“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.

F1 Fanatic rating

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Read more: ?σΤιΌ?τF1 2010?σΤιΌ?? ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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?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. maestrointhesky said on 30th September 2010, 21:47

    I have the game but I’m currently not playing it. I’m kicking myself as I should have waited for GT5

  2. Renzo said on 1st October 2010, 0:41

    Have anyone noticed that the graphics of this game really sucks!
    If you watch the replays the cars seems fly a bit on the tarmac. F1 06 was much much better.
    Has anyone noticed the rearview mirrors??!!
    It seems to play the old geoff crammond’s formula 1 game by details on screen while the game is a hundred times worse than that.
    The most terrible thing is how far away from reality this game is:
    I made a few races driving a Virgin. In Barhain I managed to finish 12 while Lewis Hamilton could’nt get past Bruno Senna all race long finishing 11 while Senna 10!!!
    Setting of the car is awful: You have a scale from 1 to 10 to adjust aerodynamics while on the in F1 06 the scale was from 1 to 100 giving you the chance to optimize much better the behaviour of the car.
    Another thing: is almost impossible to set constant lap times.
    And this is just a few things.
    I waited for this game for a long long time and I went to buy it immidiately as soon the game was released… altough is far away what I supposed to play
    My vote is 4/10

    PS
    I was talking about the ps3 game

  3. bwells88 said on 1st October 2010, 4:54

    I’m one of teh unlucky ones that teh game just won’t play for anymore…. I say anymore as I got 2 races in running flawlessly then it started stuttering like mad… I’ve heard it’s a replay issue and I’ve moved my replay folder to my external drive which is supposed to fix the problem but nope… it seems to run fine sometimes and definitely always good at the start of the lap then gets jittery…
    I have a good system that plays any game I’ve thrown at it in full detail so I hope the patch helps out… I was so waiting for this game and those first 2 races were awesome… some minor penalty issues… how can I get a penalty for an avoidable accident when they run into my car??… lol

    Lets get a patch out soon! Cheers…

  4. Malcom said on 1st October 2010, 6:18

    Maybe someome out their can be able to help me? I have a ps3, and I’m not able to get fuel simulation, tire simulation, because none of these items show up on the menu. How do I get these items? HELP.

  5. Malcom said on 1st October 2010, 6:23

    I’m sorry that I didn’t include damage simulation on my list also….same problem.

  6. f1yankee said on 1st October 2010, 6:40

    i’d appreciate it if whoever is maintaining the GFWL ID list could add me. i’d post it myself but my forum acct is currently, ahem, not within 107% :)

    GFWL: F1Yankee

  7. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 1st October 2010, 6:55

    The excuse that the fake AI is because of Time Acceleration puzzles me, because GP4 and many other games managed it without any problems at all.

  8. mr_score said on 1st October 2010, 9:20

    Found this while looking at the nogrip-site mentioned in a post earlier.
    http://www.nogripracing.com/details.php?filenr=29369

    Just to spread some nice sunshine on all the bugs… :)

  9. Alex said on 1st October 2010, 9:36

    love this game other than a few things.

    1) the fact that i’m on the HARDEST difficulty and i’ve had two poles and two wins so far in canada and germany! and i’ve only just done germany so who knows what will happen in the rest of the races! i want to win but iwant it to be real and if im in a lotus the only way i want to win is if i make an amazing call when it rains but not really on pure pace because a lotus will NEVER be able to out pace a Mclaren or Red Bull because it simply doesnt have the downforce!

    2) pits are awful so slow compared to what is normal 6 seconds usually and like everyone else has found the pit crew are overly scared of sending you into the path of another car so just play it safe and make you wait! I worked you had to be about 4 or 5 seconds ahead to get out safely!

    3) damage is not realistic i have it on full but i can pretty much barge my way through the field with a bump and a scrape without worrying too much about losing a front wing. the damage is also a bit the same when in comes to your front wing its either half gone on one side or gone completely. i want to lose a front endplate or have it just hanging off i know its complicated and hard but i want the best.

    4) finally PODIUM SCENE what the hell where they thinking i want to see me lift that trophy in front of a screaming crowd and spray the champagne.

    5) not really big enough to count but i want to design my own helmet and create my own driver.

  10. Ben bailey said on 1st October 2010, 10:11

    I am enjoying the game hugely! Havent had time to do lots of running but strikes me their are lot of over seriuos geeks out there. In relation to bugs/ wrong tyres/ held in pits and so on, this IS F1! Things go wrong. Pit crews put the wrong tyres on, bolts fall off. Drivers go unpunished whilst others are givern drive throughs. If anything it makes it more realistic that through a season your races are ruined by tech problems a few times!
    Re AI, turn three at the 1st race i can outbrake and overtake everyone round the outside!
    My first race of the season i was running 6th in a virgin when i lost power for last 2 laps. was this a bug or an engine failure simulation due to over revving?

    • gwenouille said on 1st October 2010, 23:11

      Fuel low ?
      When fuel is too low you can go on, but power is drastically cut.

      I find you way too soft on CM.
      Sometimes you ask for a flying lap and you are teleported exactly where another car is: you get a stupid penalty, etc…

      Or the lollipop man waits 25 secs to release you while all the other cars go by, pit and leave…

  11. im thinking about when the cars exit the pit lane, aren’t they suppose to avoid the white line? but in the game they are touching it, even the racing line wants us to cut it.

    • gwenouille said on 1st October 2010, 23:08

      Believe it or not: they didn’t implement the white line rule !!!
      That must be EXTREMELY complicated…

  12. Could someone please enlighten me…?

    I honestly cannot see how this is an improvemenet in any meaningful way to the Microprose Grand Prix Series by Geoff Crammond that I used to play over 10 years ago?

    From the screenshots, the car’s movements look very jerky and the McLaren seems to resemble a truck in it’s movements.

    F1 gaming just seems to have stagnated. The levels of realism in the GP series were incredible.

    Why did it stop?

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 1st October 2010, 22:16

      MicroProse went bust, and I believe Geoff Crammond has said he isn’t interested in making any more F1 games. Furthermore he won’t release the source code as he doesn’t want any other major gaming companies to steal his secrets….

      I was thinking about buying F1 2010 but the variable reviews of the game have made me think again. I’ll probably stick to the old GP games too, not that I play them very often these days.

      • PeriSoft said on 2nd October 2010, 5:17

        Furthermore he won’t release the source code as he doesn’t want any other major gaming companies to steal his secrets

        What – the secret to releasing a game in 2002 that hard-locks framerate to physics timing? I don’t think he needs to worry.

        • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 2nd October 2010, 12:23

          I think in terms of the physics, AI and so on.

          However I was wrong about Crammond – he did a magazine interview last year where he said that a Grand Prix 5 “still feels like unfinished business.” So maybe one day, but I still wouldn’t hold your breath….

          • PeriSoft said on 2nd October 2010, 13:02

            At least with Grand Prix 5, it’ll be realistic when following cars can rubber-band around you with an artificial speed boost…

  13. gwenouille said on 1st October 2010, 23:07

    This is a disapointing game, really.

    I bought it with great expectations, and: FAIL.

    The number of bugs (on PC) is just incredible.
    Have a look at the official codemasters F1 2010 forum: the “bug and errors list” thread already has 1600+ entries !

    Cars way too slow in certain corners, AI not pitting, fuel simulation apparently only slows down real player, not AI, etc…

    I fell like a beta-tester who paid 40 € to help codemasters finish the game.

    The only way out for CM is to sign a great 1st patch to address the most serious gameplay issues, and other patches later on to fix minor things (like radio yelling at you “Greeeeeeeaaaaaaaaat lap: pole position time !!!” on your first practice lap, clocking 2:50.541 in Spa…moron…).

  14. Regis said on 1st October 2010, 23:58

    The quality is great on my pc, really nice !!

    I am disapointed with a lot of things, firstly i pit at around lap 6 of a 10 lap race, they change tires, and then my engineer tells me to come back in on lap 8… That is just silly.

    Also in Australia i go really wide on the gravel loosing a place and they tell me not to cut corners…

    It would be great if there was an option to race less than 10% distance, maybe 5 would be a good because a 20 minute race can become a bit long.

    Another thing why is my name not in the game? would it have hurt them to just research a little more and find more names than just the common one? Now i have to let them call me “ghost”… :)

  15. witdrwn_but_alive said on 2nd October 2010, 1:42

    Just picked up my copy of F1 today and have been playing if for a few hours. Can the AI be knocked out of the competition? I havnt seen it happen yet and Ive played a fair few tracks now.

  16. I love Codemasters games: so great before they release them , so disappointing once you get your game.

    They haven’t got a good game since colin mcrae 1.

    • PeriSoft said on 2nd October 2010, 13:06

      DiRT was pretty good, IMO. It wasn’t a sim (nothing like 4g braking on gravel) but damn, it was gorgeous – and it was just flat out fun as hell. Jeez, the track object physics are so good that I spent half an hour driving around town knocking stuff over, including a lamp post, which I had to keep pounding against until it actually *yielded*, stopped bending back, and fell down completely! As the Quake 3 announcer would say: Impressive.

      Rating Codies’ games on hardcore physics performance is like rating a Michael Bay movie on the script. It’s not why you pay the entry fee.

      But – it does have to be good enough to let you enjoy the explosions without feeling like an idiot, and it seems like there might be problems with that with F1 2010. I’m going to grab it and see what it’s like.

      Hopefully it’ll support my motion simulator out of the box.

  17. Brawn said on 2nd October 2010, 13:02

    this game is good but has problems and has been rushed. they obviously were dying to get it out before the new GranTurismo. Whats up with the pitstops? you can be the first in the pits and the team holds u back while about 10 cars drive out past you. And dont get me started on punctures! you get a puncture at every track in one of the sessions or race. crazy

  18. There’s definitely a lot of bugs in the game, but even as someone who lives on racing sims like rFactor (previously participated in Formula SimRacing), F1 2010 is very enjoyable. Multiplayer is super fun know that I’ve learnt how to use it properly, and I’m close to topping the leaderboards on a few circuits in time trial (4th at Suzuka – Dargaret).

    Physics are far better than I expected, though the control lag really hurts my speed.

  19. '93 Peugeot 905 Le Mans Winner said on 3rd October 2010, 17:08

    With standard settings on A F10 Ferrari I managed to run a lap (1.40.789) in Abu Dhabi faster than the pole lap of Lewis in 2009 (1:40.948). And that was only my run on the first time I played the game.

    Then I found youtube clips driving 1:34(!!!!) around the Abu Dhabi circuit.

    How realisitc is that?

    • is that time trial or what? time trial isnt meant to be realistic, its supposed to be the theoretical best possible time. no tyre degredation, max engine power, minimum brakes, etc.

      I remember Raikkonen in 04 did a 1:16.x around Silverstone in testing even though fastest ever is 1:18.9 (or so).

      but anyways, the only reason times are so quick is the the downforce vs. drag levels in the game are whack. 350 km/h at Spa but only 265 at Monaco.

  20. Chris Powell said on 4th October 2010, 11:45

    I’m surprized no one has mentioned the fact that when other cars hit into the back of you say coming out of a hairpin.. “you” get the warning and 5 place penalties if you don’t reduce the rules. I’m quite impressed by the people who claim to be on the podium in expert I thought grid 15 was good :) although i’m only on bahrain so far..

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