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F1 2010 - The Game review

Discussion in 'F1 2010 - The Game' started by Robin Chung, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Robin Chung

    Robin Chung

    When Codemasters obtained the official F1 license frankly we were a bit worried. After all this is the studio that released titles like Grid and Dirt, games renowned for unrealistic handling and an awkward emphasis on crashing. Then news came out and slowly we found ourselves excited about the prospect of having a terrific dynamic weather system, driver personality, the media and many more features new to F1 games. And now, after a wait of over three years, finally the F1 series continue on our favorite next-gen systems, but was it worth the wait?


    The game starts with a press conference. Here you must answer a couple of basic questions to set up your racing profile. It’s a highly effective way of starting your career but looks kind of silly when a reporter is asking for your name. One would guess she knows the person she’s interviewing.
    Once done you’ll walk towards the team’s motor home, which acts as the main menu in the game. Here you can select between the different modes including: Time trail, multiplayer, career and grand prix weekend, which also allows championship racing.

    Career mode is where you’ll probably spend most time at. Here you start as a rookie driver for one of the new teams and, as you accomplish curtain tasks and beat your teammate, can work your way up in the team or accept offers from higher up teams. In addition players will also be able to develop the car or decide to put efforts into next years design. An important aspect in F1 not earlier implemented in a video game.
    Also new to the series is the press. Finish in the top 3 and you’ll have to attend the press conference. Additionally after each race you can face the press and talk about your performance. It’s a great feature that brings additional authenticity and it greatly influences relations with the team and competing teams. But the way it was implemented leaves much to be desired. For example the questions always have three possible answers out of which the most right option is the safest. Also the interviews always take place in the motor home with the same person doing the interview, not very realistic.

    Codemasters tried to bring in as many details as they could and they’ve nailed it. Every session starts in the pit box with the mechanics and engineer working on the car. Using the monitor you can see the session times, weather report or change the setup of the car. Surprisingly the option to see the AI cars is missing, so you can’t spy on competitors or view the conditions of the track prior to your first flying laps. This may not sound like much but makes it very hard to judge which tyres to go out on.
    More bad news comes when working on the setup of the car, because the game only allows the most basic of adjustments. For example the front wing has just 11 angles to control the front-end grip, a far cry from the many variables enjoyed in real life.
    Going round the track is more tactical than ever before. Likewise to real life drivers can now make small adjustments to the front wing or change the engine settings all while driving. It’s very important to nurse the car home and only use the performance when you need it otherwise you could end up in the barrier.
    Luckily almost every F1 rule has made it into the game. Drivers only have a limited amount of tyres available to them and need to keep a keen eye on the engine to stay within the 8 available engines per season limit. Unfortunately we couldn’t select the engine before going to free practice 1, and changing during the session costs us too much time to go out again.
    But otherwise these strategic elements have been implemented beautifully. Users can go on track with worn-out tyres or choose when to use that fresh engine. Hint: Monza.


    The racing itself is a bit of a mixed bag. The car handles like we’ve seen on television. So you’ll notice the grip changing throughout sessions and sliding in the rain is all but inevitable. The grip also differs per corner and it makes a big difference on the traction.
    Unfortunately not every element of a true simulator is present. We could hit the grass without losing control of the car. And even with every aids off there’s that feeling that the game is helping you keep control. This is most apparent in the pits because the game allows absolute no control in the pit lane apart from braking and a dodgy “not always working” speed limiter.
    On the flip side every car has its own characteristic. The Mclaren is lightning fast in a straight line and the Red Bull can take sweeping corners at insane speeds. And while it’s realistic, they’ve rated the new teams a bit optimistically. The difference between the slowest and fastest car is about 2-4 seconds; we would’ve liked this to be 4-6 seconds.
    In short the game is way too forgiving to match the likes of rfactor or even Sony’s last go at the series. But the funny thing is that you forgot all about it when you’re actually driving and pushing for the limits because driving a virtual F1 car has never been more fun.


    The racing is where F1 2010 really excels. It starts in the pit box where last minute strategy adjustments can be made. After which the game cuts right to the grid, unfortunately skipping any form of race build-up.
    During the race fighting for position can get pretty intense, especially with damage and car wear set to full. Helped by a terrific AI that jumps into every gap you leave it. The game meanwhile keeps you updated on the gaps and mistakes by your rivals.
    The engineer helps you along the way. He keeps you updated about the race including the condition of the engine and the position of your competitors. But sometimes he says silly things and the phrases get repetitive fast. This however has bugged every driving game so far and is not a big disturbance to the racing.
    More of a problem is the balancing. The AI, while great when racing them, are extremely unrealistic when not. It seems like the system calculates speed based on race position rather than actual car and driver. This means that a Lotus can suddenly match the pace of a Renault when it's further up the field.
    Enthusiastic followers of the sport will also learn that the smart pit light systems of the likes of Ferrari aren’t in the game. Talking about details.
    Ultimately though the racing is an extremely tense and fun activity. There’s no better feeling than nailing lap after lap in Monaco in ultra consistency while stuck behind a Mercedes.
    It’s even more exciting in the rain. The engineer will keep you posted about the weather but as a driver you can make the call to go on intermediates before the rain hits. And when the track is drying you can avoid the dry line and cool your tyres in the standing water. The dynamic weather system is absolutely amazing and light years ahead of any other racing game.
    The game succeeds in making every point feel rewarding despite missing features such as the safety car, parc ferme or podium celebrations. But the racing is still the game’s strong suit.

    F1 2010 is without a doubt the best-looking F1 game ever made. The cars and tracks have been recreated in absolute detail. Circuit height differences and scenery positions are textured in pinpoint accuracy. Spa looks absolutely amazing going through Eau Rouge and seeing the grandstand as you gentle press the throttle approaching La source. Monaco also looks stunning with the many flats and the sight of the harbor in the Nouvelle Chicane.
    The graphics only get better with dynamic weather turned on. The changing sky and the puddle forming on track are unmatched by any racing game. And true to real life when behind someone only the red safety light is visible. Fantastic!
    We did however notice some texture popping and slightly blurry textures especially visible in the background. So there’re still some gains to be made.

    Sound wise F1 games never really hit the mark for us. In general they’ve sounded very generic with some even approaching “lawn mower” noise.
    Luckily F1 2010 is the best sounding open-wheel racer yet. The engines really have that deep revving noise and over-revving the engine sounds very genuine. In fact the only thing that keeps F1 2010 from sounding perfect is the difference between the cars. A McLaren sounds completely different from a Renault, but that isn’t very apparent in the game.


    Users can drive online against mates or racers around the globe using the multiplayer feature. The game allows up to 12 racers (1 per team) with an extensive array of options including: full race distance, damage, fuel/try management, penalties and qualifying.
    It worked great but we were disappointed about the server search options and the lack of chat in the lobby. Better buy a headset if you want to communicate in any way. Also for some reason users can't join a session while the race is already on the way. This has been better implemented in the past when users were asked to wait.
    The racing itself worked smooth and bug free. During testing we met many great racers and experienced very close battles. Be successful online and you’ll rank up XP points which gives you dips on your favorite car or allows access to games with a “minimal XP threshold”.

    F1 2010 is a great game. Driving the cars is a lot of fun and the racing can be extremely tense and exciting. Combined with the terrific graphics and sound quality, Codemasters has a real winner here. However the handling needs some balancing. Finally it misses some features that every F1 game should have. But F1 2010 is a great start and has the potential to become part of the best F1 series of all time.

    * This review is based on the 1.01 version. Several changes has been made to the original review, including removal of several bug mentions. Score remains the same due to lack of several "important" features.

    Click here to visit the Formula One Series forums
  2. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    4 stars?

    4 stars???


    Its not a bad game, but its not worthy of 4 stars mate. It might be pushing 3 AFTER you apply all the good mods available.

    Well done on the write up though.
  3. Martin Maaskant

    Martin Maaskant

    I agree with Kris 4 stars is to much credit. What I'm missing is the fact that I can't see how much seconds I'm behind the car in front of me. So I can't see if I'm gaining on him. Also the handling is to much arcade like to my taste even with all the aids off it is still very forgiving. Especially the damage model. Driving into the wall and only you're front wing is damaged. I would expect that you have an ultra realistic mode like in the GP4 simulator.

    What I like:

    Great atmosphere (interviews in the paddock and after the race)
    Career mode
    Eye candy is great especially in wet conditions.
    Car development in the practice sessions.

    What I dislike:

    AI could be better especially when you are not direct racing them (as said in the review)
    No manual pit option.
    You have to wait ages when other cars pit. You lose the race like that.
    When a car is entering the pit behind you he can drive through you :confused:
    Driving is way to easy.
    damage model sucks.
    No telemetry
    Setup is very basic.
    Timing in the race sucks (no update how you are doing compared to the car in front and the car behind you)
    You get blue flags but somehow that does not apply for the AI cars.

    And on a very personal note: you can't save in the race so you have to go for the 1,5 hours behind the wheel. It was an feature I liked in the Geoff Grammond series. I had my hopes up when i heard that one of the programmers worked with the master himself but sadly he did not learn much from him. Codies have a long way to go before they make a real F1 racing sim.

    Anyway that is my two cents
  4. Caramidaru Andrei Bogdan

    Caramidaru Andrei Bogdan
    Mr. C Premium

    hmmm...i'm very disipointed ...
    4 stars to much

    i think it's 75%arcade , 25%sim

    i experienced some delay in my acc and cornering in the steering wheel, i have evrtihing on low ,don;t now if that is the game or my pc, have a decent pc, nvdia 4800,dual core.2g ddr3

    hope a real sim with this media,gameplay,graphics will come
  5. Martin Maaskant

    Martin Maaskant

    Try to set the sound from Raptor to software or hardware. I had the same problem and it worked.
  6. Ivo Simons

    Ivo Simons

    Review is a personal opinion guys. ;)
    I can live with a 4 stars (wich is a 8 out of 10)
    Great review btw. :)
  7. Brian Clancy

    Brian Clancy

    Nice Review :) Like Ivo says, its a very personal thing a review! For me too, I think the score is high, but like they say, beuaty is in the eye of the beholder:D
  8. Kakha Jomardidze

    Kakha Jomardidze

    thx for review,
    i have strange and too bad problem i had buy 1 week game and i cant play online, when i join some room and i am ready for start race, immediately i am disconnected. but i can play rFactor, GTR2 i cant understand what are **** problem.
    i have vodafone station ADS WLAN 7 mb/sc down. - 0.5 mb/sc up.
    please if someone knows my problem help me. in PM or here THX,
  9. InsaneOzzie


    Great review, 4 stars is overrating IMO, I give it 3 tops, 20% sim 80% Arcade & eyecandy.

    I'm not dissapointed with Codies effort, I expected them to focus on graphics and visual details over realistic feel or simulation, Dirt and Dirt2 are a good example, Dirt was more rewarding and more realistic than Dirt2 IMO.

    Hopefully some mods will be developed quickly, to rectify all the short comings and finish what Codies started, then we will have a worthy F1 sim.
  10. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff Premium

    Yes but note, after my second read through I still don't see where it is being rated as a sim. Robin seems to rate and review the game in its own right.

    I agree with him almost. Id like to see a patch before I went over 4 but in the grand scheme of things this is a AAA title whether you tar it with the arcade brush or not. It seems no one read an of the articles and listened to any of the interviews prior to this being released. Anyone who did knows that they where not attempting to make the worlds best simulator of F1 but the worlds greatest overall experience of F1, and on that scale its hard to see how it can't be 4 stars.
  11. Douglas Aird

    Douglas Aird

    Nice review, Robin, I agree with pretty much all of your positives and negatives.

    While it's perhaps a bit too forgiving to be called a sim I'm finding it great FUN to drive and race with the AI (not tried online racing yet). I've only just started my "career" and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
  12. David O Gorman

    David O Gorman

    I dont care whether its a sim or arcade but as an authentic F1 game there is no way it deserves 4 out of 5.
    F1 is all about timing down to a 100th of a second ,and any F1 game that ignores this can only be considered a racing game not an F1 game.
    The graphic are good ,the track are as good as will be got using cad and photos,the cars are good,
    However the ffb of the cars is weak in terms of how much feel the player gets from the car.
    The presentation ,im sorry but its dirt2 again slightly updated now with some q and a.
    Going back to the 100th of a second ,apart from the bugs the devs decided that split times were not an important part of F1
    something is seriously wrong with this scenario,
    and for the life of me i cant figure out is it that they actually thought that
    or is it to hide issues with the ai and their timing .
    The AI ,well in some ways it has improved from grid ,regarding the player battling a car in front of them
    but it hasnt improved when the ai is behind the player and rather than hold back and overtake in the straight it rams you
    in the corner.

    Finally the bugs ive suffered,
    Ive had the save game issue,
    Audio lag,fixed by changing to hardware ,
    Engineer telling me outright lies
    But now my engineer doesn't talk to me,some might call this a blessing in disguise.
    Held up in the pit-stop 50% race as i had to change to wet tires
    40fps on a 480 when dirt hits 120 ,max settings in both.
    Im sure ive had the ai not pitting bug but i cant prove it as i didn't take notice in time.
    Weird grip issues in the wet (too much and then split second later none)
    Penalty system(i realize this is a dev choice but come on its ridiculous)

    So to me until the bugs are squashed - 6.5 - no customer should have to put up with a game shipped in this state full stop.
    If they fix all the bugs - 7.5
    Above still means its just a racing game (like grid but better in some ways etc)

    Proper replay system is need for both above and below.

    Below means it is an F1 racing game(Gp4 etc)
    If they implement split times and ai quali times (non faked) - 8.0 to 8.5
    If they give full control over pitting - 8.5 to 9.0
    Fix the ffb (currently this this the devs idea ffb so i cant class as a bug) 9.2

  13. Omer Said

    Omer Said
    Weresloth Staff

    Great review, very professional :) I agree with 4 stars. That provides me enough fun for this. If only there weren't those bugs :wink:
  14. Brian Clancy

    Brian Clancy

    Well, I think, irespective of ratings, Robin should be commended for a very complete and well written review. F1 2010 was always going to be controvesial:tongue: I still cant even get it to run in anything other than time trial, but these views should not take away from appreciating the good work Robin has done!

    Thanks Robin :D
  15. David Wright

    David Wright

    To those who think four stars is too much, check out the polls in this and Codies own forum where 8/10 is the most popular score.

    While the setup options are limited, 11 wing settings is fine IMO. I've seen photos of a Red Bull rear wing which has only 5 positions.

    The bugs (particularly the punctures in my experience) do spoil things at the moment but the game does show great potential. I did a full race distance at Spa over the weekend and really enjoyed it. There are other sims I wouldn't race for 100 minutes because I know the racing will be down to how many times I spin off. Codies have got the balance between a driving sim and a racing sim spot on for me at least. I understand the aliens won't feel the same.
  16. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    Founder Staff Premium

    Four stars for me as well :) Great game. Thanks for the review RobinNL!!
  17. Brigido Rubio

    Brigido Rubio

    4* is ok with a good patch could me 4,5 :p
  18. Simon Smith

    Simon Smith
    Always running at 107%

  19. Silvio Camolesi

    Silvio Camolesi

    I totally agree with 4 stars; I'll give 5 if i could.
    I don't think the stars are about how hardcore simulator a game is. It is a whole bunch of features and F1 2010 from CM made a real good job.
    The simulation is there, and you can feel it with right steering wheel and force feedback adjusts.
    It is a bit forgiving of course, and this is how a good game is meant to be, because it is not a real car, it is a game.
    There are some minor bugs that will be solved for sure, and this game has come to stay.
    Very good work.
  20. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff Premium