|F1 Championship Season 2000|
November 19, 2002 | Eddie Park
The Mac gaming platform, while having made great strides as of late, still suffers from a dearth of sports titles. Falling into this category are racing titles, of which we have seen precious few entries into the market. Helping to fill this void, EA Sports’ F1 Championship Season 2000, currently being ported to the Mac by Feral Interactive, should be available by the end of the month.
F1 2000’s basis, as the name suggests, is around the world of F1 racing. Much more than just driving as fast as one can around a racetrack in a fast car, F1 racing is all about the little details. Picking just the right tire compound, setting up pit stops, and minutely adjusting a racer’s suspension can all make the difference in a race, to say nothing of the particular set of skills a driver must have to control what is essentially a powerful engine with four wheels and a light frame attached to it.
F1 2000 attempts to capture the entire experience of F1 racing, from the pre-planning to the tuning of the car to the actual race itself. Though those that simply wish to hop behind the wheel and drive may certainly do so, those who wish to delve more into the inner workings will certainly have plenty of options available.
Welcome to Driving School – F1 StyleF1 2000 presents players with several options, including Driving School, Test Day, Quick Race, Grand Prix, Championship, and Multiplayer. Driving School teaches the basics of F1 racing, pitting players against various goals and obstacles courses in an attempt to instruct how to become a better driver. Test Day allows for the free testing of any course without having to worry about a clock or other drivers getting in the way. Quick Race, as the name implies, provides an easy way to set up a one-shot race with a small number of laps and opponents. Grand Prix, while also a one-shot race, adheres more to the standard rules of F1 racing, providing a huge number of opponents and laps that must be completed. Once players feel comfortable, they can tackle the Championship, which is basically F1 2000’s version of a career mode wherein players must compete in a series of races while trying to rank as high as possible. Multiplayer allows players to compete against each other over the net, though it currently relies on knowledge of IP numbers, as there doesn’t seem to be a matching service available.
Rounding out the cast of F1 2000 are around 23 teams, including McLaren, BMW, and Jaguar. Each team is represented by a real-life driver, including names such as Mika Hakkinen, Johnny Herbert, and Michael Schumacher. Each driver also sports their own car and driving record. Round this out with 17 selectable tracks (at last count), each with their own statistics, such as who holds the lap record, and there should be enough content to keep players occupied for a while.
Where F1 2000 becomes utterly insane is in its breadth of customizable options. Each game type, including the Grand Prix and the Quick Race, have their own associated set of rules that can be tweaked to a player’s liking. Number of opponents, laps, and other options can be tweaked to only affect that particular game type, making it easy to keep each mode separate.
Where the game attempts to choke players is in the car customization. Broken up into several large categories, including Vehicle Setup, Gear Ratios and Aerodynamics, Tire Pressure and Suspension, and Advanced Suspension. Each one of these categories is then broken down further into many sub-categories (20+ in some cases) that seem designed to make one feel like an idiot unless one –really- knows something about racing. Some of the easier-to-understand subcategories include tire compound, starting fuel, number of stops, gear settings, and front wing weight bias. The rest of the subcategories include terms that I would rattle off in front of racing fans to give the appearance of expertise while desperately praying that no one asks me any questions about them.