F1 2010 – The game

I haven’t written about this yet. Mainly because at the moment, this blog is a fans reflections, and not a bona fide media outlet for F1 news and reviews. When I say at the moment…

Anyway, I’m counting down the days until the release of F1 2010 with a mixture of excitement and disappointment. Why the latter? Well I don’t own an XBox, or a Playstation 3, and my personal laptop with its highly spec’d circuitry is broken. In fact, it’s broken badly, and I cannot as yet afford its repair. So I’m stuck with my fathers laptop, which is good, but not high on its specifications. I actually need a new processor and a new graphics card if I want to play F1 2010. My mother’s computer may be slightly higher quality, I’ll be checking tonight…

I’ve played F1 games on the consoles before now, and hated them. The last one I actually bought was F1 World Grand Prix II for the Nintendo 64. Since then, I’ve borrowed or rented. Each one has left me disappointed. I never actually wanted to buy them. Why? Because they smacked of being an arcade racer. When I play a F1 game, I want to feel like I’m driving the car, and controlling it. From what I’ve read, and what I’ve seen, F1 2010 lets you do that.

In fact, on the PC, I’m a huge fan of the Geoff Crammond Grand Prix games. Actually being placed in the cockpit, and being able to control pit strategy, what tyres to use (at the time anyway) and racing for long periods as though you are the driver made it more of a challenge. There were problems, things I wished could have been done better. I wished that the player could control the pit lane speed limit, rather than the CPU, so that if a mistake was made, a penalty could be given. I wanted damage to necessitate a pit stop, or a retirement, rather than a magical fix. When I cut a chicane, I didn’t want to be slowed down automatically, but to be given a penalty. Finally, I wanted a safety car period if there was a pile up of CPU cars, rather than a very, and impossibly, quick recovery team.

Now there will be no safety car in F1 2010, but damage will require a visit to the pits, speed limits will be controlled by the driver, and penalties will be served in the pit lane – on certain modes anyway. That is perfect, and makes the experience more realistic. Add to this the fantastic graphics, the latest circuits and drivers (except Yamamoto, or Heidfeld) and this promises to be more than an arcade game, but a proper sim instead. You can feel the tyres going off, you race as your team is set, so don’t expect to get in a HRT and be a hero straight away. In career mode, you don’t even get much say in car set up – instead your experienced team-mate leads the way in that, and you learn from them. This promises to be better than GP4 – although I’ll withhold that judgement until I’ve played it…

If that laptop works, I’ll be playing F1 2010 on Friday. I’ll post a full review then. For now, I’ll leave you with the official video of the game. I think you’ll agree it’s stunning graphically.

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