F1 2010 screenshot
F1 2010 screenshot

The roar of an engine and the smell of petrol will forever remind me of one thing: my dear old Dad. This is because he's a racing driver, you see - well, kind of. Every weekend he traipses off around the country to race 250cc super karts (0-60 in under three seconds, to put that in perspective). Not surprisingly, he has penchant for Formula 1 games too, having played everything from Formula 1 97 on the PSone to Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 4 on the PC. In light of this, I've enlisted his expertise to help write this review. Furnishing him with a DualShock 3 and promises of internet fame, I sat him in front of the game as I hovered nearby transcribing his comments. It's not that I'm not qualified to form my own opinions (I am and I will) - but I thought it might be interesting to share the thoughts of a gamer who literally only concerns himself with the F1 sub-genre of racing.

Before I start working through the gears of my critique, a little background: F1 2010 is the first multi-format high definition Formula One game, and has been in development for well over two years - a long time for any racing game, you’d have to agree (unless that game is Gran Turismo 5). Thusly, F1 2010 is one of the most comprehensive and complete Formula 1 offerings to date, and has everything we’ve come to expect from the genre over the years. A championship mode, Grand Prix (single race), time attack, multiplayer and online leaderboards are all in there. So too are all the drivers, all the cars, all the tracks and all the stats. It doesn’t just tick all the boxes though - it adds entirely new ones.

The new features are brought to the foreground in an all new championship mode, which attempts to recreate the glitz and glam of Formula One on and off the track. Before you even get in your car, the game will ask you your name, gender (what? Women can be F1 drivers too) and what team you want to sign up with. You don’t play as an established F1 driver here; you play as yourself - an up and coming driver looking to make a name for him (or her)self in the world of F1. As a newbie, the likes of Ferrari and McLaren aren’t available. The constructors available to a player at the start of the game are in keeping with the start of a rookie's career. I chose Williams Cosworth, and took great delight in changing the design of my helmet to that of the Union Jack.

The menu screens have been designed to reflect the theme of 'the life of the driver' too. Everything the game has to offer is selected by moving through a 3D paddock - your paddock no less. This obviously ties into the championship features of the game quite neatly. Your agent is always on hand to discuss how you're doing and negotiate future contracts, and fans and media will loiter outside, eager to catch a glimpse of the rising star. As you progress through the game and your fame grows, so too will the crowds. I was concerned these features would be wasted on my (old and set in his ways) father, but he seemed to enjoy the originality of it all. Most sports games simply allow players to play the sport of their heroes, not live their professional lives.

Graphically speaking, this is easily the best looking F1 game on the market. Although I refuse to play the game with any camera angle than the one in the cockpit, I made a point of watching some replays (which can be seen at any point with a quick tap of the select/back button) to check out the fantastically detailed cars and photo-realistic scenery. After swooning over the visuals for the first fifteen minutes or so, my father’s attention quickly turned to the car. How does it handle? Is the driving position accurate? And can it hold a candle to Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 4 - what many people believe to be the most realistic F1 simulator of all time?

After turning off all the racing assists (I leave traction control on medium when I play, as I’m not quite as competent behind the wheel as Daddy Smith), it becomes clear that F1 2010 can be just as hardcore as any other racing simulation. You can tinker about with various car setups to further increase the difficulty, and upgrades are available through R&D objectives. Completing a lap under a target time, for example, might reward players with a new throttle, which will make future laps that much quicker. It's not as in-depth as Geoff Crammond's games from a technical perspective, but a lot of that might go wasted on the console audience. The most important additions to the game have nothing whatsoever to do with the cars, however.

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User Comments

Highwayman's Avatar

Highwayman

As a mirror of the sport it's hard to flaw, but it's not in the same league as DiRT2 for fun, track racing is boring compared to rally.

9/10 as a F1 game, 7/10 as a racing game... roll on DiRT3
Posted 17:34 on 28 November 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

This is game is pretty hard. But when you nail a great qualifying lap or have a smooth race it's really enjoyable... just don't expect to win every race.
Posted 14:09 on 28 September 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Quote:
Originally Posted by T3chyo
"when a faster car is approaching you let them pass" (thats about 90% accurate)

wouldn't you want to keep in front of them so they cannot pass?

I believe this applies solely to the Blue Flag rule and allows faster drivers to pass back markers in the case of lapping et cetera. Of course you would hope that you will only see Blue Flag conditions during longer races...
Posted 00:59 on 28 September 2010
T3chyo's Avatar

T3chyo

Maybe I'm thinking too far into it, but during the loading screen when they give you driving tips one of them said something like this...

"when a faster car is approaching you let them pass" (thats about 90% accurate)

wouldn't you want to keep in front of them so they cannot pass?

Is this normal? Or this a way to trick people so they don't know the other racers are on a predetermined path? Get what I'm saying? Let them pass because they'll end up hitting you and disqualifying one of you probably lol.

anyone who watches MTV should be comfortable playing this :)

edit: also agree with clangod, wish I never read this lol. It just amazed me cause I NEVER watch racing and I cannot remember the last time I saw anything involving F1 racing but I really enjoyed this game! Until...you know...

THERE IS always multiplayer...I can see that being really fun but single player is where a lot of time is put into.

Also with codmasters being ashamed, if the AI isn't driving in realtime they should be ashamed, and they're not...according to the proof people have. I personally haven't played it enough to realize it.
Posted 20:25 on 27 September 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Gee I wish I'd never read some of what I had, both here and on the link provided. It does make sense, and has certainly justified certain niggles I have with the career mode so far. I've played more multiplayer than anything and that's fine but dammit!!!

I also wondered why there were no split times. Sector breakdowns and driver comparisions etc. I feel that I too will be noticing more and more as time goes on but to be completely honest, I still really enjoy the game. Especially online.

It would be interesting to know what Codemasters have to say about all of this. If it is in fact as scripted as people are claiming. Shame on you Codemasters, shame on you.
Posted 11:16 on 27 September 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ thompo555

There are a few problems I've noticed so far, the main one being that you're never told on screen if you are catching the person in front or if you are being caught. That's where quite a bit of the excitement in F1 comes from and it's missing.

The driving aspect of it is still excellent but now that I've read a few of the problems I'll probably start to notice the others a lot more.
Posted 09:33 on 27 September 2010
T3chyo's Avatar

T3chyo@ thompo555

From what I've read on the link he posted people agreed (as well as a review on a game website) that the AI crashes are obviously scripted. People are saying at certain turns a car will always spin out but it will be a different car. And on another turn someone will always crash but once again another car...

Like my previous post that is in "" the guy said this is a full on arcade game dressed up to look like a sim. So if you can feel gratification from winning scripted races than go for it.
Posted 23:37 on 26 September 2010
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ El-Dev

Well, it may be true, I don't know. But, El-Dev, does it change the game and how it's played?
Posted 23:17 on 26 September 2010
T3chyo's Avatar

T3chyo

Wow...Nice post. Didn't know about this...and as people say if it's true (which they do have proof) it's a disgrace.

They able to fix this with an update by chance?
Posted 22:50 on 26 September 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

A scandal, so to speak, may be brewing.
Posted 22:28 on 26 September 2010
T3chyo's Avatar

T3chyo

DELETED - FOUND OUT THE GAME IS A JOKE

On page 6 of the "scandal" link below has someone saying this...

"Just to reiterate my last post.

This confirms rubber banding AI (that has been theorised in other posts).

If the AI cars are unconnected to times/stats/real time timing and their speed is proprtional to your own lap times then that is, in effect, rubber banding.

As such, this is no longer even half a simulation. This is full fat, no holds barred arcade dressed up to look like a half sim.

To think that Ant Davidson drove this and advised. He isnt stupid - I bet there was some dodgy dealing in the background here. At some point Codemasters probably just over-ruled his advice based on the more urgent time and technical constraints. In fact the conspiracy theorist in me says he was just employed as a front to make the whole thing look realistic and draw the hardcore crowd.

I mean, HRT fighting Saubers and Williams cars? Theres no way Ant would have passed this unless he was forced to. But thats an argument for another day..."

the guy only has two posts...for some reason I have a feeling that guy is Ant Davidson or a close friend.



Code Masters, Shady Bastards
Posted 02:53 on 26 September 2010
exsoda's Avatar

exsoda

a good game agreed, the graphics is amazing running it on a pc in HD with ultra graphics is really an incredible experience, but you do need a new graphic card for this. The tracks are amazing and feel real. On the downside I don't feel the game is hard enough, I myself race karts and i do a fair bit of both Rfactor and Race07/GTR Evo, and F1 2010 just feels that the car is way to forgiving, when i started on extreme i expected the car to be a b***h handling wise. But if you choose the right setup it is actual quite nice and doesn't punish you for doing massive steering and throttle inputs where GTR or Rfactor would have send you into the kitty litter, for doing such a stupid thing, i find myself choosing the worst setup possible just to make the game hard. Needless to say I'm driving on Extreme with no aids at all. That is my only compliant, it just isn't hard enough on extreme
Posted 01:23 on 24 September 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

I intend to. I just checked and apparently it released here today. Bugger, I could already be screaming around Spa Francorchamps. Probably pick it up Friday morning 9am sharp!

I'd be happy to join you for a game. Prepare to see me hit almost every barrier around any given track lol.

Show Spoiler I did choose this as my MOTM win but I still don't know if I can expect to receive a game. I may just trade it or something if I end up with two copies. I expect it'll be another two weeks at least before I see any packages so I really should have thought of that before I made my choice. Oh well.


EDIT: I even tried to contact one of the late night traders here to see if they'd received stock already but the young girl in the entertainment department couldn't tell me. Shame...
Posted 10:54 on 23 September 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone@ El-Dev

Oh okay, was just being ignorant.
Posted 10:42 on 23 September 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ clangod

You getting it this weekend? Might be able to join up for a game at some point...time difference allowing.
Posted 10:33 on 23 September 2010

Game Stats

F1 2010
9
Out of 10
F1 2010
  • Fantastic weather effects
  • 'Life of a driver' career is good fun
  • Options for players of all skill levels
  • No options to jump into a quick race
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/09/2010
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 2,469 480
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