Formula One 2003 - PS2

Formula One 2003 is the official game of the Formula One season. It features all the teams, with their sponsors, drivers and cars, and of course, all the circuits on the tour. It is exclusive to the PS2 and is basically an updated version of 2002. As any seasoned F1 fan will know, the rules have been changed this year, and the game incorporates these rules, should you choose to play the Championship Grand Prix season career-type mode.

As in seeming all games these days, you can play in Arcade mode, weekend race, season and so on. The thing that sets F1 aside from other driving games is that control of the car needs to be delicate. In fact, I would say that this is the biggest stumbling block of the game. Whilst this is a game, it is setting itself up as a simulator, so the controls are more like driving a real F1 car, than driving a rally car. As a result, unless you are clued up on techniques and advanced F1 driving skills, it is almost impossible to get a car round the corner, at least whilst keeping to the road. In this respect, unless you are a real F1 fan, this will become more tedious, and less fun, as you continue.

You can also change many aspects of the car you are racing. Yes, you can pick the Ferrari, and change the gear ratios or the tyres, or the balance of the breaks, or steering to customise your driving experience. Assuming you know what you are doing, you might be able to improve on a defaults, but it seems unlikely. You also get the standard range of views for controlling your car. The graphics overall are fairly good. However, they mostly consist of the views you'd associate with F1 - tarmac and barriers. Having said that, the tracks are true in form to the real tracks, so if you want an interesting drive, pick somewhere like Monaco.

The package is quite well finished and overall it appears smooth and thoughtfully designed. The only, and rather important, shortcoming is the gameplay. By making this a simulation, most people won't enjoy playing it

Verdict

This game is really for the F1 fans, as for the non-fan, the novelty soon wears off and the desire to play something enjoyable soon takes over. It seems that F1 games have been around from the beginning of gaming, and never seem to be quite as fun as their street racing or rally rivals. My advice, is to stick to the rally driving.