GameOver Game Reviews - Formula 1 2000 (c) EA Sports, Reviewed by - jube

Game & Publisher Formula 1 2000 (c) EA Sports
System Requirements Pentium 233, 64MB Ram, 150MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 75%
Date Published , ,

Divider Left By: jube Divider Right

I'm sure that everyone is familiar with the often repeated tag line of EA Sports. "If it's in the game, it's in the game." Intended to convey an extensive level of detail, this slogan has been attached to a number of previous EA games, and now graces the introductions of Formula 1 2000. The first effort of Electronic Arts to simulate the F1 racing experience, F1 2K is all puffed up with a shiny 3D engine and a complete Formula One Championship license. Yep, you that read correct. All the drivers, tracks, cars and sponsors are here for your racing pleasure. So let's dig in.

Upon entering the game I was presented with a stylish menu interface that trademarks all of EA's games. High-res background art, well placed menus and a full set of racing options all rounded out the pre-game experience. So after a brief stop configuring controls and tweaking display settings I jumped right into a test session in one of my favorite tracks, the Japanese GP. And nothing could have prepared me for what happened next..

Rather than get into a discussion about the elements of in-game play, I would like to briefly change the tempo of this review into a Q & A session with one of the lead designers for this game. He's Canadian, by the way.

Q: What makes you think that the world needs yet another F1 racing game?

A: F1 2000 is demonstrably superior to everything else out there in just about every way and, as one of the very biggest fans of this genre, I really believe it is the F1 game that people will want to play.

Q: That is a very confident answer, so let me then ask you this: How is it you explain the migration of nearly every Canadian based hockey teams to stronger American markets? I mean isn't Hockey your national past time?

A: Basic controls are accelerate, brake and steer but you can also look left/right and adjust pit stop strategy whilst driving the car. Options here include changing the front wing settings, adding more or less fuel and choosing whether or not to have damage repaired.

Q: What exactly is done during the pork curing process to produce "Canadian Bacon?"

A: Whilst our current AI modeling does not truly make drivers more or less aggressive than others this is definitely something that we have planned for the future. You heard it here first!

Q: Ok Jacques, our time is almost up. Any final comments?

A: That's a tricky one! Firstly, we have to accept that nothing would be possible without the Official [F1] License and EA has worked very hard to get this. From a development perspective, perhaps the most difficult issue has been keeping everything top secret for so long.

Well super, and thanks for stopping by!

Putting further diagnosis aside for now, lets return back to the game at hand. How any right-minded duty tax paying citizen could refer to this game as demonstrably superior to all other F1 racing games is beyond me. No, what I saw during races was a comical hodge-podge of quick-fix arcade physics and stapled-on simulation damage modeling. Sure, the courses and models are rendered convincingly enough, but the experience as a whole lacks thoroughly.

Full multiplayer, that is TCP/IP & LAN, is provided for. The interface for setting up games was thoroughly stupid-proof. Racing against another human opponent was by far the most appealing of race options provided. Latency was an issue occasionally, but it hardly impaired my ability to totally out break my friend in Monaco.

For those of you new to the racing games F1 2K does have substantial helper switches that will assist you in steering and breaking. In fact, with all these assists on you can basically just press the accelerator and watch the computer controlled cars slam into each other.

Yeah, let me touch on the racing AI for a bit. Apparently, "If it's in the game, it's in the game." only means one thing when applied to the world of Formula 1 racing: plenty of nasty looking wrecks. The amount of times that computer controlled AI cars slam into other computer controlled AI cars is borderline ludicrous. Regardless of difficulty setting, field size, and AI ability the cars unflinchingly plow into, scrub tires, and under-break almost constantly. It makes racing with any of the damage modeling turned off pretty dumb. On one race I think I made it a total of three and a half minutes before being completely demolished by a car that (apparently) couldn't manage to drive in a straight line. Way to go EA, so realistic it's stupid!

In conclusion I would like to go over the highlights of my review. I was very pleased with the number of adverbs used, and I found 'comical hodge-podge' to be down right titillating. Didn't you? And unlike my euphemisms F1 2K fails to titillate even the most titillacious of titillants. With its shiny graphics and an Official F1 License, I am sure that there is a worthwhile game in here somewhere. Knowing the average development cycle of an EA Sports title I'd say we can expect to see F1 2.1K in three or four months. Till then: ciao!

Rating System
Overall Impression7/10


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