Although the simulation mode is a lot of fun, you're probably going to enjoy the hugely playable arcade mode just as much. In fact, Ridge Racer fans will probably enjoy it a lot more.
For Viking warriors, it was Valhalla. For ancient Greeks, it was Mount Olympus. For Homer Simpson, it was Moe's Tavern. Every one of us has a special place, a pinnacle that must be climbed, a goal that must be reached. For driving fans, it's Formula One. The absolute paradigm of car, driver and technique.The very apex of skill and Judgement.To drive Formula One is to know the truth.The truth about your soul, the truth about the steel that girds you and the truth about how full your pants will get when someone overtakes you on a bend at nearly 200 miles-per-hour.
Psygnosis has had an excellent track (Har, har. Oh, I crack myself up sometimes with those impossibly funny puns. Hardy, har, har...aack...l broke a rib.) record when it comes to PlayStation games. I mean, even Krazy Ivan looked nice. But to date, all the games that have emerged from the PlayStation labs at Psygnosis, have been either ordered from on high, the result of experimentation, or the obvious evolution of an existing license. F1, however, is a labor of love.
It's said that someone very high up at Psygnosis decreed, in a booming voice, no doubt, "You shall create the ultimate simulation of Formula One racing. It shall contain every single detail, every living driver and every car and track in the sport. It shall run at 30 frames-per-second and look better than any home racing game ever made.These things shall come to pass or much blood shall be spilled. OK, Ian, came the reply We'll have it done in a few months, just stop shouting all the time
Don't mention my name again, or I'll have you killed, came the retort from the faceless one.
And that's the way things get done. So, after our sneak peek a couple of weeks ago, this magazine came away convinced that FI was indeed the most impressively detailed and playable racing sim ever made. Better still, we got to try it with the Mad Katz Steering wheel, which turned a realistic racing game into an adrenaline-charged nightmare at close to 250 miles-per-hour.
Download Formula One
If, like me, you're a big racing-game fan and you own a Saturn, you probably own the Saturn racing controller. No doubt you've also played or own Daytona USA, High Velocity, Virtua Racing, and Sega Rally. So what's next, you ask? A Formula One racing game, of course!
Formula One is from the same mold as Daytona and Rally, in the sense that they're both arcade-style racers.Those looking for accurate handling and car physics will be disappointed here.There is also no season mode or race-to-race continuity in the traditional race protocol.
There's definitely a learning curve for this game, but it's relatively simple. Unlike such games as Daytona and Ridge Racer, sliding isn't a good thing in Formula One.You'll need to use your brakes well and often.
You can choose between the in-cockpit view or outside view, with the latter being easier. A time-attack mode is the only other choice besides the default arcade mode, which limits replay value.
There are six courses to choose from, each with varying degrees of difficulty.The first three tracks are real F1 courses like Monaco, while the others are special "Neo" city courses which exist somewhere in the Sega universe.The overall graphics are good, and a step up from Daytona, but they're not as polished as those in Sega Rally.The music is standard racing fare with a nod toward soft rock. Strictly as an arcade racer, ested for while.The variety of locales is satisfactory, and the get for track completion is also nice.This is an officially licensed game so there are real cars and drivers, along with matching advertisements.
With a couple more extras, this could have been a must-have racer. But as things stand,Virgin has a competent title on its hands and quite a good game for racing-controller owners.
Some turns are very hard to see, so memorizing tracks is crucial. Use the time attack to familiarize yourself with the courses. Some tight turns are near buildings or grandstands, so you know you'll have to turn when approaching them.The Monaco track and the third Neo City track have tricky hairpin turns that require nearstops and downshifting. Watch out for opposing cars in the rearview mirror when slowing down.
Graphics - 7
Sound/FX - 7
Gameplay - 8
Rating - 7