When firing up F1 2010 for the first time you’ll be greeted by Holly Samos of BBC 5Live who questions you as the new rookie in F1 – she needs to know your name, nationality and to confirm which team you’ve signed for.  The choice of teams was HRT, Virgin, Lotus, Williams, STR and Force India – Badger chose the latter, purely because we’d just polished off a Chicken Rogan Josh…

Badger has his first go on an Xbox with F1 2010

After Holly’s done with you, you are introduced to you agent who explains how the game works and what you can do to change settings, talk to the media, head out to the paddock and the different race/game options.

When heading out to the paddock, you can start your career, i.e. begin a full season or three, or choose to just go straight into a grand prix where you can select just one or a few of your favourite tracks in any order you like.  You can also choose how many laps, the difficulty, weather and whether you can be bothered with practice, qualifying or just head straight to the grand prix.  There’s also a time trial and multiplayer option to play with and then there’s the “My F1” area where you setup all your desired tweaks such as your profile data, control method, reset your profile and more.

Now, Codemasters haven’t spent nearly 2yrs developing this game, for Badger to spoil all your fun, so you’ll have to wait until Friday to see how this all works on your telly and games console, but here instead are some of our findings from having our first go…

Our first play:

For Badger’s first go, we completed three lap race of Monza on easy mode, driving Liuzzi’s Force India.  The weather was set to be clear and we were put in 8th position for the start – being on easy mode the start is a piece of cake, unlike on hard or expert levels where you can jump the start.  So we’re under away and as anyone who knows Monza will know, if you can position your car on the inside of the first chicane, you’ll stand a good chance of making a position or two.  Thankfully the grip, handling and all-round physics are much more GP4 than F1 2009.

Running 6th through the Curve Grande, Badger fancies his chances at sneaking past Schumacher into the second chicane, which was pretty straight-forward, however upon getting their, Kubica was only just ahead and we had a bit of Hamilton-itus and thought we could get past the Polish chap too – of course, as with Lewis who ended up with broken suspension, Badger ended up in the wall and waiting for the rest of the field of cars to pass.

The rest of the three laps were spent catching and passing the three new teams, thankfully we’re on easy mode and the Force India is far quicker in a straight line due to being a very slippery car.  We then tried a pit stop and yes, the animation is superb, happy with that.

We finished in a lowly 24th position, to which our race engineer came on and said “It’s not the best result, but at least you made it to the end of the race” – we did and what a great game this is, seriously loads of fun.

Gameplay video:

Here’s Codemasters’ latest gameplay video so you can see what you’re in for come Sep 24th

Facts, stats and more info:

There’s loads to say about this game, it’s brilliant and is the first game to get anywhere near Geoff Crammond’s legendary “GP…” series – look out for our full review later to see how we rank it, but for now, here’s a new list of facts and info about the game…

  • There’s a pit lane speed limiter and unless you’re on one of the easy modes, you’ll need to activate it yourself.
  • Dirty air actually plays a part in the game – i.e. when following another car will cause your engine to get hot and you’ll need to get some clean air on the straights.  Likewise, simply keeping your finger flat out on easy mode will cause your engine to run hot too.
  • There’s a car diagram on your screen which indicates any damage and also temperatures – where parts are green it’s all good, if it’s red, that’s a warning to do something about it.
  • This car diagram can be changed while racing to show different information and you can also change your engine and wing settings while driving too (when we say you can, we recommend you practice before trying to, it’s tricky enough just remembering to brake, accelerate and steer to begin with)
  • Front wings and tyres can be changed in the pits, rear wings cannot – unlike in GP4 where damaged magically disappeared, it actually takes some time in F1 2010
  • In career mode, the team will have updates and you’ll get to try them out if you like.
  • Also, in career mode, it’s important to say the right things to the media – the rest of the paddock are always listening and it’s also important to beat your teammate too.
  • Only the lead driver can decide the focus of your team’s R&D
  • Wet weather requires progressive input, which makes sense really, it wouldn’t be possible to control an F1 car’s power without an analogue controller
  • GP4 and GP4 fans will love the fact that like in those games, the menu is based from in the pit garage during a grand prix weekend with engineers milling about and you can do car setup from there as well as check the weather and running order/session times – brilliant.
  • Full qualifying takes place (i.e. Q1 – Q3) when doing a full GP weekend race and yes you do have to use the same tyres for the race if you’re in the final Q3
  • You can make the call on strategy by indicating to your team that you want to pit when you think the time is right.
  • After a race, you can watch a replay, from multiple angles and even do a freeze-frame and nudge back and forth to see if that accident really was your fault.
  • The artificial intelligence does seem pretty darn smart. In Badger’s first grand prix we were chasing down Chandhok (we were in Timo Glock’s Virgin Racing car) and managed to catch the talented Indian and battled for a few laps around Marina Bay, at one stage we got past, slightly out-braked ourselves and had Karun taking the position back and driving even more defensively over the next couple of corners.
  • We aren’t good enough to see the top four yet, give us time though.
  • There are flags! If a blue one is waved at you, slow down and let the car behind past quickly. Yellow and green flags are also used
  • Your engineer is called Rob, it’s not Rob Smedley, but he does have a northern English accent, which is good enough for us!
  • As for penalties, on ‘easy’ mode you get a lot of warnings, but on other levels of difficulty you will get time-penalties – we’re yet to have a drive-through penalty though.
  • The pit-stop sequence is very well animated, it’s spot on, just like the on-board cameras from watching on the telly, the Ferrari team even have that crazy lights system rather than the lollipop – details, folks, all about the details!
  • In terms of controls, Badger may not be an expert on games consoles and their joypads, but a steering wheel and pedals doesn’t half make the game for enjoyable, especially on any level other than easy – if you can, buy one!
  • Speaking of the details, the only thing that seems to missing from F1 2010 is that Yamamoto isn’t in the game…

If you have any questions or what have you for Badger about F1 2010 then just ask below in the comments and we’ll do our best to get your some answers.