Hey everyone – great news! Codemasters’ F1 2010 has a release date! Bad news! It’s scheduled for exactly the same day at Gran Turismo 5. I may have to take a week off on September 24th. Or two weeks. Or just give up my job, especially if my long-standing virtual racing dream is realised… and it just might be. I fear you sense the inevitable explanation of what this dream is coming – and you’d be right. Still with me? Then here goes…
Since I was a young boy, lying on his bed playing his Sega Megadrive (or Genesis if you’re from North America, weirdos), I imagined how great it would be to be able to partake in a full virtual Formula One Grand Prix. If that was available to do in life, I thought, then that is what I would do with my life. In reality what I would do was lap after lap of races against computer-controlled sprites, dreaming that one day I would be able to race against other real-life people (looking back, Domark’s ‘F1’ from 1993 doesn’t look as much like Monaco as I remember).
The closest I have come to date in terms of achieving this dream was roping in two mates at university to networking up our PC’s – I made them each buy a copy of Geoff Crammond’s ‘Grand Prix 3’, a USB hub, lug their PC’s, monitors, speakers etc, into our communal living area (which the other students were royally pissed off with) and then spend an hour trying to work out why one of the computers wasn’t syncing, rebooting the hub, installing new drivers and fixing broken joysticks. But when it worked, boy did it work – and we’d often set aside three hours for a full grand prix with all the driver aids off and everything else on – damage, penalties, component failure… I was in geekboy racing heaven, and you usually don’t get to have a sip of beer whilst flying around Montreal in your Arrows.
Now these seemingly-old technological issues have been dispensed with, a new game is on the horizon that was awoken my dream once more. The release date for F1 2010 is set, the game video looks pant-wettingly exciting and my inner child still has everything crossed (fingers, toes, penis) that me and 23 other people will be able to participate in a fully realistic grand prix weekend by just popping a disc into our PlayStations, popping our racing wheels into a USB port and hooking up to the network. (It would be even better if you could play with two players online from one console as team-mates, or of you could enter a championship with another online friend as a teammate – but I’m happy to wait for this progress. If everything came at once I might drop dead from the excitement.) But for all my fantasy, the only official word from the official Codemasters press release is that the game promises only ‘extensive competitive multiplayer options’. More detail please.
According to Martin Robinson’s IGN interview, the game’s senior producer Paul Jeal began his career working on Crammond’s Grand Prix 3, and the few available details are tantalising – apparently it will have “the most complicated weather system ever seen in a racing game”, and the career mode sounds brilliant: “Consistently out-race your teammate, and you’ll receive the new parts, updates or upgrades first as they’re developed”… I’m now sitting in a pool of my own pee.
Put simply – F1 2010 could be the game I have dreamed of since I started playing games, the game that will end all games for this F1-loving virtual racer, a game that could ruin his relationships with family and friends – and more importantly for Codies, a game that could even keep Gran Turismo on the shelf.