F1 Career Challenge Review
Championship Manager 4 reviewed on PC @ www.contactmusic.com
F1 Career Challenge Review
Its half way through the F1 season and yet again EA unveil a new game. For those who have played other F1 games especially the other EA tiles then the biggest surprise from this new offering will be the fact that its too similar to the others. There hasn’t been a revolution in the play, look or feel! This new offering does cover 4 seasons and has all the latest track alterations and teams, but if you just want to rip round a track in an F1 car then that doesn’t add too much. Anyway lets get into the game.

Before joining a team you will have to take part in a series of nine different licence tests which, depending on your performance, will determine which team you will join to start with in the first year. Once you have joined a team you will have a set of goals to accomplish through out the season. Once you start to meet or exceed the team’s goals one each track your reputation will increase and eventually you will have the option to join a better team. The aim of the game is to become the champion be the end of the 2002 season.

The controls in F1 Career Challenge are much the same as the previous EA F1 games so the controls are just as sensitive as ever. Small light movements on the control pad are the only way to succeed, if you haven’t played any of the F1 games in the past you will have to get the hand of this very quickly or frustration could set in. The brakes also need the delicate touch, when cornering always

 PC - F1 Career Challenge Review
 PC - F1 Career Challenge Review

brake, steer, accelerate, never brake and corner at the same time or you will end up in the gravel or spinning the car. This type of handling does lean towards the realistic rather make-believe, so restraint is always better than the heavy handed approach. Fortunately you don’t have to complete in the region of 70 laps per race like in the real thing, races are generally between 6 and 8 laps depending on the circuit and you will have to pit stop in virtually every race for some extra fuel and tyres. Throughout the race the tyre derogation will feel quite sever and the car will become increasingly difficult to control, added with the weight loss through the burning of fuel the car will become lighter which complicates things even more.

After completing the first season things get even trickier, as the damage system is quite forgiving in the first season, by the time you are in the 2000 season the damage system is less forgiving and it will increase all the way through your career until you will eventually be racing with the damage system on an expert setting. Setting you car up in the career mode is fairly simple as there is not too much to worry about, you can change the down force, brake responsiveness and gear ratios. Many of the other setting available in the other EA F1 games have now been removed so you don’t have to worry about setting your car up too much, just the racing itself. In career mode virtually all the options are predetermined and by the AI such as the damage control as mentioned above, opponent difficulty, race length and the weather.

F1 Career Challenge features a nice new addition that enables you to upgrade you car and get other goodies using bonus points that you are given for overtaking and cornering in the correct manner.

F1 Career Challenge’s sounds are pretty good, the engine sounds are all good as are the squeaking tyres and the radio communications. Fortunately the game doesn’t need any music as the in car and radio activity does the job quite well and I can’t imagine Mr Schumaker listening to dodgy dance tracks as he belts round Silverstone.

F1 Career Challenge is pretty much the same as F1 2001 and F1 2002 but you get the four season career mode. This is not a sequel and it’s not really much of an upgrade, it does pretty much what all of the other EA F1 series have done in the past. If you are an F1 fan and you don’t own one of the previous EA F1 titles it is definitely worth picking up without a doubt, otherwise you may want to rent this game before you think about buying it as you will realise you have seen it all before.


7.0 out of 10



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