“F1 2010″: PC review, the ‘fake AI’ controversy and details on the first patch

"F1 2010" (PC version)

“F1 2010″ by Codemasters was reviewed here last week in its Xbox 360 and PS3 incarnations.

Since then there have been some complaints about the game which Codemasters are set to address by issuing a patch for the game. They have denied claims the AI of rival cars is faked during races.

Here’s a look at the PC version of “F1 2010″ and some information on what will be in the patch for all formats.

“F1 2010″ for PC

The PC version of “F1 2010″ is pretty much a straight port of the console version of the game.

At present the game only supports older generation DirectX 9 graphics cards which mimic the capabilities of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

However Codemaster say the advanced capabilities of DirectX 11 graphics cards will be exploited in future patches – though not the first one. This will mean players of the PC version will eventually be able to enjoy a better-looking version of the game.

Already some enthusiastic PC game-players have enabled some DirectX modes by hacking their copies of the game. However this also causes some graphical glitches so it’s best to be patient and wait for the official patch.

This being a PC version you can play it on the keyboard if you really want to, though it’s even more frustrating than using a gamepad. You can customise controls to your heart’s content and fine-tune a steering wheel and pedals if you have one.

Beyond that, the PC version plays as well as the console versions and gets the same score. If you’re playing the PC version, look me up on Games for Windows Live using the user name ‘keithcollantine’. See here for a list of other F1 Fanatic Users’ Gamertags for all three formats.

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The “fake AI” controversy

"F1 2010" (PC version)

Some “F1 2010″ players have voiced concerns that, because rival cars away from the player cannot be viewed in replay mode, they aren’t actually there, and the player is in fact racing phantom cars. Discrepancies in lap times seem to support this view.

Codemasters say the AI is not ‘faked’ during races. They say the other cars are there, and the reason you cannot view them in replay mode is because cars out of your field of vision are being rendered at a much lower level of quality to allow the cars and the part of the track you can see to be shown at the highest possible quality level.

I can’t help but think that many PC players with graphical performance in their systems to spare will be disappointed that compromise was made.

However Codemasters confirmed that during the practice and qualifying sessions the other cars aren’t on the track when you can’t see them.

They say this is because of the desire to have a “fast forward” button allowing you to skip through the session quickly. As that creates the impression of accelerating time up to 30-fold, the complexities involved in having the cars lapping at over 6,000mph were too great to overcome.

“F1 2010″: The first patch

Interestingly, Codemasters referred to the forthcoming update as the “first” patch, suggesting there are more in the pipeline.

Among the changes in the first patch are various modifications to the artificial intelligence of rival cars.

These are likely to include changes to the racing lines, such as the problem with turn 19 at Valencia which was noted in the review. The team say they have a “list of corners” where the rival cars are too slow.

Improvements to the rival cars’ behaviour in the pits are expected – including fixing one bug where rival drivers fail to pit and another where the player’s car is held in the pits too long.

Codemasters added the time spent working on patching “F1 2010″ will not affect the time spent developing next year’s version of the game.

Update: Codematers?σΤιΌΤδσ statement on ?σΤιΌ?τF1 2010?σΤιΌ?? bugs and patch

“F1 2010″ PC videos

The videos and screenshots below were created using a Geforce GTX 480 supplied by NVidia:

“F1 2010″ PC screenshots

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“F1 2010″ by Codemasters

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140 comments on “F1 2010″: PC review, the ‘fake AI’ controversy and details on the first patch

  1. woah!!! said on 30th September 2010, 14:37

    I play GTR2 with WSGT and power and glory mod and it much more fun than F1 2010.

  2. Superted666 (@superted666) said on 30th September 2010, 14:37

    I think 4/5 is a fair score to be honest.
    I’m an avid gamer and every game has bugs im afraid as does every piece of software.

    Not noticed them myself and i’ve put in a good 50 hours or so thus far, can’t imagine they have affected the majority of users much. Only one i have spotted is a FPS drop in monaco on one of the sections.

    In fact… i’m gonna go play it now :D

  3. graham228221 said on 30th September 2010, 15:13

    Where did you hear this Keith? There’s nothing that I’ve seen on the forum, or Steve Hood’s twitter?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th September 2010, 15:16

      By talking to Codemasters. Expecting official details on the patch soon.

      • graham228221 said on 30th September 2010, 15:32

        Figures :)

        I’ve been keeping up with the codemasters forum, but only for entertainment purposes. The hysteria there is quite incredible. I haven’t experienced any “bugs” yet, and the game is absolutely immense.

  4. PC version is too easy. I’m using Hard difficulty with 30% race distance. And I’m using Lotus. I finished 2nd in 1st 2 races, then 1st and in China 9th after 20s penalty. I’m leading WDC going into Spain.
    Also I find if you touch rival car you get warning which is too harsh.
    You’ll can add me up on Games for Windows LIVE, my Gamertag “Ninad 13″

  5. Anyone else had the problem where the sound glitches so there is a constant noise going on all the time, race, menus, until you reset. Also when this OS happening the dynamic racing line messes up and either disappears or moves around so it only appears on some corners and on the straights? Really annoying having to reset a lot! On xbox BTW.

  6. Charles Carroll said on 30th September 2010, 15:50

    So, if the only racing game I’ve ever played is F-Zero for the SNES, is this:

    A.) Too much for me

    B.) Awesome for me

    I love playing games, but I’ve never played anything beyond the SNES because I’m old.

    • graham228221 said on 30th September 2010, 16:18

      wow F-Zero X was a classic! I love that game, still got a copy somewhere

      F1 2010 is almost totally different, much more tactical and it requires more practice and set up work than pure arcade games (on the harder setting anyway). I’d definitely recommend trying it though!

      • Charles Carroll said on 30th September 2010, 17:10

        I’m thinking about getting it, but it would have to be for the PC.

        And yes, I’m actually about to play F-Zero right now using a SNES Emulator for the PC (my SNES went kaput years ago). It is a lot of fun!

        • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 30th September 2010, 18:55

          Man, that’s a shame. You can actually get a system now that’s a combination SNES/NES if you want to really pull out the old cartridges and play with more classic style controllers.

          But yeah, I pulled out F-Zero (and a number of other SNES games) a few years ago, plugged in the old system and relived some classics. Still enjoyable!

  7. These glitches are disappointing, especially as the pit stop glitches and the wet-race nuttiness seem to be the precise headaches with the EA Sports game and the Polyphony game. I’ve played it for a few hours now. I really enjoy the sound, the look, especially in the rain, the twitchiness of the cars—if you jump a curb and then slam on the gas you will spin. You have to brake very late and be very precise to be quick. It’s hard. I had to work my tail off and be very precise to quailify 17th. However, the glitch that bugs me is the freezing, which seems to happen on corner entry, quite inconveniently, when the view shifts automtically toward the corner. It’s also weird how the cars seem to go all ghostly in the pits and actually DRIVE THROUGH YOU on the way out of the pits if you are in the way.

    My other complaint, which is a silly one some might say, is that the patriotic helmet offered to Americans is ghastly and the rest are just solid colors, beside Davidson’s. Maybe the game will allow me to emigrate to a country with a better helmet design!

  8. it really disappoints me when you are in a race giving it your all and trying to gain more of a lead from the cars that are racing you for your position, then you go into the pits and your whole race is ruined. Very disappointing and hope CodeMasters fixes this problem fast!!

  9. AI…I don’t know really there’s AI. if they were really there, it’s absolutely unfair! sometimes they are too fast, and sometimes ridiculously slow(especially you are closing to overtake). and I don’t know they do pitstop actually. I pitted first time and almost half of them followed, and then as you know pit delay glitch got me almost 20 sec. anyway, I was out and 23rd, and then it went to the end. ***!!

  10. graigchq (@graigchq) said on 30th September 2010, 16:34

    tip for you lot:

    don’t start the longer races on option tyres. I’ve been screaming at the TV all season to get Button or Hamilton to try a different strategy, cos i think this is the way to win.

    if you start on primes, then as long as you are a competent driver, you can keep up and hold off those trying to overtake. Once you pit, at a different time to everyone else i might add, then you have a clear pitlane, none of this sketchyness, and then low fuel and grippy tyres to get you to the end of the race.

    may not work in real life, but it sure as hell does online. try it.

  11. gpcampbell (@gpcampbell) said on 30th September 2010, 16:37

    Someone has on the official forum done a massive compariosn of lap times to show that the AI cars are not affected by fuel loads. (and the player is if you have the option on)

    Some of the AI confusion in the races comes from the fact that the game inccorectly measures the first lap for some reason. Go from pole and notice that people behind you will somehow post a time thats up to 2 seconds faster than you.

    I also don’t know whats happening with the transparency thing.

    Finally the pit stop thing is an effect of shorter races where the pit window is only one lap so everyone en masse dives into the pit. Some of it isn’t a bug per say.

  12. Phew…I was worried my laptop wouldn’t cope with running this and that I would be impatient waiting for a PS3 or X-Box to play it on, but looks like I’m not going to be missing much just yet!!

    BTW as someone who hasn’t played more than a handful of games for nearly 10 years, all on PC, which is better for driving games, PS3 or XBox and which has the better steering wheel and pedals? (I used to have the Microsoft Force-Feedback Steering Wheel and Pedal set and it was superb…

  13. Just looking at the pictures…

    those cars seem to have very high ride height! Far too high!

  14. Also, at the Monaco vid… there’s no spray coming out of the AI cars… just the Player car generates some!

    that’s dissapointing!

    • Oh yes, that is bad. I looks like one car is on fire or something! Another clue that the AI is “fake”? I can hear the excuse coming that modeling a lot of spray in a wide-shot will over-tax a poor little PS3. Fine, I remember playing Pong on an Atari so how much can I complain really.

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