Which is the best looking F1 2014 car?
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Probably the most anticipated game of the year for Formula One fans is less than one week away from release, but does it bare up to all the hype it's recieved in previous months? For the first time Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix series has a contender for the title of king of racers, but whos going to come out on top?

By Bezza

Having not yet played F12002 I can't really give you that answer, however what I can say is that to beat GP4, F12002 is going to have to be one hell of a game. Thats enough of the build up, lets get down to the review.

OK, where to start? How about the beggining. Installation of the game is as easy as it can be with no major problems, and an option to install DirectX 8.1 which is required for the game to run. Upon starting the game, you're greeted with an excellent intro, which really sets the scene. After that, the now familiar calibration process takes place. This is to allow GP4 to set what it thinks is the optimal set up for your hardware. I've got to admit that after reading some comments on the internet, I was expecting the worst. However, GP4 actually recommended a resolution of 1024x768 with all trackside options on, and mirror items.

The next thing you notice when the game actually starts is the menu screens. Compared to GP3 they are a lot more proffesional looking, and have a really moody feel to them. The usual options are there, including quick race and a link to the main menu, but an added feature this time around is the Gpedia, which I will touch on later.

Graphics

This is by far the biggest improvement on the previous title. This time around Geoff Crammond and co. have taken full use of the 3D hardware on the market. GP4 now gives you the option to have full reflections on the car, bump mapping, enhanced shadows and dynamic lighting. The car models really have a chunky solid look to them and each team has their own carshape. Liveries still leave a little to be desired, but do the job and for the first time, each car can have it's own livery. Mika Hakkinens car has MIKA on it, while DCs car has DAVID. Obviously as usual, they are all non-tobaco liveries. Hopefully 3rd party developers will come up with a better version in the near future.

My machine, which is no where near state of the art, manages to run the game at 1024x768 at a steady 21 frames a second. As a test I decided to turn on bump mapping and dynamic lighting to see how it affected performance. To my suprised it had very little hit at all, and infact I now play with these two features left on. The tracks are all well modelled and seem to be very close to the real world circuits. One nice touch is the angled positions in the Monaco pitlane. Due to space restrictions this is how it's also done in real life. The pit crew are also well modelled. While not mind blowing they are well anitmated and do a more than adequate job. The rain effects are cool too, with blobs of rain hitting the screen when viewing from a trackside camera. This also never really had a massive hit on the overall performace.

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Acceptance Mark Rennspiele, Racing, Games, News - SPEEDMANIACS.COM
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