Never actually played
GP2, but I've been running parallel championships for years, just for my own amusement. Probably started back in Super Monaco GP, mind you…
I like racing games where you can set up AI only races, and watch them. The GP series is great for that, as opposed to, let’s say, F1 Challenge 99-02, where you had to trick your way to park your own car on the track to avoid causing yellow flags and stuff like that. GPX are easy: just don’t pick any driver et voilà, AI only races. And you can be sure that every race will be different, because AI pit strategy isn’t always the same.
I have simulated tons of races which GP4, but ultimately I’ve ended up simulating them in GP2 because of a number of reasons:
-GP2 is easier to mod, and it has tons and tons and tons of stuff done through the years. My favourite seasons, which are between 1994 and 2008 aprox., are all out there.
-GP4 requires much more processing power, disc space, and is more unstable overall.
-I like to tweak lots of in-game parameters, in order to make laptimes, relative speeds and car performance as accurate as possible, within some random parameters. That’s far easier to do in GP2 than in GP4.
-AI is more intelligent in GP4, but I’ve always found AI too eager to fight and too crash-prone in that game. AI GP4 races tend to have huge spread of drivers, very unrealistically, from very early on because of that. Either the cars are separate or they start fighting against each other and losing lots of time.
-Apart from 1994 and a couple of other seasons, for the most part the refuelling era consisted of cars that were faster and faster as laps went on. This is so easy to replicate in GP2! With four types of tyres you can get whatever combination you want – laptimes decreasing a lot, a little, almost nothing, nothing at all, increasing, increasing a lot…- and then select the appropriate tyre for each track, based on real season performance. But in GP4 no one has been able to properly setup the tyres to achieve that effect.
So, in the end, the only thing I miss for my AI races in GP2 is changing weather; not even wet weather, because I can always simulate that with lower grip levels.
Well, being able to get different stuff “on the fly”, like some GP4 mods with CSM tools do, would be great, but it’s not straightforward: there are CSM mods and non-CSM mods, and converting non-CSM mod takes a lot of work editing files that I never managed to get my head around of
So, right now I’m simulating the 1995 season and, with two races over, Schumacher is leading with 20 points out of 20, while Hill has had two retirements. Coulthard and Alesi are on 6 points, Häkkinen and Berger on 4 and so on. Next up, the San Marino GP!