Release date: 14th September 2010Genre: RacingPublisher: CodemastersDeveloper: Codemasters
9 out of 10
Formula 1 is the sport of throwing ridiculously lightweight cars around extremely tight corners at crazy speeds. For those of us that aren’t daring, or, lets face it, simply not skilful enough, we resort to the F1 2010 videogame, a reboot of the F1 franchise by somewhat specialists in the racing genre, Codemasters. After the huge success of DiRT 1 & 2, Race Driver: Grid, F1 was immediately on most people’s radar. Now it’s arrived and here’s what we thought of it.
The main bulk of the game is in the Career mode where you begin as an upstart driver racing for one of the smaller racing teams on the grid like Virgin Racing or Force India. The main aim is to do as best as you can with the equipment you have at your disposal, while attempting to beat your team-mate. You read that correctly, beat your team-mate. While F1 is very much a team sport, it’s equally an individual sport too. If you’re the number one driver on your team you’ll gain upgrades early which can further your advantage on the gird over your probably slightly jealous team-mate. During the Career mode you participate in race weekends set across extremely detailed and luscious settings such as Dubai, Shanghai and, er, Britain. The tracks are wonderfully recreated, and they all look great. The cars also look great, and are finely detailed, right down the the last little decal. And yes, you guessed it, the weather is great too. Well, it looks great but can be a real pain for the drivers. You see, rain causes the once nimble cars to behave like a hyper child being dragged around a supermarket on a Saturday. They do not want to do what you tell them to. The braking distances are greatly increased, the handling decreases massively and rain will be your worst nightmare while F1 2010 is sitting in your disc tray.
As you’d expect from past experiences of the Career modes of DiRT and Grid, the F1 2010 Career mode is a pretty bulky experience all stemming from the driver’s caravan/truck area like what has become the norm in Codemasters’ racers. And it doesn’t fail to disappoint. From this area you can check out how you’re doing in the Drivers Standings right down to the little details like changing the helmet design. It may be a minor touch, but it helps to contain everything into one convenient location.
Aside from the Career mode, the game features a Grand Prix mode where you can race any one of the exotic cars on the gird, from the stupidly fast Ferrari’s to the slightly slower Torro Rosso’s on any track in the game. This mode allows you to step out of your Career car and into one of the ultimate driving machines you’re opposition are usually driving and race them around any track you like, and it’s enjoyable. It allows you to experience the kind of speed you can get when you reach the higher up teams on the grid, and it further wets your appetite for the beasts to come. There’s also multiplayer modes where you can battle it out across Xbox LIVE to really see who is the superior driver of the online world.
Throughout the entire game though you really get a sense of the speed and thrill that drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button go through on regular weekends. The sense of seeing a blur of multi-million dollar buildings in Dubai fly past as you screech round a hairpin. Or the tension that comes as one of your tires just edges onto the gravel. Will the car slip out? Will you regain control and go on to glory? All of this happens within a split-second and it makes the game extremely exciting and dangerous while still gripping you to shave time off you’re lap time. It’s a thrilling experience, and did we really expect much else from the masters of the racing genre?
F1 2010 is a gripping racing experience, and one you won’t forget for a while to come. At least until next year when Codemasters releases DiRT 3. F1 2010 follows in the footsteps of the games that have all come before it- DiRT 1 & 2 and Grid, and completely eclipses all of the F1 games that have come before it. This is the definitive F1 experience.