By Amiga Information Online
1 January 2000
Geoff Crammond will be a name familiar to many computing old-timers. The creator of such legendary 8-bit titles as Stunt Car Racer and The Sentinel, Crammond was an incredible one-man programming outfit. F1GP - released by Microprose - was his attempt to recreate the world of Formula 1 racing on the small screen. The game featured 3D polygon graphics, and looked awesome for the time.
Actually, to call F1GP a "game" is almost a sin in itself. The amount of effort and concentration on every minor detail even warrants the word "simulation" as useless. So much of the sport was crammed onto the 4 disks, you'd think they were going to burst. It also featured one of the best manuals ever - a full 100 pages of race tactics, strategy advice and circuit guides.
F1GP ran on any Amiga, although it needed 1MB of memory. The program had manual protection in an attempt to stop piracy, and then offered the main menu. From here, you could choose a short 3-lap race, a quick practice session on one of the 16 courses, or go full-out and prove yourself in the World Championship. Also, all the usual options were present like race distance, opponent difficulty level, and the ability to change the other drivers' names. Official names sadly weren't included, although they were listed in the manual.
In play, F1GP was very impressive. The physics and handling of the car were superb - and they still put many recent racing sims to shame. One notable feature which increased the longevity a great deal was the replays. At any point you could pause the action and press 'R' to see the last 20 seconds of racing, from all sorts of viewpoints (including other cars). This was particularly great to watch some of the amazing crashes and pile-ups that often occurred.
Still, some aspects of the sim weren't as good. The artificial intelligence of rival cars left a lot to be desired, especially when overtaking backmarkers. Sometimes the collision detection was a bit suspect too, as cars could get trapped in the walls and needed several minutes of revving to get going again.
Overall, F1GP was a smashing simulation and still stands up well today. The variety of options and types of race ensured its long life, and there's still sites around on the Web today devoted to it. A word of warning, though: don't borrow a copy, as you'll never want to give it back!
Graphics : 85%
Sound : 71%
Playability : 91%
Lastability : 95%
Overall : 92%