What is it with the cockpit view? People are obsessed. At regular intervals throughout our time spent playing F1 2010, co-workers would pop into the room to take a look, and absolutely all of them asked the same question first, “What’s the cockpit view like?” And we never really knew how to answer. It’s like… er… the inside of the cockpit.
What more do you need to know? We don’t really understand the question. But the fact that so many people asked tells us that it must be important, and now we feel under pressure to provide some sort of satisfactory answer here in this review. So we’ll try harder… We didn’t use the cockpit view much because it’s not our preference, but when we tried it, it looked really good although there was this thing sticking up out of the nose of the car, which got in the way a bit but is on the car in real life, so there you go.
Hopefully that will suffice. Regardless of what view you use, F1 2010 looks absolutely gorgeous. Cars and tracks are incredibly well detailed, and the lighting and weather effects are superb. What really impressed us as well, was how each track wasn’t just a different layout of tarmac – they all really feel like different countries with their own individual atmosphere.
The visuals are accompanied by excellent sound and matched by brilliantly well-balanced handling and physics. The cars feel just right, without being too fussy and strict with the finer points of simulation. This is still a very tough, hardcore game, though, even on the easier settings. Like all recent Codies racing sims, it features Flashbacks that allow you to rewind and retry after an error during a race, but even with those taken into account, it can feel very unforgiving, especially in wet conditions, which greatly increase the difficulty.
While the on-track action is difficult to fault, the off-track content in the career mode feels very half-baked and, rather than making the experience more involving and compelling, just seems to slow things down and get in the way. There are some nice ideas, such as earning car upgrades by beating target times in practice, but then there’s also some sort of levelling-up system, which doesn’t seem to have any point to it at all.
With a better career mode this could have been a must-have for racing gamers with or without an interest in Formula 1. As it is, fans of Formula 1 will adore it while the rest of us might not have our interest held for that long.