Grand Prix 2
- For the article about the GP2 racing series, see GP2 Series.
|Grand Prix 2|
|Engine||enhanced Grand Prix engine|
|Genre(s)||Simulation racing game|
Grand Prix 2 ("GP2" for short), is a PC game developed and published by MicroProse in 1996. It is the second of game designer Geoff Crammond's four-part series of Formula One racing simulators. The game was sold in the American market as Grand Prix II, while elsewhere in the Americas it also became known as World Circuit II. It was the first game of the series to be made under an official FIA license, and as such all of the circuits, teams, drivers and cars reflected the real scenario of the 1994 F1 season.
It had 3D texture mapping and SVGA graphics, as well as an early but realistic physics engine. A large community of GP2 enthusiasts formed quickly and still exists today. Grand Prix 2 is recognized as one of the definitive racing simulations of its era.
The game is a simulation of the 1994 Formula One season with all 16 circuits from the 1994 season and 28 drivers in their 14 teams. Unlike the real 1994 season, where teams changed drivers and sponsorship liveries repeatedly, the game has a consistent driver list and set of liveries throughout, which reflects that of the 1994 British Grand Prix. As a result, Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, who both were killed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix are not present in the game. The liveries for each of the cars are also based on their appearance at the 1994 British Grand Prix, where all teams ran non-tobacco livery. It includes all parts of a Formula One weekend, including practice, qualifying and racing. It also included a championship mode which simulated the entire season, and also a quickrace mode which was customizable, allowing a player to choose the number of laps as desired and allow the player to set their grid position.
There was no "arcade" mode in Grand Prix II, per se, but it included the ability to turn on and off such things as indestructibility. There were seven major functions called "driving aids" that could be turned on or off: steering help, braking help, automatic turn-around (has the car face forward after a crash), indestructibility, racing line help, automatic shifting and traction control. The game had five levels of difficulty one could choose from, and the higher the level, the less options for driving aids one could turn on or off.
The game had multiple camera angles, including a simulated TV coverage angle. A player can control his or her car from any of them, but the primary angle used was the first-person cockpit angle.
The game also offered multiplayer and modem-linked gaming.
A race can be played in turns, with different players driving different cars in the race. Gameplay in this mode has one player at a time driving their car in the race. Instead of a split screen game, The computer simulates the driving for the other players' cars when they are not being controlled by one of the players waiting their turn.
The game also featured a replay function and save game feature. The replay function showed the last ~30 seconds of racing and included the ability to save replays. It did not include an edit function.
The save game feature allowed players to save their progress in the game
The game also replicated engine, gearbox and electronic failures. This meant cars not only could crash, but also have flames or smoke shoot out of the backs of their cars from engine failure, to which they raced around the circuit damaged for a limited time before parking at the side of the road or in the pits. This was the first to simulate visual car failures; as in 1989's Indianapolis 500: The Simulation cars fell out of the race but went to the pits and parked permanently when a car failure was present.
Grand Prix II did not include wet weather conditions. There also was the lack of a 'black flag' system replicating Formula One regulation penalties for course cutting, instead slowing the car down for a limited period of time if the course is cut through.
Teams and drivers
It was the first serious racing simulation programmed with all three axes in it—i.e. the ability for vehicles to get airborne in the game. (1990's Stunts and Stunt Driver featured this ability, but were not racing simulations of a series.) However, GP2 lacked the feature of having a car flip over entirely, which not yet was seen in hardcore racing simulations. In some cases, the game would crash if the car was about to overturn. Microsoft's Monster Truck Madness (1996), simulating monster truck racing, may have been the first to have that feature.
There are many features that caused the game to be hailed positively:
- Advanced SVGA Graphics Engine - The visuals were nearly unparalleled at the time due to the SVGA capable of rendering the then-high-end 800x600 resolution.
- Unparalleled AI and Physics - Grand Prix 2 was said to have featured elements from both an arcade racer and racing simulation. Similarly aged offerings such as Power F1 were perceived as inferior despite being fairly impressive games in their own right.
- Extremely accurate circuits - Circuits were often highly detailed and, at 800x600 resolution, were once described as feeling "photo-realistic".
Critics[who?] hailed Grand Prix II as stunning and the class of the field for Formula 1 simulations. At that time,
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page iv.
- "Grand Prix II for PC Review". GameSpot. CNet Networks. 1996-08-05.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 1.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 25.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 20.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 21.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 105.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 109.
- MicroProse. Grand Prix II Reference Manual (game manual). First Printing, June 1996. U.S. edition. Page 37.
- http://www.simracingworld.com/content/51-grand-prix-3-review/3/ SimRacingWorld - Grand Prix 3 review