Developed by motorsport gaming specialists Studio 33 for Psygnosis and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, FORMULA ONE 99 features all 16 Grand Prix circuits and all the teams and drivers (including Jacques Villeneuve and British American Racing) of the 1999 season.
All the circuits have been meticulously recreated through direct access to the archive of the FOA circuit department, which holds detailed information about each tracks' unique characteristics. In addition, members of Studio 33 repeatedly studied over 150 hours of television coverage from all over the world, pored over tens of thousands of detailed track photographs and studied each circuit map, until every minute detail had been accounted for and recreated in the game.
The result is frighteningly realistic! FORMULA ONE 99 features the most accurate recreation of what an actual F1 driver sees when he competes on tracks such as Albert Park in Melbourne (Australia), the A1-Ring in Zeltweg (Austria) or the breathtaking Monaco circuit in Monte Carlo. Like the real F1 drivers, players must use landmarks to determine breaking, turn-in and acceleration points during the race if they are to succeed.
Of course, all this graphical glory has to move at a speed worthy of the sport it depicts. This is where Studio 33's in-depth knowledge of PlayStation architecture comes into play. A brand-new, 3rd generation racing engine has been developed to specifically cope with the demands of a Formula One game: long straights, large trackside objects and 22 cars on the track at any one time. This engine uses its massive horsepower throughout the game - graphical glitches and build-up are virtually eliminated. Instead, the player is constantly surrounded by the circuit world on which the individual races take place. Grandstands and large trackside objects can be seen 3-4 corners before players pass them (if reality permits), elevations on the tracks are clearly noticeable during gameplay and the sense of scale on the track is unprecedented. All this gives players a true insight into just how demanding and unique each individual track is.
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