This 2nd version of Monaco Grand Prix game by Ubisoft has been a big improvement over their first version of F1RS. They improved the tracks, added many new features, and added force feedback to the game. Of all the modern F1 games that are out right now, this game seems to be the best of them for what it gives us for racing the modern F1 tracks. GP2 is very good also and gives allot to the F1 racing world, but since 3DFX came out, I have stuck with the games that have the better graphics.
Monaco Grand Prix gives us the ability to race on all 17 F1 race circuits and can race any of the 26 cars that are in the field. You can be part of a team of two and race for the season championship. The MGPR2 game does not provide the actual realistic drivers names cause of licensing, but it has built in editing capabilities with latest patch to easily change the names to the real drivers. The menus and structure of the game is very good. They have a configuration section, race options section, race mode, track selection, and how you want to race(realistic or arcade). They also have two types of F1 racing in the game. The first one is the modern day style formula 1 racing on 17 tracks, and the second style is the old formula cars in which they give only one track to race on in this series. These will be explained later.
There are so many things you can do in this game, that I will try to cover just some of the main topics to give you a flavor of what the game can do. You will spend many hours learning the tracks and setting up the cars to become the top F1 driver in the game. I recommend this game to anyone serious in Formula 1 Grand Prix racing.
Additional overview on my web page
There are patches for the game that have been released which they are up to revision 6 and can be loaded below on this page or up on the Ubisoft web support section.
Installation of game
The game comes on a CD and is very easy to install and is explained in their well detailed manual. Make sure you have your controller hooked up before going into the game. Once you install the game you can then install the latest patch from them which fixes some bugs and adds new enhancements. Click on the text file below to read what RS2-106V.exe gives you. The patch below is for the US and 3DFX version of the game. There is a D3D version up on the Ubisoft site.
The system I am currently running the game on is a 450 Mhz Intel Pentium 2, with 64 Meg of RAM, a SBLIVE sound card, A Voodoo 2 3D video card, A Microsoft Sidewinder force feedback controller, and my display is is a projection screen with 100" by 100" viewing area.
Starting MGPR2 game
Once the game is started, it goes through a Intro video and then comes up into its first menu. Here you can select single player or go to multiplayer modes. Also you can select the old style of racing or the modern F1 style of racing. Once your selections are made, you go onto the next main menu.
Picture of start menu of MGPR2
Single Player Mode
Once single player mode is selected, the game goes into the main menu. From here you can select configuration of the game, Race options, Track to race on, Racing mode, and select how you want to race (realistic, arcade - pro, intermediate, or beginner). Below is a picture of the main menu.
Picture of main menu of MGPR2
The configuration menus allow the user to setup the graphics, sound, and the controller options of the game. Force feedback has been added to the game which can be selected in the second page of the controller section. Most everything is pretty easy and is explained in the manual on how to configure the game.
Racing mode Menu
This is the main menu that allows the driver to select how how the race is to be run. The modes are training, simple race, grand prix, individual championship, career mode, time attack, and scenario mode.
Picture of the mode menu for MGPR2
Track Selection for MGPR2
This menu allows the user to select 1 of the 17 tracks that MGPR2 provides us to race on. There is also an information button on the left side of menu to provide information about the track. The tracks are very scenic and quite close to what the actual tracks look like to the real drivers. With 3DFX, if you have it, brings out the game detail even more.
Picture of track selection for MGPR2
Racing options for MGPR2
There are a wide range of options that can be applied to the MGPR2 game. The options are categorized for the Car, Car Failures, Race, and Rules. Depending on the Race mode selected, the driver is allowed to turn on or off any of the options to make the race easy or very difficult to win. Viewing each of the menus below, the options in each are pretty much self explained what they do. The manual covers them in great detail also. As you get up into the Pro and the Expert levels, some of the options are turned off to make the game as realistic as possible.
The Garage Area for MGPR2
The garage area or car setup menus are outstanding in this game. The MGPR2 game has two categories of garage menus which are are the driver setup menus(6), and the engineering setup menus(6). You can spend hours on end trying to get your car balanced for each track. I hope you have an engineering degree in car design and physics. The manual goes into great detail of how to do setups and what each parameter does.
The Driver Setup menus allow adjustments on the the basics of the F1 car which are the tires, fuel, steering, downforce, brakes, and the gearing of the car. These menus are very well detailed and are easy to perform your new setup.
The Engineering Setup menus allow adjustments on the more finer or more detailed adjustments of the F1 car. They include dampers, ride height, angle, bump stops, springs, and the engine. You need to know allot about the physics of the F1 car to know what you are doing with these parameters
And if you really want to get scientific about your car setups, the game even gives the driver or team telemetry graphics of how the car did around the track.
You can either import new, update, and save your new designed settings to and from disk.
Driving in a Race
Once you have setup and configured all the parameter menus mentioned above all you have to do is click on GO on the bottom of the main menu. Once the race track is loaded, depending on which mode you are in, you will either do a single race, or practice, qualify, and then race, or do some training. Once in the race, you are put on the starting grid according to your qualification or option setting if single race. They give intros of the the cars as the game scans down the starting grid and then put you into the car you are driving. A set of 4-5 red lights then appear on the screen, and when they all go on and then turn off, the race is on. Formula F1 races are always started from a dead stop and the cars are lined up on an offset starting grid. During the race, there is a very well detailed race status menu at the top of the screen to tell how you stand in the race, lap times, etc. When the race is completed, it gives a breakdown of stats on how everyone did in the race. The race stops soon as you cross the start/finish line after completing the final lap of the race.
The AI cars are very challenging and intelligent and can be tough to pass during races on the higher levels of racing. If you do pass them, they will not try to clobber you like a few other F1 games. The default settings aren't too bad, but for me the cars seem a little loose in the corners when you try to push the car. There are some great setups out on the web that can be obtained by top drivers. All in all, it is a very enjoyable game to race on and you get to see what it looks like to race on the real tracks.
Pitting in MGPR2 is different than that of GP2. When you drive into each of the pits the game automatically takes over down as you hit the pit lane area. The car then pulls up to an animated pit crew and a menu comes up on what you want to do to the car. You hit return and the car gets serviced and automatically pulls away down the pit lane until it just about reaches the track where the driver takes over again. It has an option to to turn off auto glide into pits, but haven't figured out how to turn it off at this time.
In Car Cockpit gives the driver a very good display of what the car is doing at all times. Besides the normal meters, there is an area that shows what is damaged on the car. The cockpit low profile view also gives a very good view of the track at all times.
Running Replays after races for MGPR2
Once the race is completed, it will come up with a menu which one of the selections is show the replay. This will put you into a new window which has a small viewing window to start out and a VCR type control panel to view the replay. At the top of the screen it has options to how you want to view the car during the race. The only thing I don't like about the replay mode is it jumps around during the replay of a race. Another words, it takes only fragments of a race depending how long you run. You will never see the entire race replay with MGPR2. You can save and load replays of your choice.
Force Feedback with the game
With the addition of the new patches with the game, they have now included the capability of using a force feedback controller with the game. I currently have the Microsoft Sidewinder FF wheel controller and there is a review of it in the SC hardware section. With the forcefeedback turned on, I now feel the bumps on the tracks, the curbs, contact with other cars and walls, and also feel when the car up and down shifts. There is resistance when when going through the corners when turning the steering wheel.
With force feedback, I now seem to get me more into the game with the interaction on the steering wheel to what's going on in the race. You have to try it to feel the experience of force feedback.
Multi Player Mode
There seems to be only 3 modes of multiplayer which are split screen(2 player), Null modem connections(2-4 player), and Network(2-8 players). I have not done much at all in the multiplayer mode for this game to know how well it works with other drivers and the steadiness of the game while on the network(warping, etc).
You can do messaging back and for to the other drivers in the Network mode, and one person sets himself up as the host who controls the racing events as the other drivers connect to the host. There are a few pages with details on mutiplayer in the manual.
Images of Racing in MGPR2
The following are some images taken while racing in MGPR2.