By PC Gaming World
1 March 2000
Obsession : by Calvin Crammond
Back in 1991, PC gaming was in it infancy. A 33Mhz 486 PC would have set you back over two grand (I've still got the receipt) and decent driving games to play were few and far between. Then, following the success of the highly entertaining but lightweight Stunt Car Racing, a certain Geoff Crammond teamed up with MicroProse to produce the original F1 Grand Prix.
The game was an instant hit and represented a gaming milestone on a par with Doom and Command & Conquer. The graphics might look quaint now, but a decade ago - in the darkest days of pre-úd card DOS gaming - they were nothing short of astonishing. Spins, opposite-lock slides ad visible damage modelled all made their debut and a swift frame rate ensured the action stayed super -smooth. Gamers were suddenly able to experience the sped and spectacle of Formula 1 first hand. Every detail was modelled to perfection, from practice and car setup to qualifying and then the race proper. As well as shortened quick races, players could run full 72-lap marathons or even pay out an entire championship season on carbon copies of the real world circuits. The multiplayer support was also top notch, with frantic two-player duels via null modem cable ranking among the best fun I've ever had from a PC.
It was to be a full five years before any game close to matching the thrill of this classic. And when Grand Prix 2 finally wrested the laurels in 1996 it, too, was the work of Geoff and his team. In addition to the latest F1 rule changes, the new game featured far flashier graphics and the most complex car setup options imaginable. The ultimate stamp of authenticity came when, according to legend, Jacques Villeneuve used the game for track familiarisation before embarking on his first Belgian Grand Prix.