EA Sports F1 series
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|EA Sports F1 series|
Logo for last game in series,
F1 Challenge '99-'02
|Developer(s)||Image Space Incorporated|
|Platform(s)||Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance|
The EA Sports F1 games were a series of racing simulation videogames based on Formula One motorsport. Six games were released between 2000 and 2003. They were published by Electronic Arts although unlike many other sports covered under the EA Sports banner, were not developed in-house. They were instead developed by Image Space Incorporated on the PC, a company who would later go on to make rFactor using an updated version of the engine produced for this series, and Visual Science, who handled the console versions.
The Formula One games have a variety of 'driving aids' options that can be tailored to the users' own tastes. Thus, in terms of car handling, the game can play either as an arcade racer or a driving simulation. The game also has a bunch of hidden options. Any experimented user could activate these and optimize vehicle physics for a better racing simulation experience.
F1 Challenge '99-'02
After losing the official F1 license from Formula One Administration Ltd. to a multi-year exclusive licensing contract between FOA and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (publishers of the competing Formula One series on PlayStation/PlayStation 2) in late 2002 that became active starting from the 2003 season thus barring any developer, EA included, to make a game centered around these later seasons, the decision was made to produce one final game using the four seasons that EA Sports had previously licensed.
Because of the progressing potential of the game engine, several assets were re-imagined in order to make them more realistic than ever before as well as making the game more adaptable for less powerful PCs. The car models and associated textures were rebuilt from scratch, whilst the physics engine was significantly improved over prior releases to provide a simulation that was critically lauded. In order to provide a more authentic simulation, every track received minor changes for each season covered, including sponsor boards (barring tobacco and alcohol advertising) as well as external visual changes.
The modding capabilities of F1C, as it is occasionally referred to by its dedicated modding community, are extensive and since the game's release in 2003, has gone on to cover many different seasons of Formula One racing, as well as being able to simulate racing series outside of Formula One such as Le Mans Prototypes and NASCAR, among many others. This is due in part to the use of simple text files for several important game asset parameters such as the physics, cars, drivers, and tracks which has allowed the game to flourish on various online communities long since its release.
The editors of Computer Gaming World nominated F1 Challenge for their 2003 "Racing Game of the Year" award, which ultimately went to Need for Speed: Underground. It was also a nominee for PC Gamer US's 2003 "Best Racing Game" award, but lost to NASCAR Racing 2003 Season. The magazine's editors called F1 Challenge "the PC's most rewarding open-wheel driving experience since Grand Prix: Legends.
- EA Sports F1 2000, released early 2000 on PC and PS
- F1 Championship Season 2000, released late 2000 on PC, PS, PS2, Macintosh, and Game Boy Color
- F1 Manager, released late 2000 on PC. Based on the 1999 Formula One Season
- EA Sports F1 2001, released late 2001 on PC, PS2 and Xbox
- EA Sports F1 2002, released mid-2002 on PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube and GBA
- F1 Challenge '99-'02, released mid-2003 on PC. Released as F1 Career Challenge on PS2, Xbox and GameCube
- F1 Career Challenge, released in mid-2003, the console version of F1 Challenge '99-'02
- Staff (March 2003). "The Ninth Annual PC Gamer Awards". PC Gamer US. 10 (3): 48–50, 54, 58, 60, 66, 68, 70.
- Editors of CGW (March 2004). "Computer Gaming World's 2003 Games of the Year". Computer Gaming World (236): 57–60, 62–69.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Staff (March 2004). "The 10th Annual PC Gamer Awards". PC Gamer US. 11 (3): 38–40, 42, 44, 45.