Review of F1 2001
The first surprise is this is a CD game and not a DVD as is becoming the norm for racing games, but the opening movie confirms that this has not compromised the presentation in any way.
All but the most recent changes in F1 are there including Alesi and Frentzen’s swapping of drives.
To add a little originality, this EA Sports outing takes a big course change from previous F1 games by including a Gran Turismo style licence idea, forcing you to pass a series of driving tests in order to unlock important options such as driving aids, other races, championships and an interactive pit-stop (this is an absolute first – you have got to see this to believe it – a full team come out and work on the car and you have to hit certain markers to make the perfect pit-stop – sweet!). The upside to this approach is that you feel far more comfortable controlling the cars and navigating the tracks when it comes to racing.
So whats it like when you head out on the track?
Well the simple answer here is beautiful. The cars are gorgeous to look at and the tracks are fantastic – the trees etc cast realtime shadows over the cars and helmets (check out Montoya’s chrome helmet – you can nearly see your own face in it!) Oh and there are the F1 dollies standing in hot pants in front of the cars on the grid – like I said – beautiful!!
The weather effects are realistic with rain either falling as light showers with an occasional droplet hitting your TV screen, or as down pours resulting in rain water running down the screen. You can also find yourself blinking as you round a bend and drive into the glaring sun.
Overrall, EA’s offering is graphically better looking than Sony’s Formula One 2001, with less slow down and wonderful TV style updates – so you know how far ahead/behind your rival is rather than the “10 plus seconds” miserly offering from Sony.
The sound in F1 2001 is without a shadow of a doubt the best I have ever heard in a racing game – the car noise is fantastic and combines nicely with the visuals to produce an amazing feel of speed. The detailed commentary from your pit crew leaves you well informed about what is happening on the track – again a huge improvement.
Even the rules of F1 racing are obeyed properly, with blue flags being waved and the other cars moving out of the way.
In this style of driving game the handling of the car will make or break it for most gamers. Games in the past have opted for both arcade and simulation options to try and please everyone, but the developers have bravely gone for something that would be best described as Traditional Simulation and The Real Thing modes.
In NORMAL MODE you at least stand a chance of mastering the vehicle to the level where you can concentrate on competing against the other drivers on the track, however do not expect the car to respond to a corner in exactly the same fashion twice. Arcade racing fans are going to need to use some of the driving aids on offer to make this more instantly playable.
In SUMULATION MODE you can adjust pretty much everything about your car – down-force, anti-roll, tyre pressures etc. The car is strangely set at the max down-force value and altering anything of the standard settings will leave an already twitchy vehicle a torture to drive. Sure it really does make you appreciate how brilliant the real drivers must be, but it makes for a game that demands such precision control that only a very small percentage of dedicated players will truly master this mode. At least Sony’s effort allowed you to perfect a setting (though this took many hours of gameplay) and the result was fantastic car response and road-holding.
In saying that, this is still a great driving game and in many aspects a much more enjoyable F1 product for purist than anything else on the market.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'F1 2001' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Rory Kelly © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 20 F1 2001 in-game screenshot slideshow
Have You Played F1 2001 ?
If you have owned 'F1 2001' long enough to have formed a solid opinion on it, then click here to write your own mini review of F1 2001.
Alternatively, if you would like to read what other gamers who already own F1 2001 think of it, click here to view all of our reader comments and mini reviews of F1 2001.
Want To Know More About F1 2001 ?