Formula 1 2001

Game On

Formula 1 2001

I bought this game on the day it came into the shops and initially I was pleasantly surprized. Sadly, as I’ve gained a few hours play, there are sore points in here that become pretty annoying after a while.

Like when you race, the only in car view available is the over-the-head view used on tv. All very nice, but it doesn’t feel much like driving a car – more like hanging onto the air intake watching the drivers head loll about like a bladder on a stick. Hey, I drive karts and I know they’re 160 miles an hour slower than an F1 car, but if I flapped my head around every time I changed direction I’d last two laps before I threw up. Did anyone at Studio Liverpool actually watch any in-car footage for a prolonged period!?

Then there’s the timing – in F1 if you start your final lap of qualifying before the time runs out, your time counts – in the game it cuts straight to the menu with no warning as soon as the time runs out. Very irritating. Then there’s traction control – allowed this season, but not allowed in the game if you want to play at a level where the rest of the grid isn’t driving miss daisy!

It’s all very well for the instruction book to tell me to buy a new steering wheel and foot pedals to play the game at this level, but I’d rather stick to my Dual Shock and they’ve made it almost impossible to control the exceleration with that.

The commentary is woeful too – it’s a novel addition, but Madden 2001 is an example of how to do it right. Murray Walker can come out with howlers like “He should be able to recover from there!” when you’re on the track and nothing has gone wrong! Ok, Murry does this in real life, but the pauses and changes in tone during the commentary could have been worked on to make it a bit more polished.

If you haven’t bought this but intended to then hold out another month until GT3 arrives – I wont assasinate F1 2001 any further, although I could, but I’ll leave it by saying that it could have been so much better – an opportunity to show EA how to do an F1 game properly has been wasted by SCEE.