Review by Niq Walker

"Vroom, vroom, crash, spin."

The good news about this game is that in terms of its physics and its dynamics, Official Formula 1 Racing performs much as it should if you were watching it on a TV. If you take a turn too fast, you spin out. If you crash into a wall, your car is reduced to a clanking pile of metal. Realistic? In a way.

The bad news is just about everything else is seriously out of whack.

We'll start with the basic game engine. As I've said, this game demands that you make no mistakes, as a real driver in Formula 1 would. You cannot take that turn going over 95 mph no matter how good you think you are. Unfortunately, even this moderate achievement is ruined by the introduction of arcade mode, when you can, in fact, take corners at speeds in excess of 150 mph, and your car seems to spend more time flying than actually driving.

Audio? Forget it. This game sounds like you stuck your ear in a beehive. Tinny, whiny, and very annoying. Your car doesn't blast forward with an authoritative 'brrrroom!' sound, coupled with farts of exhaust, but rather a mild 'rrrr' sound that reminds me of my RC car. There's probably a soundtrack in there somewhere, but I sure as hell can't hear it. I found it much easier to just turn the sound off and make my own (much to the annoyance of my roommates).

Video. Yuck. Granted, the cars look alright from a distance, but suffer the curse of pixelation on closer inspection. The backgrounds are tame, and the 'audience' is a bunch of random colors thrown into a bleacher. The best part of the video is definitely the all-too-frequent spin-out sequences, which make me want to hurl about the 20th time it happens.

Bottom line. It sucks. Hard. The AI in this game is horrendous, and it seems like it's out to get you. If you think you drive insanely in real life, then these guys have definite suicidal tendencies. They do not yield. They brake in front of you. They do not care about winning or losing, just screwing you up. They become almost impossible to pass on curves, as for some reason they all perfectly line up, and force you off the road if you try to pass on the inside, while ramming you in the ass if you start going too slow. They'll never pass you, just bang into your rear until your wheels lock and you both smash into a wall, turning your cars into poorly-rendered crap.

Get the demo, laugh long and hard at the tinny sound, crappy graphics, and suicidal AI, then destroy all records of its existence.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 11/08/00, Updated 11/08/00


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