Everyone crammed into the nightclub Codies were using to showcase their new Formula 1
game said the same thing: "I haven't played an F1 game for years, but I really liked those Geoff Crammond ones from way back."
If those games are still the nostalgic benchmark for F1 racing simulators, it's a sad state of affairs. Someone needs to take the dusty crown, give it a real good polish and bring F1 gaming into the here and now.
Codies, using the EGO engine that makes other games like Colin McRae's DiRT and Race Driver: GRID look so delicious, are hoping they can finish in pole position with this one.
F1 2010 certainly looks pretty and from experience we can also say that it's incredibly difficult when played with a wheel and with the in-game driving aids all disabled.
At least, the sum total of PC ZONE's efforts failed to make it round a single lap without all the wheels coming off.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
1. FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
It's all well and good busting the chops of AI drivers all the time, but real drivers take their skills online, competing against people who clock incredible, mind-boggling times after months of practice. F1 2010 is going to have a whole raft of online options, although we don't yet know if there's going to anything out of the ordinary. Expect the usual slew of challenges, time trials and that sort of thing for now, until we hear more.
As you'd expect from an official product, this'll have all the bumph, paraphernalia and gubbins from a licensed title. Meticulously detailed and accurate cars, the proper drivers, teams and circuits. That means you can fulfil the wish of Formula 1 fans everywhere and drive Michael Schumacher's car straight into a wall, crushing his bones into paste and leaving him in a pile of twisted metal and wreckage. Or just win races easily, your call.
3. THE LONG HAUL
Codies are promising an "extensive and challenging" career mode, which will allow you to create a new driver (we assume) and rise from the bottom of the ranks, joining and switching teams and eventually becoming the guy who can't lose because his car's miles better than everyone else's. And what could be closer to the true spirit of F1 than that?
4. WEATHER REPORT
Rain plays a big part in the Formula 1 season, so it'll be important to simulate the effects of liquid on tarmac accurately, otherwise Codies will be sure to feel the wrath of many an aggrieved F1 nutcase. The most advanced weather system in any driving game is what's promised and who are we to argue with a press release.
5. POLE POSITION
You don't want to make the pit stop, but in F1 2010 perhaps it'll be more fun than usual. Codies say they are working to make the whole pit lane experience "tense and exciting" as your shiny motor is polished and worked over by a gang of faceless nobodies in overalls. We'd love a 'realism' mode where a grease-stained mechanic comes over to Schumacher, looks his car up and down, sucks in air through his teeth, and then tells him the parts won't be in for two weeks and that he'll have to wait. That would be amazing.