F1 2010 review
Formula One has seen something of a resurgence over the last couple of years, especially in the UK with two British world champions. Codemasters is capitalising on this with F1 2010. The game starts with a press conference where you introduce yourself to the assembled ranks of journalists and tell them which team you'll be driving for.
It's a clever spin on the usual name and details-entry process, but is also the first of your many dealings with the press. Anyone familiar with Race Driver: Grid and Colin McRae: Dirt 2 will be instantly at home with the way F1 2010 incorporates your life away from the track as well as the racing itself.
Of course, the sport is as much about politics as racing and there are plenty of opportunities to use what you say at interviews to increase your chances of a drive at another team next season. You do this by selecting from the multiple-choice answers to questions from the press.
This provides interest outside of the races, but it’s the on-track action that makes or breaks the game. The good news is that F1 2010 is a superb racer. It caters effortlessly for all abilities by providing full assists for novices (it's basically impossible to crash), but also allows you to customise the broad easy/medium/hard modes by switching individual settings on and off. You can choose the easiest mode, for example, but turn off automatic braking and choose to show the racing line and braking zones only for corners rather than the entire track. As your driving skills improve, you can turn off the help; it's hugely satisfying to put in a top-six qualifying lap with the assists off.
As it's an official licence, all 12 teams, 24 drivers and 19 circuits are present, although not Yamamoto or Heidfeld, who were mid-season replacements. Each circuit is modelled to perfection and looks great (especially the night race at Singapore), but it's the dynamic weather that will cause your jaw to drop. You'll only see rain at tracks where it's common, such as at Silverstone and Spa, and apart from looking highly realistic, physics hasn't been ignored. When the heavens open, grip levels drop but objects (such as trees) can keep areas dry. Also, when the rain passes, a dry line appears and you can keep your wet tyres cool by briefly moving outside of this.