Most of us will never know what it feels like to sit in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car. But after spending a few hours with F1 2010, you get a sense of how it feels.
F1 2010 has been designed to be playable by just about anyone. However, you’ll be able to appreciate the attention to detail better if you know the nuances of racing. The career mode is at the centre of F1 2010, and the player is put in the role of an F1 driver. That F1 is a high-profile sport and drivers are under media scrutiny has also been reflected. However, the presentation is lacking and the questions and answers may be boring.
Once you get into the cockpit, there’s little to find fault with. There are in all 12 teams, 24 drivers, and 19 circuits. You can skip the car set-up options and let your team pick one for you. But for experts, there is plenty to tinker around with. You’ll have to start with a lower rung team and work your way up. There are plenty of driving assists for new players including the driving line, which has colour coding for acceleration and braking. You can also turn on ABS, traction control and damage — this game is about inch-perfect driving. To help you erase mistakes, the Flashback system seen in Grid and Dirt 2 allows you to rectify a mistake. Even so, this isn’t an easy game.
Good online support
The effect of cool and warm tires and heavy and light fuel affects your car’s performance. You’ll also need to adjust your braking points and be careful not to overheat wet or intermediate tires on drying tracks. F1 2010 gets absolutely brutal in the rain and staying from spinning out is a real test. There’s support for up to 12 players online so you won’t have a full field of 24 in single-player. Races are lag-free and this adds to the fun.
Codemasters’ racing games are brilliant in the graphical department, and F1 2010 too doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The menus and loading screens are signature Codies and the track design and car models are equally impressive.
The game uses an updated version of Codies’ EGO engine, and shows its prowess in the rain, lighting and car damage effects. On the whole, F1 2010 is an outstanding sound and visual spectacle with authentic-sounding roaring engines and electronic soundtrack.
Formula 1 has made a return to gaming after over three years, and is back with a bang. You can tell that Codemasters loves the sport, judging by the attention they have paid to facets that are otherwise hard to even notice. It’s a strong platform on which to build a truly great franchise, and while there is a fair amount of work to be done in the off-the-track areas, when on the track, F1 2010 may just be the best F1 game ever.