Formula One 2001
Genre Sport -> Racing
Today's Rank 9201
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
Date 2001-05-25
United Kingdom 
Retail Box ArtRacing games have always held a certain fascination for console owners, and the Formula One genre has always been a favourite. There have been some passable attempts at emulating F1 on consoles before, but none comes close to the majesty of Formula 1 2001 on the PlayStation 2. From the highly polished opening graphics through the easy-to-use menu system to the track-based action, this title oozes quality. The amount of thought that has gone into the presentation shows with every button. But the proof of the pudding (as they say) is in the eating, and F1's pudding is so big it could feed a family of eight. Graphically it's superb, with all of the current teams and drivers represented, along with all of the season's circuits down to the last rock and billboard. Take a spin around Spa and watch out for the effects of high-g turns on the drivers' heads and the view in the cars rear-view mirrors--this is the stuff the PS2 was made for. The handling of the cars is astonishingly good, the 60 fps frame rate helping to improve response to help increase the feeling of "being there". It's almost frightening to bang the throttle open on the starting grid at Monaco and leap forward with the pack only to get shunted from behind and smashed into the barriers--the cars show realistic damage, too, so expect bits of your machine to come flying off from time to time. The only area of this title that's any cause for dismay is the sound. Generally the high-pitched engine noises are meaty enough to satisfy, but the pitifully small array of phrases from Murray Walker and the commentary team are abysmal and grate after the first couple of laps; for a game of this quality it seems odd there's so little vocal support. Time for the developers to take a leaf out of EA Sports' book, maybe. All in all, Formula 1 2001 is a blisteringly good game. It has the speed, the licence, the looks and the depth to keep the F1 fan happy for a long, long time. --Chris Russell
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