A PlayStation port that actually plays nice on the PC.
Formula 1 (the game) traces its roots back to the Sony PlayStation, so it’s probably no big surprise that it plays easiest with digital controllers, either keyboard or gamepad (donâ€™t bother with analog joysticks or steering wheels). Although primarily an arcade racer, the cars do feel ‘right’ in some sense, particularly when you’re flying down the road at 220 KM/H. They understeer in corners if you come in too hot, and power oversteer is possible if you get on the throttle too early exiting a turn.
Formula 1 includes 17 tracks and the cars and drivers of the 1995 Formula 1 season. Graphically, the game is stunning for a ’96 game, with beautifully rendered tracks and vehicles. The game also illustrates a dramatic qualitative difference between Direct3D and 3Dfx-native OpenGL software â€“ the latter features considerably better visuals at a higher frame rate.
Curiously enough, Psygnosis didnâ€™t produce any damage modelling for any of the racing modes. If you hit the wall head-on at 200 KM/H, itâ€™s hard not to expect more than coming to a dead stop and breaking a front wing. Another curious omission is the absence of a true in-cockpit view, which should be the preferred driving view. An over-the-car perspective provides a panoramic view of the action, and should be used if youâ€™re interested in winning every time â€“ it makes threading through traffic particularly easy as you get perfect vision ahead and behind your car.
Overall, Formula 1 is an excellent arcade game that only lacks a few of the perks weâ€™ve come to associate with other competing products. Hardcore Grand Prix 2 fans will be disappointed by its simple car model, but in the graphics department it rules, and all things considering it’s not a half-bad console port either.
System Requirements: Pentium 120 Mhz, 16 MB RAM, SVGA, Windows 95
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