F1 2002 images
Review of F1 2002
The gleaming array of race cars scream to the first corner………………….
… and then as usual in Formula 1 it all goes pear-shaped.
Opening sequences and commentary on each of the 17 tracks is fantastic and the sound is of good quality but it is the important things in a racing game that still let this title down. More on this further down the page.
The graphics are standard fare for PS2 nowdays – the scenery isn’t outstanding but does look well and the variable weather makes a refreshing change (it can be raining on only one part of the track) – even the rain lights come on on the cars, just a flicker through the spray.
New for 2002 EA have added sweet slipstreaming effect – you simply hug the car in front to your slipstream bar builds up and then blitz past in a lovely blurred sequence. This blurring also occurs as you car travels over the kerbs.
The slipstream is great for passing like-minded cars but not so hot when passing the quicker machines. For example you can try slipstreaming a McLaren in an Arrows (really up to the minute there then) and the effect is a 10 mph higher top speed for the Arrows, but that only equals the top speed of the McLaren. However, if you try to pull the same trick in a Williams, the boost is only 3 or 4 mph more than if you were not slipstreaming. Strange.
However it’s the cars themselves that are the let down in the eye candy section. Each model is different but none are what you would call pretty (in fact a couple of them are very rough) and they don’t represent the cars that appear on TV every couple of weeks that well either.
But its not only the cars! The race tracks too are last year’s models – several of the tracks have had alterations for 2002 season but this again is not represented in this F1 product.
Then there are the FIA rules – you can switch these on or off and off is a very good idea. When you come up to lap someone, your pit crew tells you they are being blue flagged and will move over to let you by. Nice idea but you never know which side of the track they are going to move towards (sometimes they just slow down and you still have to go around them) and this is where the problems occur. If you hit your opponent’s car then it is a yellow flag situation and you cannot go over 130 mph. However, if you are travelling at 180 mph when you hit them and your speed does not fall below 130 due to the impact then you automatically get a yellow flag stop/go penalty. But you can’t serve the penalty – every time you go into the pits to do so, your crew acts like it’s a pit stop and 3 laps after getting your penalty warning you get disqualified – even if you tried to serve it every lap.
The sound is great though – each car is a little different and the top machines scream better than the lesser models – they also go quicker now too!!
The commentary is good - as usual EA Sports do the whole television presentation style, and they do make a very good job of it.
To be honest the sound is the games high point.
Now for the low point.
Like I said at the top it is at the first corner you notice things are wrong.
If you have chosen the rather inadequate simulation mode you are going to need a wheel to keep the car on the track. With just the DualShock 2 controller you are going to be all over the place trying to compensate.
The shame about this is that as the difficulty level increases you have to switch to Simulation as you can make the car go that little bit faster, and so win the races.
But without a wheel I wouldn’t encourage it.
The normal handling is a much more sound proposition but still takes a bit of getting used to. However, it is nowhere as easy to stick your racer in the fence as in Simulation mode. But this year the handling is consistent. Once you get used to how to drive the cars you can hold the same line through the corners every time – even the tyre wear doesn’t seem to have any great effect – however the different types of tyres and therefore the cars do seem to react differently to each other.
This year’s model has the introduction of EA Sports Cards, which you open by completing six challenges for each manufacturer.
This alone will keep you driving for weeks as completing the set unlocks “cool features”. These are things like changing the colour of the menu screen – Cool indeed! OK, I only unlocked the Bronze set but it doesn’t bode well.
And the set of six cards is the same for each manufacturer.
Oh – just in case you were wondering that did say 22. Yes, 22 people can play F1 2002 in a sort of time trial/ qualifying session sort of thing – but only two can play at once. Though why anyone would bother is beyond me.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'F1 2002' 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
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