F1 2010 Review
F1 makes a welcome return to gaming.
Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 28th October 2010
- Developer: Codemasters
- Publisher: Codemaster
- Release Date: 24th September 2010
You may not have noticed, due to the flood of racing games available for today's consoles, but since Sony's 2007 release F1 has been largely absent from the current crop of consoles after being something of a main stay of past generations. But Codemasters decided to put its reputation for producing top notch racing games on the line and take up the gauntlet of giving F1 loving gamers what they wanted, and its good to say you won't be disappointed.
F1 2010 has a slightly familiar feel to it, mainly due to the fact the games menus are laid out in the same way as those in Dirt 2 with menus being spread around the paddock and your trailer. It can be a little difficult to find some of the games rule settings and so on, but for the most part it’s a system that works well. In the game, a heavy focus has been put on the games career mode, so much so that when you first start the game you are asked a series of “golden” questions that determine the length of your F1 career, set the difficulty and so on. But despite this, the game does still feature all the modes you would expect from any racing title, such as single races, time trial and access to games multiplayer options.
Powered by the same engine as the excellent Colin McRae Dirt 2, Codemasters have gone all out to make F1 2010 as authentic as possible. The game features the current 2010 drivers and constructors as well as the full F1 rule book. These rules have to be strictly adhered to, as un-sportsman like behaviour, dangerous driving and so on can result in drive-through penalties or even disqualification. This obviously makes the game sound a little intimidating to those not to savvy about the rules of F1 or the more casual racing fan, but the game does allow you to tweak the rule settings as well as various others in order to find a level of difficulty that best suits your racing style. However you choose to play, there does seem to be one flaw with these rules, especially when playing F1 2010 with strict rule settings and that is that you seem to be something of a scapegoat, often being penalised when an A.I driver makes contact with your car, this can be very annoying as it can often have dire consequences for the outcome of races. But like I said these rules can be modified and doing so completely removes this problem.
Despite the rulings often feeling a little unfair, F1 2010 shouldn’t be dismissed. This is truly a great representation of the most glamorous motor sport. Car handling is very precise and the game requires you to make constant adjustments to get the most out of your car. But this doesn’t mean you can go around the track in a cautious manner as in F1 every second counts and posting competitive lap times can often prove to be very challenging, especially during the early stages of your career when you are driving for less competitive teams. However, being headstrong and breaking too late or being to aggressive can result in a complete loss of control sending your car into a spin which will see your rivals disappearing off into the distance. A.I in the game is extremely competitive and the slightest mistake is punished. Again whilst this makes the game sound a little intimidating its exactly what makes F1 2010 so enthralling to play, and the intensity you experience during the course of a race will literally keep you on the edge of your seat.
Away from career play, F1 2010 features all the usual game modes you would expect in any good racer, there’s competitive online multiplayer races, time trials and single races in which you can play as your favourite real life driver and emulate their greatest on track endeavours or crashes, if you’re inclined to do so.
Speaking of crashes, just like Codemasters other racing games, F1 2010 handles this brilliantly and with an amazing amount of detail, wings fall off and shatter, suspensions splinter and wheels come away and bounce down the track. But collisions aren’t the only way your car can sustain damage. Driving recklessly can take its toll on your car, for example running wide on corners can lead to you having to head back to the pits in order to replace punctured tyres. All this adds up to make the racing experience on offer in F1 2010 extremely authentic.
The games audio design also immerses you into the whole experience on offer in F1 2010, and rather than complimenting the on track action with some dodgy commentary, like in past F1 games. Codemasters has instead included a very informative radio system which relays messages to you about what’s going on in a race, the condition of your car, how far your rivals are in front and so on. For me this is a very good system, which helps keep your attention of the race rather than having to constantly look at on-screen displays that direct your attention elsewhere.
This authenticity is also evident in the games visuals, F1 2010 feature an incredible amount of detail with not only excellent recreations of real world tracks and cars but the Formula 1 environment as a whole, and probably one of the best cockpit views I have ever seen in a racing game. Despite all this detail, Codemasters has done a great job of creating a feeling of speed, which really adds to the enjoyment of the title and for most of the time works fine, although there does seem to be some significant slow down when you’re around a large number of cars, strangely though it doesn’t seem to happen on every track and thankfully never makes the game feel unplayable.
F1 2010 sees formula One return as a videogame for the first time in three years and for fans the results could not have been better! F1 2010 is not the most playable or authentic F1 game to date but a top racing game that will appeal to any petrol head.
Review Score: 9/10
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