So I purchased - no pirating here - the new Formula One 2010 game for the Xbox 360. I'm a huge F1 fan. Mr. Wilde and I always sit down to watch the races with a few friends on a Sunday. It's good and while it was him who got me into it a few years ago, my love for it clicked last season and has been reinforced during this one.
Now, I could chatter on about what I think of no refuelling, who I want to win the season (Mark Webber) etc. But I won't I'm going to do an actual review of the game.
Apologies if I go off on a tangent while writing about this, it maybe my day job to write reviews of things but that doesn't mean everything I write stays on topic.
Firstly, this game looks good. We have it HDMI'd up to our 42 inch HD telly. And then I sit fairly close on the beanbag (one of those massive gaming ones) to simulate being in an F1 car.
Having not been into F1 all that long I've never played an F1 game before but Mr. Wilde assures me that this is one of the best he's played.
So Mr. Wilde went off to play Warcraft and I took up my bean-seat. I shuffled everything down to easy - because I'm a girl - and set off to do the practice of Bahrain. It was difficult until I realised that auto brake was on and that all I needed to do was steer. That made it easy, onto qualifying.
Now, because you have to move up the ranks you get to choose from the teams that generally hand around the back of the grid, these are Lotus, Virgin and Hispania Racing. Naturally, I chose Lotus - I'm from Norfolk.
Bearing that in mind I got through Q1 and Q2 doing about a 2:08 (the record for the track in real life is around 1:30). Mr Wilde then came down and did Q3. However, realising that if I could get to Q3 then it must be too easy. Auto brake came off and we ended up qualifying in 10th.
I realise this is more of a story than a review...
I love how the qualifying is like you'd imagine it to be in real life. Timed sessions, sometimes there are cars on the track, sometimes there aren't. And you can retire to your garage and wait for the next session as soon as you think you've got a good enough time.
Then we took on the race. Half distance, which is 25 laps - around 45 minutes. Afterwards my eyes hurt, my fingers ached and I felt a bit brain dead. But, despite finishing in first we came second, thanks to a few time penalties for crashing into the back of Hulkenberg and one for cutting a corner.
The race was complete with pit stops, changing from the option tyre to the prime. And you can set your engine up before the race depending on what the predicted weather conditions are. That'll be very interesting when we get to tracks where the weather is a bit more changeable.
Now, as much as I'd love to do a full distance race I don't have the physical stamina for it. Even half distance was a bit long. However, you need it to be long enough that some tactics come in to play. You need to time your tyre change correctly to get ahead and so on.
I'll update you as we get further in and begin to turn off stuff like no damage or traction control. It's a brilliantly realistic game as far as I can tell.
I love it. Don't expect me to do anything after supper from now on because I'll be advancing my F1 career. I'll be driving for McLaren before you know it!