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PS2 Reviews: Formula One 2003



Formula One 2003 screenshots


The Final Say!


Formula One 2003 reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: 20 July 2003
Review Score 8/10
Distributed By: Sony

Formula One 2003 is the current incarnation of the extremely popular Sony F1 game series that features a modified engine from 2002 and the official 2003 rules. Apart from the new Formula One rules system of 2003, all the official teams, cars and drivers are included in this awesome formula one game package.

F1 2003 offers gamers the choice of a variety of different single player gameplay modes that include arcade, arcade season, custom race, race weekend, time attack and world championship. Whereas the multiplayer aspect of the game includes hot seat, arcade race, custom race and time attack. All these different gameplay modes easily makes F1 2003 one of the most varied race games on the market at the moment.

If you are looking for a fast and quick gaming session then I would highly recommend the arcade mode that lets you race around one of the 16 official world circuits of Formula One, whereas the world championship mode lets you play an entire Formula One season using the actually 2003 teams, grids and rules.

I was pleasantly surprised at the handling of the game and every car performed and handled remarkably well via the Sony PlayStation 2 DualShock controller. The cars also handled extremely well in the arcade mode and you could virtually slide around corners without losing too much traction. The arcade modes are designed for fast racing without the hassles of realistic world-based physics.

On the other hand while playing the world championship mode, one wrong turn had you spinning around in circles that either led you onto the grass or gravel and if you were not lucky, the concrete barrier itself. If you are not familiar with the official race circuits, the game alerts you to upcoming turns so you can adjust the speed of your formula one car so you can safely navigate around the corner without losing total control.

Graphically, F1 2003 is one of the most impressive games on the market at the moment that offers gamers the adrenaline experience of Formula One racing. The car models are extremely detailed and featured a very high polygon count that help add to the realism of the game. Match that with extremely good looking textures and then some advertising and you have a match made in Formula One gamer heaven. Even with 20 cars racing on screen at once, the game engine doesn't even slow and remains at a very impressive and smooth frame rate. The game also boasts some real world physics and when you crash your car, it actually handles very poorly around the track. The unfortunately thing is, there is hardly any physical damage to you car which is unfortunate.


The backgrounds are also quite detailed and when you race around tracks such as Monaco and Melbourne, you actually feel like you are really there. Last but not least are the amazing weather effects that have been included in the game and when you play Albert Park in Melbourne, you are almost guaranteed bad weather as it is in real life.

The sound quality of F1 2003 features all the powerful roars and screams of Formula One racing plus the sounds of cars skidding on grass and gravel, not to mention the sounds of deadly crashes against other cars and the dreaded protection barriers. The game also features exclusive TV commentary by the same TV commentaries that are used in the European broadcasts of Formula One.

In conclusion, F1 2003 has been greatly improved over its predecessor and now features a tweaked graphics engine and the official rules of 2003. The only downside to the game is the lack of damage on your cars if they happen to crash, fortunately the gameplay of this title makes up for this. I would recommend this game to any Formula One or racing fan as it supports both arcade and simulation modes and if you are up to the challenge, you can even compete against one of the modern day greats, Michael Schumacher.

- Andrew B

Copyright 2003 www.impulsegamer.com