View Full Version : Some Grand Prix 4 goodness........

05-07-2002, 09:12 PM
I've taken care of my arcade-racing fix through PGR and have lived my rally racing dreams through RSC but now it's time for some sim-styled F1-racing and nothing looks better than GRAND PRIX 4.

F1 racing, I feel, is the pinicle of PURE racing where soo MANY factors determine the outcome of a race. If I'm going to play a F1 videogame, I feel that it should be a full-out simulation to capture all these factors. I'm hoping GP4 delivers that...

here's a little interview and some hand's-on impressions that I thought some of you race-headz may find interesting:



We've seen it. We've played it. Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 4 is revving its engine in preparation to take the chequered flag in the summer

15:41 Talk to anyone in the know about such things, and they'll tell you that Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix series is the dog's bollocks of PC F1 games.

The fourth outing in the series is out this summer, and for the first time ever it will be making the leap to console in the shape of Grand Prix 4 on Xbox. An interesting move, seeing as the franchise as a whole is regarded as hardcore PC, but developers Simergy and Microprose are confident that racing fans from both sides of the fence will enjoy it equally.

In fact, we've just had the chance to have a go on it ourselves. Just for the record, it's bloody hard. Spending the first five minutes skidding across the grass and slamming into crash barriers is rather annoying, especially when you discover that you've already got the "newbie" settings on, such as traction control and steering help. Still, persevering with it we soon discovered where the tarmac was located and were driving, if slightly sedately, where we were supposed to.

It is another Formula 1 racing game, but after playing Grand Prix 4 for a while you can just feel the subtle differences and realise that it has that extra "something" that other games in this genre lack. While competitive titles often seem to be a bit, well, plastic, and feel like they'd could be blown apart by a rather wet fart, GP4 is so solid that you could stick it in a force 10 hurricane and it'd say, "So what!".

In between skidding, crashing, and going like a bat out of hell around the Imola circuit, we had a quick chat with executive producer Nick Court and Xbox programmer Simon Michael to find out more about the game.

How long have you been working on Grand Prix 4?

Court - We've been working on it since before we finished GP3. With the size of the team, we've got over 60 man-years worth of work. There are around 30 members in the team which covers art, programming etc.

Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix series has always been a PC-only affair. Why did you decide to bring it to Xbox too?

Court - It's always been a PC game because we've never had the chance to bring it to the other formats. Hasbro made an agreement with Simergy that, because we [Microprose] have the new license for five years, we wanted to make the most of if. If we'd let Simergy carry on the way it had done, with Geoff developing all by himself, we'd have only had one game.

What we had to do was split the game into two pieces, with Geoff doing what he does, and us [Microprose] doing what we do. Geoff does what he's good at and enjoys such as physics and AI, and we do all the graphics, the tracks etc. This makes an awful lot of sense.

On all formats we use Geoff's code, but us as a team we [Microprose] are working on the Xbox version and any other format that we fancy doing.

That was the reasoning behind it, and it's been incredibly successful.


Do you think the Xbox version of Grand Prix will appeal to owners of Microsoft's machine, seeing as they're more likely to console fans? After all, the series as a whole is usually regarded as hardcore PC fare.

Court - Yes, I think so. When you buy it, the default settings in the game are set up so that you have all the help settings on when you first play. The way the help options have been developed is great, because you don't really know that they're there helping you until you turn them off and realise how tough it is to control the car. However, you don't ever feel like someone else is taking over the game, you still feel in control. I do believe that people out there with consoles do have the ability to get to grips with an in-depth driving game. This whole idea that you have to dumb down a game for consoles is a bit extreme.

Michael - The PC version is a simulation and anybody who knows Geoff Crammond's games knows this. For example, you can change all the settings on the car - it's just like real life. We do have options to do that on Xbox, but it's more in keeping with consoles. We've provided more of an arcade-like feel. The realism in both games, however, is absolutely identical - with the cars physics for example.

We've actually made a lot of changes to make it appeal to Xbox owners. We think we've got the balance right between making it an arcade game and a simulation. It makes it easier to get into. But we still wanted the realism in there. There're plenty of games out there that don't have the handling, but with GP4 we have that. It takes a lot of time to get into, but once you're into it, it gives you a lot of satisfaction when you get it right.


So what sort of features does Grand Prix 4 have that will ease people into it?

Michael - You have numerous help options that you can adjust, so if we want more traction control, braking control, steering help etc. you can set those All these features will be on PC too, by the way. ]

Did you find that The Xbox's static hardware helped you with graphics development, because you were saying that the Xbox version will look superior?

Court - It's been fun working with the Xbox because of that, and it's definitely more fun playing that game on a TV than on a monitor - because you'd normally watch F1 on a TV and so it just works better. The bump-mapping and lighting effects all look good.


You were saying that the Xbox version is about two weeks behind the PC version in terms of development. Will they still both be out at the same time?

Court - That's undecided at the moment. The obvious difference in time is to be expected because we're leading development on the PC rather than developing for two separate formats. I think both will be out in June, but whether the PC will lead we're not sure.

Stuart Bishop

Hand's on impressions courtasy of----> http://www.computerandvideogames.co...ry.php?id=26061

Screens can be found at ---->http://www.gamespot.co.uk/stories/screenindex/0,2160,2105563,00.html


I don't know about you guys but this F1-racer has potential to be the best racer across all consoles this year.

Let me know if any body is as excited about this game as I am.....

Post me up...........


05-08-2002, 09:29 PM
I think you know I know a little something about racers huh.........Apex................

;) :)

The previous one was and still is the best F1 racer to date. And now this will take that up a notch. cannot wait to get it. Thanks for the info bud............:cool:

05-09-2002, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by Virtuoso
I think you know I know a little something about racers huh.........Apex................

;) :)

The previous one was and still is the best F1 racer to date. And now this will take that up a notch. cannot wait to get it. Thanks for the info bud............:cool:

Yup Virtuoso...See this my Morrowind amongst racers. It's the type of racer that demands attention and patience to master. Don't get me wrong, I love an arcade racer like Daytona or Segarally, but every once an awhile, I need a racer that simulates the small details of the sport. I feel that GP4 is going to fill that sim gap nicely.......

Oh and you just wont let me forget about that CC RSC challenge will ya!?! LOL...Just remember who had the game a week early and was getting closed in on-->QUICKLY. The outcome could have been quite different if the tournament didn't get canceled.....Online gaming is just around the corner my friend.....:p

BTW: Does anybody else have ANY interest in this game....I thought this was racing forum....i guess not...;)

05-09-2002, 09:11 PM
I feel the same way..................comparing it to Morrowind in a totally "IN-DEPTH" way is perfect. I just love races that last about 90 minutes or so and that you have to go through soooooooo many changes within the race. I love Rallisport, PG, but F1 racing to me is the real deal. Strategy, and excitement with Full F1 season play too is top notch.

Hey a little Online for me and you later Apex............that will be off the charts fun. Or come on down to Malibu and we will 2X extra large HDTV it with two XBOX's and have some beach babes hang out while we tear up the tracks.;) :)







05-09-2002, 11:49 PM
Omg there are so many sweet racing games that are comign out I don't know what I'm gonna do. I have really wanted a in depth sim racer for my xbox and this game may do the trick. Thank for the article:D

05-10-2002, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by stang46
Omg there are so many sweet racing games that are comign out I don't know what I'm gonna do. I have really wanted a in depth sim racer for my xbox and this game may do the trick. Thank for the article:D

No problem Stang......It's good to know that someone else in this forum appreciates these kind of racers.......:)

BTW: thx 4 addding the sweeet screens Virtuoso......

Belt Fed
05-14-2002, 11:33 PM
are these screens from a pc version? look to good to be xbox shots.