Keeping those things in mind, it’s no surprise that I found a lot to love. F1 ’99 delivers everything that’s expected of an official product of the FIA. The familiar 15 tracks from F1’s past (plus the 1999 addition of the new Sepang circuit in Malaysia), 11 teams (like Ferrari, McLaren, and the all new British American Racing), and 25 drivers all round out the digital version of the 1999 Formula One season.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really get a differing sense of control with the available cars; one car pretty much drove like the next, even after a bit of tweaking. Another thing that really bothered me was the analog control: it was as if the sensitivity was reversed. Pressing the left analog stick lightly delivered the equivalent of a full steering wheel turn, while pressing the stick as far as possible left or right met with only a slight turn. This may have been done to prevent oversteer, but it’s far more confusing then helpful, especially on the slight turns of the tracks.
When I was first slapped with the jewel case that would soon reveal oodles of graphic luv, I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe the product shots on the back. “Oh man, Psygnosis screwed up, they’ve put PC or Dreamcast shots on the PSX case! Dumb@sses!” A short 45 seconds after popping in the game, I ate those words, and heartily. If I had to confine my comments to one word, it would be “wow” or “damn” or “wowdamn.”
The reflection mapping, sparks, uber-populated sidelines, and gorgeous framerate still can’t compete with the insane draw distance that F1 ’99 boasts, at any of the game’s 4 viewing perspectives (nose-cam, cockpit, exterior-close, and exterior-far). It’s a thing of beauty to look a couple of miles down a straightaway and still be able to see, neigh popup-free, a pack of cars beating your ass. As mentioned before, the draw distance doesn’t come at the cost of sparse sideline track details, either, even during the 2-player mode.
With tracks that wind through the hearts of major cities or around lakes, you’d better be able to deliver the occasional building, and F1 ’99 beats out even GT2 for sideline visuals. Stadiums, lakes, skyscrapers, trees, fences, and tunnels are all there, and speed along with no slowdown. This abundance of detail works quite well at presenting the sense of speed that’s deserved of a car that’s capable of 150+ MPH.
Finally, something I can bag on. While the sound effects are crystal clear, and the music aptly fits the game, the commentary is horrible. Not only are the comments usually irrelevant or wrong, they’re said about 2 seconds after the event takes place. Smash headlong into a wall and as you’re getting back on the track, you’re treated to a “He’s ju
st clipped the wall!” While this is annoying, you can just turn it off and replace him with either music or your pit crew, both of which are much better.