I'm a huge fan of F1. I don't know why, exactly. Perhaps it's the sound of the cars? Perhaps it's the mind boggling performance figures? Perhaps the looks? I don't know. But I love it. As such I've been waiting for F1 2010 for a while now, even before it was announced.
Enter F1 2010. Codemasters comes to the rescue with what is supposed to be the answer to everyone's F1 fantasies. Now we can all be Michael Shumacher. Literally, if you play long enough to get a seat in his car. It has a few issues, however...
First thing I want to touch on is the physics. Physics are a HUGE part of any racing/flying/driving game. The cars have to behave well, they have to behave in a manner similar to their real world counterpart, and they have to be free of wonkyness. This......well, okay, fine. The physics blow. Center-pivot steering is so 2002. I wasn't expecting a simulation by any stretch, but come on Codemasters. Cut a guy some slack, will ya? Brake stabbing does not an oversteer correction make. You had this down pat in Dirt, GRID and Dirt 2, and you recycled the game engine, so what the hell? Someone smack your lead designer on the head with a camshaft partway through the storyboard phase? Not only that but the cars are WAY too damn twitchy. I watch the races pretty religiously, haven't missed a GP yet. The real thing does NOT drive in any way like the depiction in-game. Oversteer is sudden and over in a few milliseconds with either a quick jab of full opposite lock or a 180º turn. This could have all been 100% avoided if you simply reskinned GRID and called it a day. Pull an Activision, for once it won't harm anything. The Audi R10 in GRID handles way more realistic to an F1 car than F1 cars in F1 2010.
Then we get onto the engine. Okay, so my rig isn't that up to date. But that shouldn't be a problem, Code's reused EGO from GRID. Wait a bloody minute...HOLY HELL LAG! All sorts of lag. Input lag. General lag. Network lag OVER LAN. I ran GRID and Dirt 2 at my standard issue 16x12xmediumx2xAA settings package, but F1 2010 is a damned slideshow. What gives? The graphics aren't any better than GRID. Hell I'd say they're slightly worse. So why does it run like this? Oh, and there's the random glitching and crashing. And the input lag that forced me into automatic transmission because the game would entirely ignore my upshift commands and over-rev the engine. 16x12 all low. Pathetic, Code's. Absolutely pathetic. GRID and Dirt 2 run like butter at much higher settings on the same exact machine.
Now we get to the AI...oh boy. It gets even worse. The AI are pathetic. There's two problems. Either A: I'm lapping the RBR cars with 6 or 7 seconds to spare in a Lotus, or they're pulling three seconds out of their gearboxes that are physically impossible to do. They cut you off, they tailgate you, they ram into you, and are generally are about as smart as a floor tile. They also drive on the absolute ragged edge of control, it seems, as I watch their cars randomly doing Arab and Japanese drifts. No, seriously, hang behind one. They'll randomly turn 20-40º to one side but not actually go the way their car's angle points.
It seems Codes really dropped the ball here. I wasn't even expecting a sim at all. I was expecting a fun little arcade racer. This goes way beyond arcade. The physics are downright silly, the graphics are abysmally unoptimized, the game engine is full of glitches and the AI is completely wrong. It's fun, but honestly, you had best wait for a sale. Perhaps Codes will patch it? Idunno. But my suggestion to you is either wait for a sale or the inevitable GRID mod.
It is quite fun, though, and Codes got the cars, track layouts and the sound working. Well, by cars, I mean visually. They look the part, and they break realistically. I give it a 3 out of 10. Honestly I feel it would have been better as a DLC for GRID. Seriously.
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