I'll admit that I'm not a huge F1 fan, but I have always enjoyed the previous games for their efforts. The fact that Codemasters are very experienced in making racing games, with titles such as DiRT and GRID under their belts, made me hopeful that this F1 title could be great. I can now safely say that F1 2010 is the best F1 racing game I've ever played.
There are several tracks available to play, including the greats such as Silverstone and Monaco, as well as newly added tracks such as Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina. In total there are 19 tracks, and all are designed to be 100% true-to-life, as are the cars, and the names of the drivers, meaning Codemasters have obtained the full F1 license. The game includes all the tracks of the current F1 season, and all the starting drivers, but not the mid-season replacements, which of course would only be possible through patches really.
Codemasters have added a new dynamic weather system to each track. Before racing you can check what the weather predictions are, and then change the tires on your car to match the road conditions. Lighting is phenomenal as well, giving you an authentic looking bloom effect when viewing a setting sun on the track, or giving a dull looking vista when the sky is clouded over. The unique thing about this weather system is that it changes quite a lot, and is not always 100% accurate in predictions. This means that you could change to more grippy tires thinking that it may rain, but it might not rain, and your lap times will be considerably slower. As an example, I managed to shave off over 5 seconds by moving from grippy tires to slick tires on the practice lap.
This dynamic weather system is possibly the best I've ever seen, and will no doubt make its way into other Codemasters' franchises. The weather does dramatically affect your driving, with the rain making it extremely hard to drive due to the extra slippy track. It will be interesting to see how well Gran Turismo 5 handles weather, because F1 2010 has some amazing effects.
There are a few single player modes available, but the main part you'll be playing is the career mode. There is not much of a story in the career, but is probably more in-depth than previous F1 titles. The basic story is that you are an up and coming F1 racer, and your agent wants you to finish in a certain place in order for you to secure a certain contract that is worth quite a lot of money. These goals increase as you get better, until you of course win the championship at the end. The good thing about this is that the initial goals are doable for once, as most games expect you to get 1st place immediately, whereas F1 2010 only expects you to get 15th position or something.
The only issue I've ever had with F1 games is that they are too harsh on the player, because a single crash and it is almost impossible to get back in to the race. This is again an issue in this game, but Codemasters have implemented their rewind feature that can be found in DiRT and GRID in to this as well. In easy mode you will get 4 rewinds, meaning 4 chances to fix a crash, and with other difficulties, you get less rewinds. This makes the game a hell of a lot more fun, and much more accessible to normal racing fans, and not just for F1 racing fans. In order to make the game even more accessible, there is also a dynamic racing line and an auto-braking system available. Of course, these options can be removed for those who wish to play the game with more realism.