- Grand Prix 4
Infobox VG |title = Grand Prix 4
version = 1.2 (
November 22 2002)
September 10, 2002
platforms = PC (Windows)
requirements = 400 MHz Pentium III, 64 MB RAM
input = Keyboard, mouse,
joystick, steering wheel
"Grand Prix 4", commonly known as GP4 was released for the PC on
October 9 2002, is currently the last Formula 1 racing simulatorreleased by the developer Geoff Crammondand the MicroProselabel. Based on the 2001 Formula One season, GP4 essentially serves as a graphical and seasonal update of " Grand Prix 3" which had been released in 2000 the game retained the series' legendary physics engine. However it entered the market at a far less hospitable time than its three predecessors, and the game faced stiff competition from an alternative Formula 1 simulation from studios such as ISI.
Modifications from version 3
After the criticism received by "Grand Prix 3" for not advancing the series "Grand Prix 4" featured a heavily revised graphics engine and updated physics including wet weather driving that even today is considered some of the best to ever feature in a motorsport simulation. Despite this the game still showed Crammond's oft-commented dated approach to game design.Fact|date=February 2007
* While it is possible to play the game on a LAN, internet gameplay was not possible, due to licensing restrictions. Some individuals managed to circumvent this problem later.
* The framerate locked and CPU heavy graphics were still a big issue with the series despite a completely revised graphics engine. However, the graphics engine proved to be very scalable supporting models and textures multiple times the detail of the original shipped materials.
* The mod community faced similar frustrations with the track format and it took fully two years before the track format was truly "cracked". The first add-on tracks to be released for the game included Shanghai, Istanbul and Jerez.
* When the game was initially launched, it had a large number of bugs. Many of these were addressed by a patch which was later included with the retail game, though the project was canned when Microprose closed and no further official fixes were forthcoming. To compensate for this some third party programmers addressed some of the remaining problems, and included enhancements which allowed the game to follow the updated rules of the Formula 1 championship.
* Many claimed that the stated "minimum requirements" were set too low and that they could barely get the game to run on a significantly more powerful system.
Although the game could be considered a relatively modest commercial success the chances of a further entry to the series could be considered slim to none due to the fact that MicroProse's parent company
Infogramesdissolved the developer shortly after the game's release. Also the Sony Computer Entertainmentbrands exclusive licensing deal for Formula 1 games rules out an update with official stats. An Xboxport of the title had been planned for release in late 2002 before being cancelled in October of that year.
These days "GP4" is still a commonly played game among F1 fans. There are several online communities around the internet, including "GrandPrixGames", "GP4 Spain", "GP4Italia", "GP4 Argentina", "The Grand Prix 4 World" and many others. Most of these communities have members who place their efforts in continuously updating the game's features and eventually releasing season packages called mods. Season packages that have been released include F1 Seasons (1967, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1999-07, 2008 in development at The Grand Prix 4 World and at Racing On The Edge) and non-F1 series such as
Champ Car World Series, GP2 and Le Mans Series. Particularly, Rene Smit, "Madman" and "ZaZ" have gained popularity in the GPx world for their GPxPatch, GP4 Tweakerand ZaZ Toolsutilities respectively. They allow the user to modify the behaviour of many aspects of the game, and to easily switch between mods and tracks. However, some recent changes in Formula 1 regulations, like the knockout qualifying system, are not implemented in the game to date. Although a user on the GrandPrixGames site, msater, has stated that he will create a Knockout Qualifying system for Grand Prix 4. Nothing has been seen yet, though.
Due to the works of people such as
Laurent Rousseauand his editors, particularly GP4 Builder(previously 3D Editor), it is now possible to create and edit tracks. Some of the tracks released to date include, but are not limited to, updated versions recently changed tracks such as Hockenheim, Nürburgring, Barcelona and Hungaroring, tracks converted from other racing simulators such as Sakhir, Oulton Park, Adelaide, Surfer's Paradise & Zhuhai, completely scratch-built tracks such as Dubai and Vallelunga, and fictional tracks. In recent times, there have been more and more updates and new tracks, with people such as Gildoorf Rozencrantz, Martin Ruboy, Samuele Pinna, pimpones1, MarioB, Tony Brickand Jim(Jimbob1)Connorscreating several tracks, both fictional and realistic with the help of others in the community.
There are not many scratch built tracks in the community, but the long for awaited
Adelaide Street Circuitfrom super__alonso is in progress. There are also several hotlap leagues for GP4 including "GP4 World Series", "Little Formula Racing Series", "Hotlaps.de Gp4 and Gp4 Addon" , Gpchampionships.com Offline", "GPGAMES Hotlap Liga" at gpgames.eu and AI driven series such as the "Grand Prix Games Super League" at grandprixgames.org.
* [http://www.grandprixgames.com "GrandPrixGames"] Official Site
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