Grand Prix 3 Season 2000
After the months of hype and countless promises that it would be the definitive F1 game of all time, GP3 turned out to be a massive disappointment. In fact, in many ways, it was little more than GP2 with some unimpressive 3D visuals. Which is a bit of a shame, as Geoff Crammond's previous GP titles both pushed the boundaries when it came to simulating F1 racing, something GP3 totally failed to do. While it was by no means a poor game, it didn't have the several key features we'd all been looking forward to - such as Internet play, a tutorial and animated pit crews to name a few - and the fact that it had about as much atmosphere as a Wimbledon Vs Luton Town football match didn't help matters much either. So in a twist more predictable than a Home And Away plot, Crammond and co have made an add-on pack to try and rectify all the mistakes on the original, and although they'd like us to believe all the new features are improvements, rather than attempts to paper over the cracks. They're not fooling anyone.
Once you've fired it up, it doesn't take long to figure out that not much has changed. In fact, it's hard not to think that this should have been a free download. OK, so the drivers and cars have all been updated, but they're still last year's, so you're effectively paying for old data. You get to race on two new circuits (Kuala Lumpur and Indianapolis), which are both admirably recreated, and all the old circuits have had a makeover too, with effects such as improved reflections adding some sheen to what's now looking like a slightly dated graphics engine. However, the apparently improved pit crews still move with less fluidity than a South Park character.
In order to try and inject some life into races, you can now listen to your pit crew barking orders at you over the radio, telling you how rubbish you are and threatening you with the sack unless you speed up. Well not quite, but their comments do help take your mind off the mosquito noises that are apparently coming out of your 800bhp engine. I've heard more powerful sounding milk floats. You can also hear cars around you, which sound more like a nest of hornets in a jam jar than a group of the most powerful cars on the planet. At least it no longer feels like you're the only driver on the circuit without a stealth car, but that's hardly a consolation.
And while we're being vaguely positive, it's good to see the replay function has been improved, allowing you to sit through a whole 90 agonising minutes of you veering round the circuit in a desperate attempt to get off the grass and onto the track.
To its shame, GP3 2000 Season has no features to help the newbie and still lacks any kind of in-game tutorial. Because it's just as tricky as the original, only hardcore F1 Murray-quoting fanatics will get any real enjoyment out it. Oh, and there are still no Internet options.
GP32000 Season really isn't worth bothering with. Although it does marginally improve the game, it still hasn't rectified GP3s main faults, and as such, should have been made available free of charge on the Internet. As is, it's a shameless and half-baked attempt to patch up a hugely flawed product.