In the same way there are household products we know and tend to trust, there are software houses that hold a similar reputation for high standards. 'EA Sports' is a prime example and though I may not like every game they have made, I do know that the games they make are synonymous with good engineering playability and visual effects. F1 2002 is really no exception. This is definitely the best Formula-1 game I have played but it still did not have me in the throws of compulsion even after more than a dozen hours of play and access to several pre-locked in-game features. Colin McRae II on the Playstation is without any doubt the best car Driving/simulation game ever. I consider it to be the behemoth of all driving games; though if you disagree don't bother to write and tell me as I fully accept that opinions differ. Technologically Colin McRae is a virtual dinosaur in comparison to F1 2002, but given a choice I would still rather play it. It just goes to show that in spite of the advances in hardware, there is more to game play than a powerful console. This is not to say that F1 2002 isn't enjoyable as it is quite compelling at times and I have little doubt that will be able to provide heaps of pleasure in those moments when free time is in abundance. It is feature packed, well thought out and very entertaining. The graphics are of course superb and some of the visual effects are quite stunning. Car handling is great and not having driven a formula-1 car before, control is what I would consider to be realistic. In fact, I really have to scratch my head and think for moment to find any fault with it at all. The Formula-1 sport has often been accused of being boring. As devout follower and a Ferrari fan for some twenty years I would of course disagree, but I fear my love for the sport may be clouding my judgement, where as I don’t posses this bias when evaluating the game. It is not because the game is in anyw
ay lacking. I just think it lacks the excitement of its rally counterparts. That said, it is still worth a try. As you would expect it has many different modes of play and some very good features. One I particularly like is performance irrespective of team or driver. In all the F1 games I've previously encountered, if you were anyone but Michael Schumacher, (Mikka Hakkinen or DC 'back in the day') you would simply be pulverised by the opposition. This game gives you the opportunity to win regardless of which team you're with or driver you are and I had many great moments wining as "Fast Eddie" and Pedro De la Rosa. You can change numerous features on the cars 'set-up' to improve performance, driving characteristics and handling. Of course there is a tutorial to teach you the basic manoeuvring operations. You can also change the options to provide a computer assisted drive with steering and braking, or if you’re really skilful, control it manually and wreck everything is sight as I did. As usual there are too many features to mention and I the only thing I found to be slightly contemptuous was the necessity to complete various skills before gaining access to certain options. Clearly in some games, platform in particular, there is the necessity to complete levels in succession but I don’t think this serves much purpose in this particular game type. Additionally some of the disciplines are not easy to master, so prepare to spend a fair amount of time performing them before you gain access to those more advanced options. If you like F1 games in general then you will probably love this one. If you haven’t tried any F1 games before but like the packaging, resist the temptation to hand over your hard earned cash and rent it first. Alternately you could buy it from one of the 'Game' stores who will replace it with no quibble within a week if you find it not to your liking.