by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Studio Liverpool
Platform: PlayStation 2
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
we have a wave of Formula One titles throughout the race season.
This year however it's all a little different as Formula One 2003
is the only officially licensed simulation, so you won't be seeing
an official F1 game (with 2003 data) on any other platform which
is real plus for Sony and their PlayStation 2. Of course with this
being the only game based on the Formula One 2003 season it had
better be a good one so let's take a look at it.
terms of content Formula One 2003 is very similar to last year's
game. For the single-player game you have the choice of an arcade
race, arcade season, custom race (which allows you to pick a race
on any circuit, with the desired amount of laps, without having
to qualify), race weekend, world championship and time attack. There
are also various two-player games such as head 2 head and hotseat
races. There is, as there was last year, a spectator mode where
you sit back and watch a race. I can't see the point of it myself
but some gamers obviously thought it was a worthwhile feature otherwise
it wouldn't have remained. A variety of driving assists are available
should you wish to use them. The AI drivers can be set to easy,
normal or hard. Races can either be one third, two thirds or full
distance if you really like the full simulation experience.
year we thought the handling with the 2002 version was a bit twitchy.
This time though Studio Liverpool have got it spot on and it feels
just right with the Dualshock 2 controller. I found that my lap
times were very similar to what I would achieve on a PC Formula
One racing simulation which is impressive. I do have one concern
with the controls though. You use X to accelerate (you can use the
right analogue stick for acceleration and braking if you wish but
I find it awkward) and you need to press the button right down to
attain full speed. Over the course of a long race this caused me
some discomfort. Other than that though I was very pleased with
how the cars handled.
Formula One 2003 looks marginally better than last years game. The
simulation moves along at a blistering pace even in the wet weather
races. I did notice a few glitches, particularly with the mirrors
at the start of a race but otherwise everything was fine. The cars
are all present and correct in their 2003 liveries too which will
please the enthusiasts and let's face it, it's the main reason Formula
One fans buy new versions of the game. This year a dynamic cockpit
camera is available. In effect this means that the movement of the
driver's head during a race has been emulated in an attempt to make
it feel more realistic. You can disable this though, and choose
a static cockpit camera if you wish.
One 2003 is OK for deaf gamers. The only verbal information is the
comments you receive from your pit crew and this isn't subtitled.
This isn't really a problem though. Direction symbols appear onscreen
to show you which way you have to turn. These are colour coded and
range from green (a subtle turning) to red (a turning that must
be taken with extreme caution). The HUD displays information that
you require during a race.
One fans will be pleased with what Formula One 2003 has to offer
and it is an improvement on last years version. All the new rules
and regulations are in place too to give you an authentic experience.
Personally I would have liked to have seen tutorials included to
help break in novice drivers and it would have been great if you
were allowed to meddle with the cars setup. Overall though this
is probably the best Formula One experience you can buy on the PlayStation
Game Rating: 8.5/10
A nice improvement on Formula One 2002. The handling in particular
now feels just right.
The pit crew comments are unsubtitled but otherwise Formula One
2003 is fine for deaf gamers.