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SCENE
GENRE
GRAPHICS
SOUND
PLAYABILITY
VALUE
OPINION



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FORMULA 1

Developer

Psygnosis

Options

Distributer

Psygnosis

1-2 Players

Game Type

Racing

Mem. Card

Review Date

Sept 1996

Link-up

Setting the Scene

The eagerly awaited arrival of Formula 1, after much hype and previews and delays, has finally arrived. Would the graphics stand alongside TV pictures as promised?
Could a racing game possibly hold your attention for 83 laps of the circuit - lasting 1h 50mins?
Can you emulate Michael Schumachers fantastic victory in the 1995 Formula 1 Championship?
Will the sound of 26 high powered racing engines sound like you have actually been strapped to one of the cars or more like a day-trip to a clothes manufacturers?
Insert the disc, switch on an buckle up and READ ON........

The Build up begins inside a darkened hangar in eerie silence, as the camera slowly closes in on a formula one racing car, a drum roll builds to a crescendo raising the tension beautifully: short, but graphically excellent!

Genre

Formula 1 is a racing game that takes part on replicas of the 1996 Grand prix racing circuits. The game includes both an Arcade mode and a Grand prix mode.

Graphics

Well what can I say seeing is believing, Formula 1 is quite simply a graphical treasure. It is easily the most comprehensive and most realistic racing game aver to grace Sony's 32 Bit machine.

The 17 (yes 17!) circuits that make up the 1995 Formula 1 racing season are remarkably realistic, featuring every straight, corner and bump of the real tracks. Grandstands, advertising hoarding, even cities on the horizon over lush green fields have been carefully recreated. the game is almost as much fun to watch as to play!

If you happen to to veer off the track onto the grass or gravel, your car goes into a high power spin, leaving the equivalent of crop circles behind you as you gingerly creep back onto the circuit. During a wet race special lights come on at the rear of each vehicle, making them easier to spot in the distance, which is just as well as the spray is realistically thrown off the back of each vehicle to block your vision, overtaking become almost difficult if not impossible to carry out.

During all races in grand prix mode, a transparent bar at the base of the screen shows how many seconds separates drivers, fastest lap times and the current race order. The attention to detail, makes F1 the closest that we have seen to PHOTO REALISTIC GRAPHICS!

Sounds and Effects

There's the roar of 26 engines leaving the grid, jockeying for position and then the screeching of brakes as you reach the early arrival of the first corner, the crowd cheers, cars crunch together, the pitch and volume of the commentators gets higher as the tension mounts, in the background during all of this you can just hear the sound of the race course announcer echoing around the grandstands. For the first time since buying your PlayStation, you can own a game that really does justice to the sound capability of the system. The car engine noises are the best yet heard on the system, when you go off the track you can hear the sound of the tyres changing from the track to a gravely or grassy sound, accelerate too quickly on the grass and your engine SCREAMS for mercy! Switch from an external to the in-car view and the sound levels are all adjusted to take into account your new viewpoint a truly fantastic little touch.

The only music appears, when flicking through the many options screens, the sound of guitar thrashing as you set up your car, helps with the build up to the start of the race. Psygnosis has concentrated on getting the in-game sound just right. There's the brilliant excitable commentary of British legend Murray Walker, who regularly updates race positions, weather and comments on your driving skills .... HE TOOK THAT CORNER WELL, and your errors....... ITS MANSELL, HE'S HIT THE BARRIERS!

There are comprehensive audio options, that will optimize the performance of your system. There's the option to utilize:
Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound
Q Sound, Stereo, Mono

Playability

As we know, stunning visuals do not make good gameplay, so does F1 play as good as it looks?
The options screen offers one or two player linkup and a choice of Arcade or Grand Prix modes. Arcade is far more Ridge Racer style of game, beat the clock to carry on racing. Damage and Tyre Wear can be switched off and braking and steering assistance switched on to make the game pretty much idiot proof and allow you to concentrate on getting to pole position as quickly as possible. The game has advantages over Ridge Racer in that there are 17 tracks, 26 opponents, varying weather, 3 difficulty levels available, not to mention the fact that there may be cheats on the way to allow you to MIRROR THE TRACKS and indeed even a SECRET TRACK to find, thus making the game last far longer than most driving games.

Grand Prix mode is the real reason for buying the game and with brake and steering assistance switched off, damage and tyre wear switched on you can begin to start to experience a racing game the likes of which you have never played before. You actually have to DRIVE THE CAR PROPERLY, accelerate on the straights and brake before entering a corner. If you fail to brake in time then no power on earth is going to get you round that corner and you might as well brace yourself for impact with one of the barriers. If you smash up your car, or mess up your tyres you'll have to crawl back to the pits for repairs, losing time and race position.

Game modes offer: Single race, Ladder race (chasing a marked car), Full championship. The memory card can be used to save high scores, car settings and Championship progress.
Races can be any percentage of a full grand prix race, Weather can be left as random or selected as wet or dry, Starting fuel load can be chosen as can the downforce settings. Each race mode can then be pre-empted by a practice session and qualifying session.

As a 2-Player linkup game this is better still. You can play as a straight two car duel or with a full grid. There is nothing quite like playing against a mate to add a real incentive to shaving hundredths of a second off each lap time.

On the medium skill setting the computer controlled cars will block you, bash you and slow you down whenever possible, sometimes coming way off the racing line at the very last moment to give you quite a fright. At this setting the computerised cars are also very fast, meaning that you probably wont even qualify in the top 5 let alone win the race!

Value for Money

Great games like this just don't happen accidentally, an immense amount of work has gone into getting every detail right. Quite simply Formula 1 is one of the BEST GAMES YOU WILL EVER PLAY ON THE PLAYSTATION, mixing superb graphics with involving gameplay and a MASSIVE LONG TERM CHALLENGE.

If you aren't bothered about motor racing, you'll still enjoy this game. If however you are a fan of Formula 1, Indycar, Nascar then this is your dream come true.....

Well....... what are you waiting for.

Opinion

MARTIN

GRAPHICS:

Brilliant

This game just gets better and better, we have had some really close 2 player link games and some even closer 1 player games. By now you have probably heard of the various bugs associated with Formula 1. It is my opinion that after constant playing for over one month there are one or two problems that spoil the enjoyment of this otherwise excellent racing game. If you race a full Grand Prix,most of the competitors start taking pit stops when the race is half completed,making it easy to overtake and finish in the top six.The only way to avoid this annoying problem is to switch off the fuel. We have also become aware of a few other flaws but my opinion of Formula 1 after one month fails to dampen as I believe it still looks and plays way ahead of any other racing game available on P.S.X. and it is a GAME and not a simulation.It is not perfect but name a game that is.

SOUND:

Good

PLAYABILITY:

Brilliant

VALUE:

Good

OVERALL
9/10

JIM

GRAPHICS:

Brilliant

I have owned this game for almost a year and still play it quite regularly. In my oppinion, this game is easily the best overall racing game on any format. The feel of the car is astonishing, the graphics are stunning and the sound is awesome when played through a good pro-logic hi-fi. This game is worth purchasing a Playstation for (oh yea - its also the best link cable game available too). Switch of the fuel and tyre wear settings and those bugs you may have heard of won't bother you ever again!

SOUND:

Brilliant

PLAYABILITY:

Brilliant

VALUE:

Brilliant

OVERALL
9/10

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