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  Friday, 21 June, 2002, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Let's play: F1 2002
BBC Sport Online reviewer David Gibbon says this motor racing game leaves the opposition trailing in its wake.

The masters of sporting games have long enjoyed the enviable status of being able to create some of the finest commercial and creative titles.

EA Sports kicked off their pursuit of sporting excellence with the arrival of the FIFA series - and now they have just about every sport covered.

Although they have only recently entered the formula one circuit, they have already taken pole position after achieving success with F1 2001.

This is the sequel and, thanks to that official licence, you get all of the real F1 teams, drivers, circuits and cars.

  F1 2002
Format: PlayStation 2
Price: 39.99
Publisher: EA Sports
Genre: Motor racing
Also Available: Xbox, PC and GameCube

Indeed, this game even comes with Toyota - a team that has only just joined the Grand Prix world.

Many F1 games over the years have been a bit of a of a let down - depending on what kind of gamer you are.

For those who just want to put their foot down and race at top speed around corners, few have been accommodating, with most concentrating on realism and little else.

F1 2002 on the other hand offers the best of both worlds - a thrilling arcade mode where just about anything is possible, with detailed statistics and gameplay to match.

The built-in quick race mode allows players to ride over four laps - on tracks from Silverstone to Monza.

F1 2000
The graphics are amazing

And should you manage to complete a race within the top six positions - hidden tracks will gradually be revealed.

For those who want to experience the real world of F1, the Challenge mode starts off by offering you lots of tips and advice on everything from braking and cornering to weaving your way around hairpins and chicanes.

Furthermore, you also get the chance to learn how to have a successful pit stop as well as understanding oil leaks, FIA rules and more.

Once you've mastered all that, you'll earn awards that will allow you to compete in full F1 events.

There's 17 circuits to get round and the whole atmosphere of the game is superbly well done - from the roar of the crowds to the jaw-dropping models that walk around the pits.

  Gibbon's verdict
Graphics: 92%
Playability: 91%
Sound: 67%
Realism: 93%
Overall: 91%

As you begin to race, your crew provide you with detailed info via an audio link.

But it's difficult to concentrate at first, as you'll be amazed by the graphical excellence of this game.

From the water spray that flies up in front of you from other cars to the perfectly textured vehicles that adorn the track, F1 2002 has it all.

There's no race commentary - which is a shame - but thanks to its ability to allow all skill levels to play with reasonable competence - F1 2002 is an F1 racing fan's dream.

The cars handle superbly well and you'll soon realise there's no better F1 game around than this - even Michael Schumacher would be happy.


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