Every Sunday, we bring you an article from our archive - and this week, to celebrate the original PlayStation's 20th birthday, we present the story of the studio behind one of the console's most iconic games.
Learning to swim was hard. This young reviewer still fondly recalls being encouraged to practice for hours until he could make it from one side of the children's pool to the other without touching the bottom - trying to copy other people's movements, slowing the arms to move water rather than slap it, and eventually managing to do it motivated not only by the potential fun but also by the £25 worth of promised Transformers toy waiting in the toy shop up the road. With that in the bag, there was backstroke, front crawl, butterfly and eventually diving and other entertaining offshoots to master, like swimming underwater, and of course using goggles to stare at older girls in bikinis.
It would've been strange, one has to say, to have been given a few pages of typed instructions and a few minutes to digest them before being thrown headlong into the deep end of the pool alongside Ian Thorpe, armed only with a rubber ring, harpoon gun and outboard motor. We'd still quite probably have drowned. "But m'lud, we explained all the concepts to him before we threw him in!" our parents might have yelped as they were dragged away in manacles and hurled into a pit of serpents [Tom's never been to a criminal court - Ed]. "We gave him loads of things to help!"
Bizarre, eh? And yet that's strikingly similar to the way F1 2005 works. The game goes further than any other PS2 title toward simulating F1 racing; it just doesn't seem particularly bothered about giving you a route into it.