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F1 2010 Review

Can this worldwide phenomenon make an impact in the states?

By Ivan Favelevic
On October 12, 2010

Formula 1 is another of those sports that, while the rest of the world seems to adore and worship it, the United States just finds no interest in. It seems ludicrous when you break it down to the core of the sport; have the world's greatest car manufacturers build the fastest cars they possibly can and race them across some of the best tracks in the world. However, despite the lack of mainstream attention in the United States, Codemasters has seen it fit to release the official F1 racing game for the 2010 season, and it is just what fans of the sport have been asking for.

Codemasters are known for creating immersive racing games, and F1 2010 is no exception. The game begins in a press conference, where you introduce yourself as the new rookie driver and pick what team you would like to race for. Of course, since you are the new amateur you will not be jumping into a Ferrari anytime soon. This makes the game have a tangible lasting appeal and has you thinking of a career strategy from the very beginning. The immersion continues with a fully rendered garage, where you can tweak your car and talk to your mechanic, and a paddock area, where you can have impromptu interviews with the press. Once on the track, the drivers you are pitted against will act realistically to their real life counter parts, assuring that, if you follow the sport, you will fall in love with the racing here. Not to mention you are sitting behind the wheel of a car which can go zero to 60 and back down to zero in seven seconds, so you are playing with true power. It can be a near death experience driving the car from the driver's perspective in a track you don't know. Credit needs to be given where credit is due, and F1 2010 does an amazing job in giving you the experience of being a true racecar driver.

As  far as game modes are concerned F1 2010 does suffer a little. The career mode is where you will spend most of your time, going from city to city participating in various races.  There is something to be said, however, about the fact that you can take part in the entire race weekend, doing all three practice sessions in real time as well as qualifying and, of course, the race. You can pick how long you would like to participate, but having the option to do everything in real time, as well as all 70 laps per track, is a great detail for hardcore fans. Yet once you are bored with the career, there isn't really much else to do. You can set some times in time trial mode and then jump into the multiplayer for some shortened versions of the season, but that's about it. There are not enough tracks or cars as your average simulation game and not enough modes as an arcade racer. The game is best reserved for fans.

Codemasters' previous games have been real lookers, and F1 does not disappoint. While not featuring as many effects as the Dirt series, for obvious reasons, the weather effects are some of the best in the industry. Rain realistically dampens the track and obscures your vision, forcing you to change race strategies on the fly. All this occurs while there is constantly 24 cars racing at the same time. However, there is a really horrible draw distance in the rearview mirrors while you are racing. It's not a big issue, but, once you notice, it really becomes hard to ignore. Nitpicks aside, F1 2010 is an amazing looking game.

It is hard to recommend this game to anyone who is not a fan of the sport. It's not as accessible as the average racing game out there, mostly due to the insane power behind the cars, and the replay value you will receive from the game depends on how much enjoyment you get from building a career and becoming the next Michael Schumacher. Yet, it is a really well-balanced racing game with some neat features. If you have any curiosity do not hesitate to pick it up, you might just find something new to follow on Sunday nights.

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