Tag Archives: F1 2010 (video game)

F1 2010 game: My review

So, I got hold of my copy of F1 2010 last Friday, and have been testing away at it ever since. After a week, I’m ready to say that I’m hugely impressed by Codemasters’ work, and that this is by far the best Formula 1 game in recent times.

Before we get into the specifics about the game, first of all I’ll talk about how I played the game, just for reference. I didn’t have a steering wheel, which I’m told is absolutely fantastic fun, and this is for the Xbox 360 version, though I’m sure the PS3 variant can’t be too different. I haven’t tried out Xbox Live on it, as my connection is off (moving house if you’re wondering) until November. Also, I was racing on 20% race distance, hard level for AI drivers, and all driver aids switched off. Now on with the game…

Graphics

F1 2010 is a complete revolution, a massive leap from F1 Championship Edition, back in 2007. I don’t have a HD TV, but the graphics are still hugely impressive. Driving in the rain is not only a challenge, but extremely realistic as well. Spray is thrown onto your helmet, especially with the in-car camera, giving it all of the real-life effects of Formula 1.

Even when it’s not raining, the game stands out in a way never seen before. The dry racing line begins to develop once the rain stops, and it is precise and detailed down to the nearest millimetre.

Driving the car / Handling

Driving an F1 car is precision artwork, and you will soon find that out. While the traction control option is there, it is heavily advised you keep it off, it’s much more fun that way. The slightest twitch, mistake or spin of the wheels will leave you back-to-front and red in the face. Trust me, in the first few laps of playing the game, if you’re even remotely pushing, multiple spins will be on the cards.

We were promised “Authentic, predictable and consistent handling” and that’s just what we got. Once you get used to driving the car, you can eventually get into a routine, though it’s still very difficult to keep the car going. When the tyres go off, the car becomes an ice-skating rink, just as you’d expect.

Clipping the kerbs too hard, or putting a wheel in the gravel trap, will 100% of the time turn you the wrong way, and it’s a harsh but fun way of playing the game.

Damage

This is the one sector where I thought Codemasters cut the corner. While the front wing is beautifully fragile, and will come off in an instant, that seems to be the only part of the car you can get damage on. If you fly into the barriers at 100mph, you will take off the front of the car, but otherwise there isn’t much else.

Once, another car stopped on track, and I deliberately hit it on the side, just to see would it cause damage. It did, shards of carbon fibre went everywhere, but this appears to be difficult to achieve when racing on track. The back of the car is impervious to damage, and punctures are not caused by hitting another front wing, rather slamming into the barriers.

It’s not bad, but not great either, although it’s enough to keep me happy. It will need to be improved for future F1 games though.

Wet weather driving

This portion of the game is so brilliant it deserves its own review, never mind section. Wet races are what brings F1 2010 into a league of its own, bringing a whole new level of difficulty and realism.

First of all, your rules on tyre traction will need to be looked at. One small slip of the throttle, and you’re backwards into the barriers. Run too wide, or turn in too deep, and the same fate awaits. Opponents are more likely to make mistakes (and can also crash on their own), giving a whole new depth of true racing.

Of course, once the rain stops, the track will slowly dry out, and the fun continues. Here, the racing line starts to dry out, and you will be forced to run on the damp parts of the track to cool the tyres down.

You have to experience it yourself to get an idea of how good it is, as it’s undoubtedly the best part of this game.

The paddock

One of the most pushed features of F1 201o has been “live the life of an F1 driver”, and Codemasters have tried to do this by incorporating the life inside the paddock. I was looking forward to this a lot, but it seems to be mostly interviews, which can affect your relationship with the team, thereby assisting or damaging hopes for a contract next year.

The interviews are good, if a little unpunishing if you bad-mouth the team. Unfortunately there isn’t much else in the paddock section of note.

Other

The in-garage menus are excellent, allowing a huge range of changes to be made to the car, as well as a live timing-style screen, weather reports, tyre managment, and stats on your team-mate. The animations leaving and entering the garage before and after runs are also very well done.

I heard that pit stops can be fully manually controlled, but I can’t find the setting for it, so at the moment the only things you do for a pit stop are brake for the pit lane entry, brake again for the box, and disengage the limiter leaving the pits. I’ll edit this once I find out about the manual stops.

There are some very small problems with this game, but I really can’t deny that F1 2010 is a huge leap forward for Codemasters, and I’m certainly looking forward to their next release. I don’t have a marking system, but I’ll give it 92%.

The only glitch I've seen - The pit lane was blocked from a stranded car ahead

The only glitch I've seen - The pit lane was blocked from a stranded car ahead

Pros

  • Stunning graphics
  • Tyres are realistic
  • Wet weather driving is supremely difficult and entertaining
  • A new level of car handling

Cons

  • Reports of a few small glitches
  • A crowded pit lane will result in you being stuck waiting to be released for far too long
  • Not enough detail in the paddock, more features needed

More F1 2010 game photos – featuring 2010 spec cars

More photos have been released for the upcoming F1 2010 video game, which is due for release in September. Unlike other photo releases, these ones finally feature the 2010 cars, showing us that Codemasters are well on the way to finishing off the game.

This is great news for me, and I’m seriously looking forward to the game in September. Here are the photos:

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 photos

F1 2010 video game launched

Codemasters have launched the new series of F1 2010 games for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

They claim that F1 2010 will be “a departure for F1 games”. There are a whole new array of features to impress us at the launch in London today. While I wasn’t at the launch myself, I have compiled reviews from many people at the launch, and those who tested the game for the first time. Note that the game is “pre-alpha build” and will be different when it goes on sale in September. I have split the game review so far into different sections:

Graphics

From the screenshots, F1 2010 looks impressive. It is a complete revolution from the terrible graphics we saw on the F1 2006 game, the last F1 game for the main consoles. In the rain, the clouds of spray from behind the cars are very realistic and there are reflections on the puddles that develop on the track. Have a look for yourself in the screenshot pictures at the end of this post.

Handling

Senior producer Paul Jeal promised that “F1 2010″ would offer “authentic, predictable and consistent handling.” Of course, it was expected to be much better than the simple arcade-style handling in F1 2009 (for the Wii), and it was.

From what I have heard, F1 2010 isn’t too simple to drive, but not very punishing either. Of course, crashing your car over the kerbs will result in a spin or worse, but medium mistakes may not always result in dire consequences, which is slightly dissapointing for me. Also, within a few laps, many people reported being able to adapt quickly to the game, and avoid mistakes, which isn’t good new either. In my mind, an F1 game should punish the slightest mistake with a pirouette of the car. Now, Codemasters have promised a car that offers a mix between arcade and simulator driving, so my hopes were obviously gone at this point.

Also, anpther interestng thing to note is that it seems easy enough to follow the car in front of you in this game, unlike real F1. As I will expand on in the “Opponents” section, this makes it much easier for the car behind you to attempt an overtaking move, which is good news.

Rain and track changes

Codemasters are very happy with their track simulation, which they are referring to as “active track technology”. Every 30cm the car travels, the track changes, affecting the racing line, debris on the track, and the weather.

As the race develops, the rubber from the cars’ tyres will set into the track, causing an increase in grip on the racing line, which is a great new feature. This makes driving off-line more difficult. If you brake in the wrong area, the car will take longer to accelerate, and have less grip entering the corner. If you go out on track in Friday practice 1, the racing line will appear as green (on the HUD), which signals a low-grip track. As the weekend develops, the track rubbers in, and your laps times will start to decrease.

When it rains, puddles will begin to form instantly on the track. There will be less rain on the racing line than the rest of the track, another new feature. When the rain stops, the racing line will dry out much quicker than the rest of the track. This way, you can move your car to the other side of the track, opposite the racing line, to cool down your tyres. This will be an especially useful feature in the period of the race where it is too dry for intermidiates, but too damp for dry tyres.

Damage and safety

The areas where the car can be damaged has been increased. As well as the front and rear wing, tyres, and nosecone, now you can damage your suspension, which affects the cars’ handling badly. Debris from other cars’ (or yours) collisions will remain on the track, and can damage your car again if you hit it.

Generally, small problems can be fixed with a quick pit-stop. Serious damage will take longer to fix. However, you’re not safe any more, even in the pit lane. Codemasters showed the spectators in London today a video of a car knocking down a pit crew member. This confirms the rumor that pit stops are now fully manual, instead of the automatic stops that have become regular in F1 video games. Tyres are now full affected by damage as well. A locked wheel will result in a flat-spotted tyre, and repeated locking-up will cause a puncture. Blisters can also develop if the tyres are mishandled through the corners.

One very dissapointing lack of a feature in F1 2010 is the non-inclusion of the safety car, and the formation lap. Codemasters believe that it would have taken too long to develop (the safety car in this case), and wouldn’t bring very much to the overall game. A good point, but F1 2006 had a formation lap, and F1 1997 had a safety car, so they could partially copy the design from these games if they had tried hard enough. But I’m not too dissappointed, as they say that they are considering these features on the 2011 version of the game.

The flag system has been improved again. The red flag can now be waved to halt the race, for serious crashes or heavy rain. (Update: Red flags will not be used in the game)

The paddock

This is a section never before included in an F1 video game. After the race, how well you perform will result in how many journalists will appear around you, and how many fans turn up for autograph sections. You can also walk inside your garage and team trucks. Codemasters say that this means you can take control of your driver in a way like never before.

In the press conferences, you can speak your mind. You can choose to critisice your team-mate or team, or applaud them. What you say in the conferences can also affect your relationship with the team. Rumours that a “for sure” button can be used in the conferences are yet to be confirmed or denied.

Multiplayer

Online, up to 13 people can race at once, which is good enough for a fun race. Interestingly enough, Codemasters have been advised by the FIA to leave a slot free for a 13h team, just in case one appears later this season. They seem to have done so, which means that an additional download package will be supplied if another team joins.

Relationship to the 2010 F1 season

Since F1 2010 is being released in September, players will get to drive the new Korean track before the F1 drivers do. Codemasters are confident that they have good detail in this circuit, and have no plans to introduce a patch after the official race, in case there are significant problems.

Because of licsensing restrictions, only the 2010 F1 cars and tracks can be used in this game. Also, note that the screenshots feature the 2009 cars, but the final version of this game will have the 2010 cars.

Overall, I’m happy with the game so far. When it comes out, hopefully I’ll be one of the first to try it out (for Xbox 360), and I will let you all know what I think of it.

Note: The two shots of the onboard cameras were taken on a camera phone, so don’t take any graphical conclusions from them.

Screenshots of F1 2010:

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