Formula 1 is near the pinnacle of racing games. Psygnosis went to the expense of buying the licenses for all the drivers, tracks, and teams, creating one of the most accurate, detailed, and polished simulations of a sport ever to grace a screen. This realism, combined with its solid game engine, makes Formula 1 an incredible racing experience.
Nitpickers will find most everything they want here, including a detailed analysis of track layouts, car performance, and road surfaces. Formula 1 even reaches out to fans of Japanese Formula One TV, who can indulge in their favorite camera angles, licensed exclusively from Fuji Television. For race fans who would rather suspend reality, Formula 1 includes a few arcade-style options, including a "Quick Race" feature that allows for an immediate adrenaline-blast around the track. In fact, the "assisted" steering and braking in the arcade mode allows almost everyone to play the game well.
Graphically speaking, Formula 1 ranges from average to excellent. Although the 30-plus frames per second should be enough for smooth play, in practice this rate leads to some "seam" glitches and polygon drop-outs. Nothing too ugly, but it's noteworthy nonetheless. Sound is suitably raucous, replete with commentary from a slightly nasal and excitable English TV personality. Wonderful options screens let players customize to their hearts' content, and two-player link-up is a must. As a bonus, Formula 1 is completely compatible with the MadCatz steering wheel, which adds a lot to the gameplay.
Formula One racing has never been done better, and had the graphics undergone a little more refinement this would no doubt be the new benchmark of driving games. Even so, Psygnosis' Formula 1 is a high-octane masterpiece.