F1 World Grand Prix is the second VideoSystem title to bear the name. The first was released a little over a year ago for the N64 and was a solid simulation of F1 racing. Unfortunately, F1 World Grand Prix on the PlayStation suffers from many problems that its N64 counterpart didn't. The largest offense is an inconsistent frame rate that drops when too many cars appear on the screen at once, lowering the overall experience well past the point of being acceptable.
The one plus the game has over its competitors is that it has tons of different options and features, letting you set up everything from the cars' performance to specific situations on the track. The game features real teams and drivers, as well as the actual courses from the 1999 F1 racing season. The number of different settings and racing options is truly staggering.
Controlling the cars takes some time to get a handle on. Since the game's frame rate and overall speed slows down when too many cars appear on the screen at once, it's hard to consistently steer the car with the appropriate force when you are playing the game with an analog controller. Modifying your car's various settings, such as wing angles, tires, and gearbox ratios, drastically changes the vehicle's performance. Fans of F1 games who appreciate the subtleties of F1 tweaking will surely enjoy the vast options that F1 World Grand Prix provides. However, fans who just want a visceral racing experience that doesn't require any knowledge of car physics will find the game's control to be a mystery.
Visually, F1 World Grand Prix looks a little washed out. The car models are accurate, as are the tracks. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, the game's frame rate takes a dip when too many cars are on the screen. This slowdown hampers your efforts and often leaves you wondering exactly what happened, especially when a collision occurs and your car is left disabled.
In the audio department, the game does a decent job of representing the sounds of an actual track. The cars' high-pitched engine sounds scream in the key of annoyance, and the tires squeal as you slide off the track and bang into the wall.
In the end, F1 World Grand Prix's inconsistent frame rate prevents the game from being playable. While one certainly can appreciate all of the simulation options that the game has to offer; the gameplay and graphics simply don't back it up, and what results is a total mess.