13 racing teams
35 professional drivers
17 official circuits
1 sports commentator
have to do with each other?
If you are looking for white-knuckled formula one racing so realistic that you'll think you are actually driving the 1995 racing season, you may want to explore Formula One World Championship coming this summer from Sony Psygnosis, developed by Bizarre Creations. Officially licensed from FOCA, with plenty of input from one of the professional formula racing teams, Formula One World Championship promises to be one of the most realistic formula racing games ever.
Detail is the name of this game, and be sure that nothing has been missed. Five artists have been employed full-time to model every element in precise detail. Each 3.3 to 7km circuit contains between 60,000 - 90,000 polygons, displayed at a full 30 frames per second. Surveyors official track maps were used to ensure that every incline, pitch and turn is absolutely authentic; and over 100 hours of video footage was examined to match every building and tree in the scenery as closely as possible. Players can observe the race from one of many views including in-cockpit, behind the car, helicopter camera, overhead camera, beside the car, official TV camera 'pan and zoom' and nose-camera.
Each of the 26 formula cars are uniquely modeled from team diagrams, photographs, and video footage. Every detail including the official logos and sponsors decals (except for tobacco sponsors) has been preserved.
Even the drivers have been faithfully reproduced. Cars closely follow the racing line and move out to overtake as they would in a real race. Each formula driver's personality and racing style has been recreated within the game's artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence reacts to everything within the distance view of a real driver, and its tendencies are based on the tendencies of the actual drivers. Polite drivers will move aside to allow a faster car to pass, whereas drivers who are known to be pushy will block your way. Drivers may even make mistakes or drive erratically, cruising over rumble strips, taking a corner too tight and throwing their car into a spin, taking out other drivers or even crashing into pit walls. Average lap times and grid pacings for each driver are based on last year's championship.
In-car sound effects have been created using a DAT recorder strapped to the driver of a F1 car. External noises are actual pit and track recordings as well. An even more realistic feel is given to the audio with dynamically calculated Doppler effects presented in Dolby Surround. The rock music soundtrack includes licensed titles from Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, as well as 12 specially produced tracks from Overdrive.
Formula One World Championship includes two main game play modes: arcade and advanced. Arcade mode handles like most arcade racing games. Game play is non-technical -- players may race against other cars, head-to-head or against the clock. Handling is simple and intuitive, with power slides, doughnuts, and responsive control. Crashes are merely a temporary setback.
Advanced mode is designed to be an exacting formula one racing simulation, complete with qualifying rounds and 90 lap races. Handling is based on telemetry data from real formula cars, with variable downforce, rigid cornering, and more. In advanced mode you must not only master driving, but also master racing strategy as refueling stops, seasonal weather, tire changes and car setup are taken into account. In advanced mode, crash out on the first corner and you may be out of the running for the championship.
Options for both modes include practice, quick race, or championship. Players can also control collision damage, qualifying rounds, statistical accuracy, and dynamic weather conditions. A two-player mode via link cable is also included. A two-player split-screen option, or even possibly a four-player split screen link-cable option, may also make it into the final release -- but this is as yet undetermined. As an added bonus, the link option allows players to set up the second PlayStation to watch the first one on television footage viewpoint, either as stand-alone or if the second player crashes out.
Formula One World Championship also has support for the Namco NegCon controller, as well as the new Mad Catz analogue steering wheel with pedals add-on. Race replays, high scores, and favorite configurations can be saved to the memory card.
Formula One World Championship is anticipated for release this July on the Sony PlayStation.