“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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Read more: ??F1 2010??? ?ǣ the F1 Fanatic review

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? statement on ??F1 2010??? 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

Buy Formula 1 2010 for PS3
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Buy Formula 1 2010 for PC DVD

“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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!

  5. 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. ***!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Just looking at the pictures…

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

  10. 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.

  11. This game is too much of a gimmicky console port, and not enough a serious racing sim. Why do companies speak to “realism” in their racing sims that fail to live up to games that were released more than 10 years ago?

    • Jarred Walmsley said on 2nd October 2010, 4:49

      You have to realise that there are people like me, 15-18yo who do not have the patience to sit down and setup the car perfectely like a sim, also I struggle to complete the races on easy (with braking assist off) on a dualshock and so I do not want it as a sim because it simply wouldn’t be enjoyable at all. I much prefer a more arcade style

      • Antifia said on 3rd October 2010, 20:02

        Right – but that’s when they should have told the gamers that like sims that this isn’t one. It is not even a good imitation of one.

  12. F1 Challenge and GP4 Rock!!!

  13. Keith , how come you seem to have info on some of the contents of a patch when nothing has been posted on Codemasters official forums,there is a dedicated thread for the posing of such info.

    Surely customers should be informed fist and websites second.

    I hope that whatever list is post is far more comprehensive than the couple of things you mention,apart from the game play issues the amount of players suffering issues in terms of technical issues across all platforms is as big as the gameplay bugs.

  14. another bugs is the damage on the car

    it is hardly to see (so far none) the rear wing will damage no matter how hard it been hit from behind.

    the damage is seem only on front part of the car. other than that the car is hard as rock. :-D

  15. One of the biggest issues is that of the corrupted save files, which happen after doing an R&D test run in practice sessions. I’ve lost two save games this way (thankfully only in the Australian GP) and have decided to turn off autosave until this issue is resolved.

    That said, I’m terribly disappointed at the large number of bugs and errors the game has, after showing so much promise, it seems to be endemic of recent offerings from Codemasters.

  16. Stephan said on 30th September 2010, 20:34

    In all honnesty I never saw codemaster making F1 2010 into a edgy racing sim judging form their last few racing games (Grid, dirt). They were both easy to pick up and play games which were very pretty but not really anything you would rant about as far as driving realism is concerned. I myself cant deliver comment of codemasters lattest release because I haven’t picked up a copy yet (Engineering exams+F1 game=complete disaster) but I’d be impressed if they got the driving side of it to feel right. In their last 2 games I kept on getting the feeling that the steering inputs were always a few milliseconds off (playing using a G25 on pc) and that everything was warm and fuzzy and forgiving.

    Now I’v been playing Race07/GTR EVO for the last 3 years in a almost addictive manner mainly because it feels right its not a arcade game for over weight remeadial kids and there are plenty of 3rd party tracks and mods availble for it. Its astounding in the way that it can make you build up a sweat from pure concentration while trying to get a f3000 car around the nurburg ring. The main thing I can’t stress enough is how real it feels.

    Recently I down loaded a F1 mod for it and I thought it would probably be rubbish (reskinned F3000 cars) but it was bloody fantastic. I don’t know who the guy was who made the mod but he rally did his homework. Its based on the 2007 F1 season and the feel of the driving side of things is just brilliant.

    If anyone is interested in having a look at what F1 2009 should feel like the Race07/GTR EVO mod is available here:

    Part 1:
    http://www.nogripracing.com/details.php?filenr=26503

    Part2:
    http://www.nogripracing.com/details.php?filenr=26505

    and I think you can get Race07/GTR EVO for about $10 off steam and I’ll maintain its the best value for money out there because of its realistic edgy feel.

  17. Nathan Bradley said on 30th September 2010, 21:08

    Guys, I lose a load of time in slow corners i.e. the whole of sector 2 in Bahrain and the last couple of corners in Melbourne.

    Any tips?

    Thanks,

    Nathan

    • Renzo said on 1st October 2010, 0:45

      easy one: put more angle on the wings

      consider that I’ve been setting the fastest time on Barhain sector 2 with a Virgin on expert mode…

      how can this be possible?

      • Nathan Bradley said on 1st October 2010, 10:54

        Thanks for that, also how can I check how much fuel I have in the car? I think I may be running accidentally heavy during qualifying. (I am miles off the pace in qualifying, but generally set the fastest lap during the race)

        Nathan

        P.S. Does anybody else think the game manual is woefully short of detail?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st October 2010, 10:58

          You can edit it in the set-up menu under engine. Turn it down from five to three laps, there’s a few precious hundredths of a second to be found there!

          • Nathan Bradley said on 3rd October 2010, 19:17

            Thanks Keith and Dave (I know it’s a late reply, but I haven’t been on the site for a couple of days, too busy with the Ryder Cup) ((Shock Horror!))

            Nathan

        • DaveW said on 1st October 2010, 16:20

          The manual is useless.

          Regarding sector two. You have to be super smooth from 6 to thirteen. Watch Vettel’s Q3 lap on the website. He brakes very deep, and is very smooth coming on the power. Also you must trail brake very deep into 17/18, and run flat out from the apex of 19 through 21, which means getting the entry spot on there.

          Regarding the Virgin, let me say when lapped I can easily hang with the RBRs through s2, but when we get to turns 19-21, they rocket off. That’s aero performance versus mechanical. Just like real life, right?

  18. First of all, I absolutely appreciate having an officially licensed, „one-stop shopping“ title available for the PC once again. I also like the elements this game succeeds at. For example, the Grand Prix x games always followed the (completely unrealistic) designer philosophy that the player should have equal chances of winning with every car. I am not aware of a GP simulation that tackled the element of the team being able to develop and improve the car over the course of a season. It is impressive to see how long it has taken for a developer to suggest some atmosphere with as basic an element as animated screens for the paddock, the pit garage and a press conference – even though omitting any kind of podium celebration seems inconsequential in that regard. Also, the idea of always keeping a scorecard between you and your teammate, in my opinion, serves both to add believability to the scenario and help provide feedback to maybe less racing-experienced or -knowledgeable players in terms of how well they are doing.

    The way the cars feel in the game, one major difficulty to me seems getting the correct braking and turn-in points to be at the apex consistently every lap. And I do not simply find it an unrealistic drive on rails – with a keyboard that, unlike a wheel, is not designed to handle progressive control input, it seems very easy to spin out of pretty much every corner.

    It is upsetting, though, to realise what bugs and plain factual errors have apparently slipped into the retail version of the game and have to be dealt with now that they have already been pointed out by the community. The computer-controlled cars finishing irregularly high up the order because they do not pit seem especially critical to me – because even if they for some reason fail to make the mandatory stop, they should at least be disqualified by the time they finish (which does happen to you as player if you do not use both compounds in a dry race). These kind of game-affecting mistakes should have been flagged and corrected prior to release.

  19. I guess I’m playing a different game. Until now I’ve found no troubles with tyres neither pit stops. Of course, I’m not a gamer specialist but it went perfectly OK until now.

    There’s somethings I’d like to change like the question of other cars never receive a punishment and they always end the race. No one has a DNF!

    Would be very interesting if graphics looks more like FIA official screens. Another point I don’t like is the time screen during the race. Would be more useful if there was the difference between you and the car in front and behind.

    Other changes could be made:
    – Show fastest lap during the race
    – Drivers could go to podium
    – Accidents should deploy safety car

    But in general game provides me a lot of fun and realism.

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