F1 2001
Genre Sport -> Racing
Today's Rank 12699
Homepage
USA
Date N/A
Publisher Electronic Arts
UK
Date 2001-10-05
Publisher Electronic Arts
North America Retail Box ArtUnited Kingdom Retail Box ArtF1 2001 brings the delights of Formula 1 racing bang up to date, but does it have enough straight line speed to take pole position in the hotly contested race for best Grand Prix racing game? While EA's perennial sports release often come under fire for offering little more than tweaks over last year's iteration, there are some serious enhancements to F1 2001 that make it a more attractive proposition than usual. While it will come as no surprise to find all the new cars and drivers from the 2001 season, there is more to this title than a glossy makeover. Yes the graphics have been tweaked--and it does look gorgeous if your hardware is up to scratch, but the biggest improvement comes in the driving experience itself. With some help from BAR racing team, EA has revised the driving physics considerably, giving you a far more convincing feel for what it must be like to drive an F1 car. For beginners, there is plenty of help to get you started, with a range of settings to make things simple, plus a driving school type tutorial which helps you get through individual corners--not letting you progress until you've made a half decent job of it. The interface will be familiar to any fan of EA titles, though, as always it looks more at home on a console than a PC. Despite this it is reasonably intuitive and won't cause any major headaches. There are a variety of driving modes to cover everything from arcade-style racing to full-blown championship seasons. You can delve into advanced settings on the car, apply rules for proper F1 racing, complete with Stop/Go penalties requiring you to get in the pit lane within three laps, or you can just set it all to novice and go out and have a blast round the track. Whichever you opt for, you'll be impressed at the sense of speed, the looks of the individual cockpits, and the sumptuous circuits. You may not be quite so impressed by Jim Rosenthal's repetitive additions, but otherwise the audio is also a treat--with helpful cues to your car's reactions on the track and the roaring engines of competing cars--a welcome new addition. F1 2001 ultimately has to face comparison with Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 3 and as long-time fans of that series, it's a stiff test to face. However F1 2001 doesn't disappoint. There are pros and cons to each title--GP3 wins for advanced telemetry, while F1 2001 has proper F1 rules. Overall it's too close to call. We'd recommend that any genuine fan of F1 racing should have both these titles in their collection.--Jason Weston
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