Areas of improvement visually may not jump out at you, but the depth of gameplay is astounding. In essence, gamers looking for this kind of action must be buying games, since EA and others keep making them. But, efforts to create a more mass-market F1 game don't seem to have worked, and the thrust of successful franchise entries seems to be more and more and more detail and simulation action. In F1 2002
for Gamecube, we get so much more than a casual racing gamer would be interested in that I can't help but think it really isn't intended in any way for a casual market. Taken from the standpoint of mass-market, F1 2002
would fail miserably. But, looking at this from the eyes of someone who really believes in the super-refined racing style F1 demands and enjoys all the technical details of body construction, fuel consumption and pitting technique, F1 2002
is obviously a crowd pleaser.
The basic modes amount to Quick Race with a simplified set-up scheme, Single and Multiplayer Modes and Grand Prix. It's a shame that some of the more involved modes within Grand Prix aren't available for Multiplayer, but you and your friends should still have plenty to keep you occupied. The only essential things you'll need to launch a race are a car and a track in Quick Race. Delving into the Single Player section, you'll see Challenge Mode as an interactive training mode. Moving through Challenge means you'll come across most of the basic driving techniques and learn them on different tracks in different conditions. After this, you can choose Grand Prix, Grand Prix Weekend, several Championship Modes and Domination, the main difference being length of race and criteria for success. With Multiplayer, you'll have a chance to take advantage of the Gamecube's easy 4-Player-ready hardware and choose from 3 game styles. You know you're on a next-gen console here because of how smooth everything runs.
Details available for configuration go way beyond our scope here, but rest assured that every funky nuance of a car you might configure, every race strategy and fuel technique, even the option to manually control how your car is serviced in the pit (!) is here for you if you want it. Many players may find that the game on its own, without taking advantage of these options, comes across like any other F1 game, but F1 2002 truly shines in the attention to detail department.