This game kicks ASS.......phalt!
Racing fans and especially formula one racing fans will love this game. Never before has there been a more realistic racing game. The racing sim world was temporarily appeased by Indycar and NASCAR Racing, but the realism in Grand Prix II is unmatched. Formula one fans finally have a game where they can race in all the real tracks, with all the real cars, against all the real opponents. Open wheel racing has been taken to the ultimate in reality. With everything from tilting when hitting the curbs, to getting launched in the air when rubbing your front wheels against someone's back wheels, to rolling over completely in a bad wreck.
Starting out you'll want to make your car invincible and the other cars weak. This way, when you get in a crash you won't be out of the race, and if you get frustrated, you can play bumper cars for a while. Slowly you'll move up to the professional level where you can see how you really match up to Micheal Schumacher and the other drivers. Choose your team and car and try to make your owner a happy man. Oh, and if you choose to race for Ferrari remember you are trying to please all of Italy. Before you race you must practice and qualify and tune up your car or have the computer do it for you. It can get pretty confusing with the gear ratios, brakes, alignment, stagger, wings and everything else if you attempt to be the mechanic as well as the driver.
The realism of this game is brought out by a recent statement by Jacques Villeneuve, 1995 Indycar Champ and a rookie in formula one racing this year. He said that before he raced in the Grand Prix of Belgium, he played Grand Prix II and raced the Belgian Grand Prix on the computer. Villeneuve stated, "(He got to) know what's coming, that's very useful." Jacques qualified first and ended up second at the race, claiming that the game helped him get familiar with the track. The unusual thing is that he only managed to place 18th on the computer! A formula one driver's testament to the game should be all that is needed for racing fans to buy the game (Knowing that he wasn't paid for his comments.) Other nice features which add to the reality of the game are oil slicks, puddles, rain, electrical, engine, gearbox and other various failures and curbs and manhole covers.
The sound and graphics are equal to the realism of the game with excellent engine noises and tire squeals and sponsors labels on the cars. The only real problem with the game is that it can get very intricate for the beginner, but it doesn't have to. If you opt to set everything at easy and automatic, you could have a two year old play the game. Then he can teach you how to play.
Watch out, regulate your doses of this game and never drive right after playing this game, or you may find yourself screeching around corners and gassing it in the straights. Then you'll either end up in a wreck with one of those shitty drivers in a Volvo station wagon (Yes, you know who you are.) Or you'll have to outrace the 5 on your home track. I know I ended up intentionally cutting off a few old ladies driving 40 M.P.H in the left lane of the freeway almost taking up two lanes with their huge Lincoln's. Damn that pisses me off. But anyway the basic message is, there may not be room for a better racing simulation. The only thing more real would be to jump into a fire suit, strap into an F1 car and race a few laps under Frank Williams against a field of the worlds best racers at Monaco or Monza or Silverstone or Imola. After that, you would probably have to be scraped off the pavement with a spatula because you entered that chicane a little fast.