Grand Prix 3

aka: GP3, Grand Prix 3 by Geoff Crammond
Moby ID: 2266
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Description official descriptions

Grand Prix 3 aims to be a complete simulation of the 1998 Formula 1 World Championship, and features all the tracks, teams and drivers. You can practice the racetracks (which is recommended to learn their layouts and work on car setup) or compete in single races or the full championship.

Each race weekend has practice and qualification sessions, and the lengths of these can be customized, as can the skill level of the opposition drivers. There are 7 driving aids available, including automatic brakes and gears and an indestructibility option - as you race at higher skill levels, less and less of these are available.

Car setup is done in precise detail, with the chance to change wing settings (trading off grip against straight-line speed), brake balances (affecting how the car handles under braking) and gear ratios (trading acceleration off against top speed), as well as more complicated ones like packers, dampers and the ride height - the manual explains it in considerable detail, as well as offering driving tips.

Before each race you choose your pit strategy and tire compound - those with better short-term grip wear out quicker, especially if your driving style is aggressive. Wet racing is included, which requires much more careful driving and shrewd strategic choices as to which type of tires to use and when to pit to change them.

Spellings

  • 格林批治F1赛车3 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

92 People (82 developers, 10 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 31 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 2 reviews)

Geoff Crammond creates the perfect Grand Prix game.

The Good
Some have said that GP3 is simply GP2 with realistic weather and proper controller support, but that's not the whole story. While GP2 was a magnificent game, I always found it a little flakey. GP3 fixes all those problems. The cars are more dynamic, the scenary improved and the whole game feels much slicker.

This game is not easy. It is definitely a simulation racer, and you will need to get a good grip on the car setups to do well. Practicing a track to perfect a setup can take a long, long time (we're talking days). However, when you get it right, there is a great feeling of satisfaction as you beat Schumacher and Hakkinen off the line.

The graphics are superb, and there is a real sensation of speed as you reach speeds of over 200mph along the tracks. The car engine sounds and schreeching tyres are perfect and add to the atmosphere. It's very easy to bury yourself in this game, and become one with it.

The game supports force-feedback wheels, which makes for a dynamic driving experience, although I actually prefer the keyboard. You lose some finesse but you gain in reactions - all important in a game like this.

Although based around the 1998 season, with accurate teams and tracks, there are many downloads available to update the game to the 2000 season.

The Bad
Well, this game is almost perfect... but not quite. I'm not entirely happy with the AI. The other drivers seem quite happy to take you out. It seems that they decide on a line and stick to it no matter what. If you make a mistake (quite easy for a novice) and brake too early or too late and have to run a different line, they will just plow straight into you. Additionally, shutting the door on an attempted overtake manoeuvre may well cost you any chance of finishing. As I improve as a driver this seems to happen less and less as I make fewer mistakes, but there's always the threat of it happening. Then again, maybe this means that the AI is spot on...

Also, the wheel support only allows for 4 buttons. The paddles on my MS Sidewinder wheel are buttons 7 and 8, so I can't use them in the game. This would be really annoying if it weren't for the fact that I prefer using the keyboard.

The Bottom Line
The best Fromula One simulator by far. There may be arcade F1 racers out there which are easy to play, or a little slicker to drive, but nothing compares to this in terms of accurate simulation.

Apparently, a number of F1 drivers actually use this game to familiarise themselves with the circuits. I think that says it all.

Windows · by Steve Hall (329) · 2000

Perhaps not the massive leap it could've been, but a stunning simulation all the same

The Good
Everything that was great about Grand Prix 2 is still great here. That means perfect recreations of the circuits, detailed car setup options, a wide range of difficulty levels (allowing you to run with automatic gears at more levels is a big improvement, and logical given that F1 cars had semi-automatic gearboxes by then (and fully-automatic ones now - which removes a lot of the skill, and as such I'm not happy about it)), excellent sound, superb handling, multiple camera views which often reveal unexpected detail, and lasting challenge.

The improved graphics really do look superb, and can be set to be optimal on almost any specification of PC. It runs faster without a 3D card than some games do with similar detail with one.

The weather system is astounding. Not only do the affects look realistic and the handling become much more slippery, the exact effect of rain is superbly modeled, with puddles of standing water gradually clearing as it ceases to rain and drivers run over those sections, making it slipperier offline - an important consideration when weighing up overtaking moves. The full range of tires are on offer - intermediates, hard or soft wets and Monsoon tyres, giving you the chance to gamble on staying out on tyres which are not optimal, in the hope that the weather changes again. The advance forecasts before the race help with this.

The Bad
A lot of features hadn't been updated much since Grand Prix 2, in fact some are unchanged from the original F1GP / World Circuit. The damage physics are all wrong, with the cars much too strong in some areas, and contact doesn't always produce the results you'd expect. The replays are limited, with no fast-forward, slow-motion or save option, and the black-flag penalties are ridiculous.

Worse, there are all manner of features which could've been added, but weren't. Some sort of career mode would've made the game more accessible, and added to a structured long-term challenge. For true realism, things like the safety car, accurate stop-go penalties and cars stalling on the grid would've been needed.

The Bottom Line
As with all of Geoff Crammond's simulations, this is a very detailed, intricate and realistic piece of work, containing amazing detail when you consider that it was almost entirely Geoff's own work. It's not a massive leap from GP2, but it's the best racing simulation of the time, and pretty good as a pure racing game as well.

Windows · by Martin Smith (81661) · 2006

Trivia

Development

This game was actually developed in conjunction with the Arrows Formula One team. The engine sounds in the game are the sounds of their Supertec engines.

Jenson Button

Rookie driver Jenson Button actually played a beta release of this game to get to know the circuits.

Music

The intro music is an edited version of Rob Dougan's Furious Angels. This song was originally used in the Matrix movie theme.

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #13 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking

Information also contributed by GP4Flo

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Steve Hall.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, tarmo888, Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger, Plok, Victor Vance.

Game added August 29, 2000. Last modified January 22, 2024.