F1 2010 Review
Review By mossy @ 04:52pm 05/10/10
When it comes to the racing genre (both sim and arcade) I’d have to classify myself as a casual gamer. I enjoy the occasional race and own a racing wheel (I got an awesome deal), but I don’t rush out to buy a racing title the day it’s released. I generally tend to wait a few days, and read a few reviews before making my decision. And since you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re doing the same thing, so I’m going to try my best to help you decide if the latest Formula One game, F1 2010, is worth your hard-earned money.
The centrepiece of F1 2010 is the Career mode, and the very first action in the game is a press conference where you answer question that will determine the setup of your career. It’s a fresh and innovative approach to the usually mundane action of inputting your name, country etc.
The Career mode is divided into two areas: the paddock and the garage. Both areas are important to how your career in F1 will pan out. In the paddock, you interact with your agent and the press. It is in this area where you give interviews; check out your position on the driver’s championship and nut out the details of your next contract. The press plays an important part of your career, as the answers you give will in part determine if a team offers you a contract. The questioning is usually the same type of questions each time, and it does get repetitive and dull. Towards the back end of the first season, I tended to avoid the press. The press shouting out your name to get your attention was a nice touch, and as a gamer wanting as much realism in my sports games, very much appreciated.
The garage is where you fine tune and obtain all the information before hitting the track. Here the engineer will help you set the car up and update you on your objectives. He will also verbally give you advice, which most times was appreciated, but he tended to become very repetitive. After hearing “We had a good result last weekend, let’s try to better it this weekend” for the umpteenth time, you feel like tanking the next race so he’ll shut up.
The game caters for both the casual and experienced fans in many areas, such as the car setup. The quick setup is great, as it’s a simple and easy way to choose how the car will perform. The added option of the detailed setup via the car monitor, allows for the more experienced racers who like to tweak each individual area of the car.
The car monitor is the central hub of the garage. Here you change the setting of the car, as mentioned above. But you also can check out lap times, weather forecast for the weekend and track information. I appreciated the option to fast forward through the qualifying and practice sessions, as it allowed me to get towards the end of the session quickly, and see where I was positioned and if I should head out again.
The difficulty settings are varied enough that everyone can get behind a wheel and drive. On the easiest setting, the game helps you out in nearly every aspect of driving, while on the hardest setting you’re left to your own devices. The game also includes the Flashback option, for those who’d like to rewind and redo a certain corner. A much appreciated feature, for the occasion when you crash out on the last lap while leading.
I recommend that if you want the full experience of this game, to go out and purchase a racing wheel. The difference a wheel makes to the gameplay is immense. When driving from the cockpit view, it feels like you’re actually driving.
When I finally made it on to the track, I thoroughly enjoyed the racing. I loved the battles that ensued when overtaking. The AI, even on the easiest setting would try to block me, so I would have to try my best to outsmart and out manoeuvre him. It made for some intense moments.
Another excellent aspect of the Career mode is the rivalry between teammates. While you try best for the team, you need to always outperform your teammate, so you can become the #1 driver. The #1 driver receives preferential treatment, such as getting upgrades first. This aspect of the game is very similar to what actually happens within F1 teams.
Graphically the game is stellar, and receives two thumbs up. The cars are meticulously detailed, as are the tracks. All the teams, drivers and tracks from Formula One are represented, so if you want to race a season in Mark Webber’s Red Bull, you can through the Grand Prix mode.
The Career mode was the highlight for me in F1 2010. The fact that you can control other aspects of the driver’s life, than just the racing made playing the Career mode that much more personal. You feel more invested in the character, as you want to do well in the races so that you are offered better positions at stronger teams.
I definitely recommend spending your week’s wage on this game.