Formula 1 Grand Prix (Third Review)

Title		Formula 1 Grand Prix (Third Review)
Game Type	Driving
Company		Microprose
Players		1-40
Compatibility	All (040/060 require VBR fix in F1GP-Ed)
Submission	Martin Smith Profiled Reviewer

When the Beatles recieved their OBEs, many people complained that a mere
entertainer was not a worthy recipient of their nation's highest honours.
John Lennon succinctly responded that most of the people complaining got
their OBEs for killing people, when they got theirs for entertaining
people. Upon release of this mighty piece of work, Formula 1 Grand Prix,
Amiga Power magazine rechristened its creator as Sir Geoff Crammond, and I
see no reason why Her Majesty should not do the same. And when will Murray
Walker be knighted? The first truly astonishing thing about this game was
the sheer speed at which graphics, which were highly detailed for their
day, hurtled around at. Crammond had perfected his knowledge of 3D
graphics through the development of his previous classics The Sentinel and
Stunt Car Racer, and this was the peak of his efforts (on the Amiga
anyway) in creating something which truly brought F1 to life.

Bringing F1 to life was indeed the aim, no corners were cut in his efforts
to perfect an accurate recreation of the world's leading motorsport. the
relatively simple stuff like the circuits (all modelled with pinpoint
accuracy, from the undulating bends of Spa to the delicacy of Monaco) and
the drivers in the real championship (back in 1991, back when Andrea De
Cesaris was, according to Murray 'the man who has won more grand prix than
anyone else, without actually winning one of them', and unlesss I'm very
much mistaken, Ayrton Senna was the world champion), to the typical race
options of free practice, individual one-off races and full championships.
These races could be anything from 10% to 100% of the real distance, and
were complete with the threat of rain.

But of course it was defined not by what everyone else had, but what F1GP
had all to itself. I can't think of anotehr Amiga racing title which broke
more ground than this. The car setup model was a revolution, as gear
ratios, brake balances and wing levels could be set to perfect the car's
handling, using different settings for wet and dry racing. If you didn't
get this down to a 'T', you could forget about winning at the higher
difficulty levels. All this could've been intimidating if poorly done, but
Sir Geoff came up with the masterstroke of offering six driver aids, with
increasingly few available at the higher difficulty levels, allowing you
to wean your way up to the highest point of competition without ever
feeling like a Deletraz.

All this combined with realism so accurate that Crammond's series has even
been used by Jacques Villeneuve to learn the F1 tracks. A constantly
thrilling nature, and a real variety of ways to treat the game, and it all
boils down to perhaps the most stunning piece of Amiga software ever
produced - look at how much development of addons is still taking place
for a 9 year old game on a supposedly dead machine if you want proof. And
remember - campaign for it- we want Sir Murray!

Overall score - 94%

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