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F1 Challenge 99-02
(hx) 01:00 AM EDT - Aug,20 2003

F1 Challenge 99-02 is long awaited sequel to F1 2002 and features four complete seasons of racing action. That's 14 teams, 44 different vehicles, 38 drivers and 17 of the worlds most famous racing circuits configured as they were for each FORMULA ONE season from 1999-2002.

So what you can expect? First off, I think the new F1 Challenge is much better than F1 2002 in many ways. Probably the biggest improvement, over F1 2002 is in the physics. The car just does now what you expect it to do. I was really amazed how much different the car felt. You can actually feel "mass" and "weight transfer" more now. I'd say that the physics are that much closer to the kind of physics we would expect from Papyrus. If anything, that is one of the areas I think is most noticeable, besides the sounds.Yeah, the sound affects have been improved massively, it's really hard to put down in words how realistic it sounds. It practically sounds like TV. Also, the subtle sound of the tires will let you know they are reaching their limit. Needless to say these little details actually improve the driving experience.

In terms of graphics, there have been a number of improvements to the visuals of this game over its predecessor. The graphics are sharper than in F1-2002, weather effects are excellent, and the replays definitely show better details of the cars. Also most of the tracks are accurately modeled according to the real life tracks in the particular season (including the difference in the first turn at Nurburgring in 1999 and 2002).

It looks like EA fixed all problems I criticized in my F1 2002 review, because also the AI is a quantum leap forward from F1 2002. The AI opponents no longer make their own path around the tracks, and you can actually race them! They even fight for positions amongst themselves, and they are definitely faster and use better racing lines and don't cut corners as much if you block them off. Simply, the AI is pretty good. The car setup is now pretty important thing too. Whereas in F1 2002 you could drive pretty much any setup, the only difference between a good and bad setup being lap time, in F1 Challenge a bad setup can be quite undriveable while a good setup can be quite rewarding given the proper driving technique.

F1 Challenge features four modes - Test Day, Race, Championship and Multiplayer. Surprisingly, F1 Challenge doesn't offer a four-season career mode like F1 Career Challenge for the PlayStation 2. So some people may be disappointed if they expected the career mode in the PC version too. But if you prefer to do "you career" by yourself than earning "points" in some arcadish way, you won't miss this mode. F1 Challenge uses pretty much the same menu as F1 2002, so navigation is very easy, especially if you are familiar with the previous game.

What about multiplayer? Well, the netcode is slightly better then F1 2002, but not a lot. The annoying pause when someone joins a session is still there, but fortunately you can prevent players from joining during qualifying. You probably want to know what connection speed you need to be able play with your friends. When hosting any game, figure on about 22-25kbs for each player Which mean that if you have a 128k for upload, you can play a 5 player game as there should be no issue as long as you connection is stable.

F1 Challenge is, without any doubt (even without carrier mode), the best F1 racing game I've ever played. It's definitely the best modern F1 racing title on the market. So if you like F1 sims, I sincerely suggest you grab this game! There's no doubt that all of the mods coming out until 2007 are probably going to be for this game since Sony has the F1 licence until then.

System requirements:
Minimum: Intel Pentium II 450 MHZ or better, 128MB RAM, 3D Accelerator 16 MB or better DirectX 8.1 compliant, Sound Card Direct X 8.1 compliant, 1GB HDD space, CD/DVD drive 4x, Game Controllers Direct X 8.1 compliant
Recommended: Intel Pentium III 1GHz or better, 256MB RAM or more, 3D Accelerator 32MB and better (ATI RADEON/Matrox G400, G450 & G550/NVIDIA GeForce1/2/3/4 Series, POWER VR KYRO 2 Series), Creative Labs Soundblaster Series, 1GB HDD space, CD/DVD drive 4x, Game Controllers* Direct X 8.1 compliant

* Game Controllers Act Labs Force RS Racing System (Wheel/Pedals), Ball Racing Interactive Speed 7 (Wheel/Pedals), Gravis Xterminator & Eliminator (Gamepads), Logitech Momo Force (Wheel/Pedals) & Wingman Series (Gamepads Joysticks & Wheels/Pedals), Microsoft Sidewinder Series (Gamepads, Joysticks and Wheels/Pedals), Saitek R440 (Wheel/Pedals), Cyborg 3D Force & X-45 (Joysticks), Thrustmaster 360 Modena (Wheel)


snd: 5/5 - absolutely amazing - especially the engine, wonderful new ambient sounds
gfx: 5/5 - circuits all look extremely realistic, the car models and textures are incredibly detailed, weather effects are excellent, some track's environent textures remain same since last version, damage model could be better
playability: 5/5 - nice step forward compared to F1 2002 - best modern F1 racing title on the market, excellent sensation of speed, good AI of opponents, multiplayer support via LAN/Internet, 50 page manual, doesn't offer a four-season career mode, no safety car
genre: F1 sim
platform: PC (released also for the PS2)
release: June 2003
developer: EA Sports
publisher: EA
Excellent
Overall: 88%


last 10 comments:

Hillaryposted - Aug, 20 2003 - 01:48
Looks good. I want it :)

Klawposted - Aug, 20 2003 - 07:02
Crappy...more of the same!

Erbozposted - Aug, 20 2003 - 13:23
I just hate EA sports games, they all look and feel the same. F1 Challenge is still crap compared to GP3-GP4.

John"Jenny"abbotposted - Aug, 20 2003 - 16:09
Yeah I agreed with "none@none.cpu" I hate racing games what a boring wuss ass game. I mean this game have no TASTE racing,crashing, around and around etc you what'em sayin. I personally would spend my good $50 on rpg/rts games, fps games and wargames. Racing/Sports ha dream on what a crappy game. The only good racing games are for TWATS and nerdy peoples.

Louise Astairposted - Aug, 20 2003 - 21:57
OK - So the last 3 comments are all from people that have no interest in racing games. Why they bother to even comment is beyond me. I do like racing games and this one is very good. F1 C 99-02 and NASCAR Racing 2003 Season are both great games with huge depth and moments to relish. If you've never driven a high speed single seat or stock car, then believe me these games get you there (I've driven single seat formula cars and stock cars BTW). I play FPS, RTS and Racing games - what's up with some variety guys - it doesn't make anyone a nerd just because they enjoy something you may not. I'm looking forward to NASCAR Thunder 2004 coming from the same team that made F1 C 99-02. Last years PC title from EA was disappointing but I reckon this years might be a pleasant surprise. The early F1 titles from EA were pretty average. It takes time to make great games I guess and work out what works well and what does not.

Nick Bullshitposted - Aug, 20 2003 - 22:28
Hahahaha!!! "Louise Astair" very amusing went you say "I've driven single seat formula cars and stock cars BTW" have you ever heard off the phase IN YOUR DREAMS. This million dollars formula racing car are so hard to drive and handle. I don't know how a candid person like you would get a ONCE in a LIFE time chance to drive this monsters. Anyway you are one of those award winning fools or LIAR I should say. Well it been a nice commenting from you I've ever heard (I've driven single seat formula cars and stock cars BTW). Hahaha.

Fabioposted - Aug, 21 2003 - 00:39
how do you save your game, i mean, how do you save your progress during a 100% race, like you can do with GP4????

hitoki battousaiposted - Aug, 21 2003 - 01:37
Nick... Louise Astair didnt say it was a formula ONE car... just a formula single seater... believe it or not you can buy one for a couple of grand and hiring one just for a drive would only require a few hr + cams license... or whatever license is required in ur country

racing isposted - Aug, 21 2003 - 09:55
racing is stupid anyway. i mean whats the point. oo you go round and round and round its such a waste of gas. fuck why don't you just burn oil then.

alrightposted - Aug, 22 2003 - 08:35
it's a competition, hello?

racing isposted - Aug, 22 2003 - 13:09
its not really a race at all the track width is not wide enough to realistically pass people. its more like follow the leader. plus the track is repeated multiple times so the drivers know whats coming up after a while. The driver is not really being tested to react to the unknown. not to mention that most of the work is done by the cars not the drivers. its such a waste of gas.

Best F1 Sim on the mposted - Aug, 22 2003 - 22:07
I own both GP4 & F1C. Both are very different and both are fun, but F1C is definately the most realistic of the two. A big step up from F12K2. It is also the F1 sim that will be getting most of the mod community's support. If you want the best F1 sim, buy this game.

F1 Challengeposted - Aug, 23 2003 - 00:43
"racing is stupid anyway. i mean whats the point. oo you go round and round and round its such a waste of gas. fuck why don't you just burn oil then." >> this is just a game... asshole! It doesn't burn anything.

Losers who think theposted - Aug, 23 2003 - 01:48
Or you can just play a RTS game and pre tend to be a fucking Orc or a Bow wielding Dwarf. Get a life guys racing is a competition and it takes skill and brains to compete at any level of racing. You little fuck nuts are the nerdy goobers. Stf Up!! and go stand around in a EverQuest server and play with your lame spells and let the people race.

JasonCrowleyposted - Aug, 23 2003 - 02:58
This game is awesome!!!!! Much improved over the 2002 spin. Having both Midnight Club 2 and this game I'm afraid MC2 is living the shelf life at the moment. I must agree with RI-Stupid, the track width seems very tight in some areas. Hopfuly the mod comm will rise to correct this oversite... hint, hint. I can't comment on the multi yet as I havnt played.

Erbozposted - Aug, 23 2003 - 14:09
It's better than 2002. That's for sure, now there are also trees, yihaa!! It's such a crap for having to wander through the dozens of menu's, having minutes to wait till the damn thing finished loading, and then having to stare at some empty asphalt for more minutes, and the stupidly drawn pitbabes aren't doing it either, nor does that lame horn in the background. About the realistic part, it's a game, the goal of a game ain't to be as realistic as possible, it has to be as finished as possible, plus ain't realistic that car is as thick as the track either, you get much more value from GP4. That's all. Oh yeah! I heard F1 2005 will be even more realistic !!! It will then have 3 (three) different motor-sounds, ain't that realistic ?

racing isposted - Aug, 24 2003 - 13:04
i was talking about real life racing idiot not the game in terms of oil being burned. Racing a competition thats an absurded statement. First of all its NOT RACING ITS FOLLOW THE LEADER. THE track is constructed in such a way that passing an opponent is highly unlikely. If you want to mis-categorize whats happening then your the idiot. All you have are a bunch of people driving following each other plain and simple. the tracks are easy and design in such a way that the whoever is in front of you will probabaly stay in front of you because there is no room to pass or its highly difficult to pass. You don't need any skill to stay in front of the guy your already in front of. The drivers simply don't have to adapt to the unknown.

Ed^Chigliakposted - Aug, 29 2003 - 19:08
F1 racing games are not so different from RPG/RTS or any other game for that matter. Both for example are a perfectly valid waste of time although one would normally associate them with passing time and not wasting it. My least favorite game would be something like the SIMS but there are clearly many people who enjoy this game even though I do not. Perhaps you should try live and let live since you cannot easily change the opinion of others. Personally I think F1 games are great and learning each courses and tweaking your racing line lap after lap is all part of the enjoyment. Progress is measured in ever decreasing lap times as your skill and knowledge of the course improves. Similar progress is made in RPG games as your skill and knowledge of fighting each monster type improves through repetition. I suggest you chill a little cos it's really not that important and your not going to persuade anyone who enjoys F1 that they don't enjoy it. You either do or you don't so maybe you are the only one here wasting time.

Wim Donkerloposted - Sep, 10 2003 - 21:14
This game really rocks because of the extremely easy editing option, I was n't a big fan of EA F1 sims in the past but now they have overwhelmed me. Physics are really good and the graphics are very detailed. With the enormous amount of updates on the net like the RH2003 cars, the extra tracks you can drive (ZANDVOORT!! www.rsdg.net)and the awesome mods this game will really have a long existence

operatorposted - Oct, 14 2003 - 12:52
If you don't like racing games, then piss off seriously. As other sports it is only fantastic for those interested to the sports. If you want an instant gratification no skill arcade racing game, look no further than your standard run of the mill NFS series. THERES a driving game for you! This is simply the best f1 sim on the market and will be so for the next little while as Sony has acquired the license now... too bad.

Supernovaposted - Oct, 15 2003 - 18:11
Do any one of you know if there is a way to stop people to cut track? In multiplayer (pc) in almost all tracks you can cut track without a warning or penulty. its wery frustrating.

ydyaposted - Dec, 28 2003 - 22:35
i've noticed that loading times are ALOT quicker than 2002 or that could just be my new sata drive :p. anyway, once again, ea sports kicks ass. ea sports 4, that other stupid game 0 :D

GodSpdCyaposted - Jan, 08 2004 - 21:47
First of all for all you uneducated MORONS here, if it were not for real world racing the crap that you drive now would have never come into being. Almost EVERY car manufacurer in the world builds race cars and uses the technology developed on the track to better their domestic cars. That being said before you make another ignorant statement like it takes no skill to race, try it a few time. Even going in the same dam circle over and over again presents new challenges with every lap. Changings conditions such as weather, debris on the track, worn or new tires, and hundreds of other ever changing factors make even circuit racing an ever changin challenge. BTW for the moron not all racing is in circles nor is it all on asphalt tracks. For those who do not like racing, wtf are you even doing here accept to stir shit? Go back to your obviously meaningless lives and leave those of us alone who are trying to find a decent racing sim ALONE. I hope this F1 Challenge is all it has been made out to be, because i have friends developing a mod for it that will bring back many aspects of another EA racing sim that was tragically shut down...Motor City Online. If you are an ex MCO junkie or you would enjoy a mod that incorporates cars from 1932 all the way to the end of the muscle car era in 1973, then check out MCOMOD.com. These guys will have the mod up and ready for beta soon, and we need all the support we can get. As for me, as soon as i can find a copy of F1 Challenge 99-02 i will own it ;)

F1Cposted - May, 07 2005 - 07:12
Try here for some fun www.f1conline.game-host.org Theres more to F1C than just f1's ;)

Patrickposted - Jun, 09 2005 - 14:04
This is the best Formula 1 game ever. Hopfully EA will release a new F1 challenge in a few years.

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