The sports series from Electronic Arts they are now a fixed appointment for enthusiasts of every single discipline. Every yearthe new edition of the various games offers us challenges with the champions of the moment together with continuous game design innovations. F1 23, which we see in this review is no exception. However, the doubt that seizes those who buy back every year is always the same: what if it were the same game as last year with just the names of the drivers changed? In the case of F1 23, from what we have seen, the answer is no.
Let’s see together why.
The F1 23 review
The F1 series can be very succinctly defined as a driving simulator set in the world of formula one. The simulation provides a offline mode in which we compete with artificial intelligences e one online in which we compare ourselves with other players. The game, of course, does not stop at driving, it also allows us to check the technical details of the car to enhance it and make it more compatible with our driving style.
Being a simulator, and also very faithfulgame mechanics and rules are essentially those of Formula 1 races. However, what can make each single title unique is, in addition to the quality of the simulation, all theecosystem that game design builds around races.
F1 23, from what we have seen during this review, it succeeds very well in this aim; with a addictive story mode and with a great gameplay. The speech can then be simplified by asking us what has been improved compared to the previous edition. In our opinion a lot, especially in substance.
The steps forward of F1 23
How is F1 23 better than F1 22? Designers and developers they worked hard on three elements: the maneuverability of the car, a new chapter for the story mode and a new game mode.
The maneuverability of the vehicle
Racing games, you know, have always been a bit difficult to deal with regarding controls. Not because they are uncomfortable, but because (before F1 23) a gamepad it wasn’t actually the best way to drive a racing car. This, over the years, it has led many games to penalize the use of the gamepad in favor of steering wheels for racing simulation. What few say though, is that it is not enough to buy a steering wheel and place it on the desk; you also need to be in the right position. Therefore, there was a time when those who were passionate invested (and would anyway) e who used the pad “was satisfied”.
With F1 23 developers Codemasters managed to achieve what was thought to be a chimera: smooth and precise controls even with a gamepad. First, a curve sweet and controlled, it was the prerogative only of those who had the wheel or hundreds of hours of practice. Today, become one performance accessible to all even after a few laps of the track.
This extreme control is the result of a completely revised physics simulation and much more accurate combined with a next generation input management thanks to a system called “Precision Drive“. With Precision Drive, even gamepad users have the ability to feel completely in control of the car.
A new chapter for the story mode
F1 introduced the story mode with F1 2021 and after a hiatus, F1 23 picks up right where the narrative left off. This, on the one hand, can allow Electronic Arts to retain the player, but on the other it makes us feel part of a story that continues. This new chapter is titled (unsurprisingly) “Braking Point 2” (Braking Point 2).
While for some products from other manufacturers the story only serves as a filler between one race and another, we would like to say that F1 23 does a great job with Braking Point 2. History becomes a common thread that takes us from one race to another and, in some cases, we wish to win to see how the narrative continues. Another interesting aspect of this new chapter is that it shows a more intense effort of directing and storytelling. The story tries to don’t be banal and, although the ending is rather predictable, on a couple of occasions it even manages to surprise us.
Inside Braking Point 2 the the dominant theme is the rivalry between Aiden Jackson and Devon Butler. However, the two are teammates in a new stable, the eleventh, which is added to the starting grid. The relationships between the characters, not just the main ones, we perceived them as more complex and understood. Also, the story does not focus only on hero and villain but opens up to the dynamics of the whole team.
Here too things don’t they are exactly as they seem. It was yes introduced a challenge system daily, weekly and seasonal; but the intent is to create one additional game modecall F1 World. Some might define F1 World as a parallel career in which, instead of racing for championships, we can only do it for challenges.
F1 World is therefore a modality a little more relaxed than the traditional career. We will have different and much more specific objectives. In addition, we will be able to enjoy a wider variety of scenarios than just being first to the finish line and climbing the leaderboard.
By winning the periodic challenges we will get rewards with which it will be possible to upgrade our car. Too bad, however, that the boosts earned they remain within F1 World and they cannot be, at least for now, transported on the machines we use in the other modalities.
For many but not for everyone
The games of the F1 series, for those who know them, have an important technical component. The story mode gives us a nice added value, but it remains an added value. One of the most interesting aspects of the game still remains the managerial part of the mechanical aspects of the vehicle. Those who already know the series know it, those approaching it for the first time are warned.
Going to customize the mechanical parts you can adapt the machine to your driving style. It’s not about having the fastest car ever; it’s about having the right one for us.
Of course, if you’re not the type of gamer who likes to go and set up all the smallest details, F1 23 can be played by minimizing the mechanical management part. It still remains a great driving simulator with a good level of challengebut we feel like saying that it’s a bit like having an apple and only eating the peel.
There’s no rose without thorns
Of course, despite the many positives, F1 23 has even some small flaws. Two, in particular, have attracted our attention, so we believe it is right to report them.
Driving in virtual reality is an immersive experience, no one denies it. However, it is an experience that the developers have decided, for now, to limit to the Windows version. By buying the game on Steam it is possible to play both in classic mode and with a VR viewer. On playstation, although there are two PSVR models, no.
Let me be clear, there are many reasons, all very valid, for making such a choice. For example, it could be that the software would not have been ready for the day of release, or the number of devices on the market it did not justify the development expense.
But what gives us hope is that being one fully software functionalitycould be added later.
The visuals need to be updated a bit
Maybe we have been spoiled by absolutely breathtaking settings on the latest generation of consoles. Eventually we got used to crimson sunsets with a thousand shades of red and long shadows. Plus, we like them environments with bright colors and a thousand animations around us.
We are obviously not just talking about racing games; but create suggestive settings is now one of the strengths of many games.
On this, F1 23, if we are to be honest, seemed like a small step backwards. Well-kept environments, all faithful reconstructions of the real tracks, but which could benefit from a little more realism. Agree that you play to drive and not to enjoy the view; but it would all be part of a “feeling on the track”, and not just spectators from inside the cockpit.
The F1 23 review in a nutshell
In this review we have seen that Electronic Arts e Codemasters they offer us an F1 23 in better shape than ever. New routes and new riders, but above all a car check never seen before even with the gamepad. This, obviously bordered with theattention to detail to which this title has always accustomed us. Also, F1 23 it also offers a lot from a design point of view with a new game mode, F1 Worldit’s a interesting and challenging story mode.
The game it can be used well even by those who are not experts and wants to get on track right away. However, for those who just want to race, it might be appropriate to evaluate some slightly more casual titles, because with F1 23 you lose half the fun: managing the mechanics of the car. If, on the other hand, you are racing enthusiasts with a console and, above all, you haven’t planned on buying a simracing steering wheel yet, then it’s a title that absolutely cannot be missing from your library; Why even with a gamepad it will give you a lot of satisfaction.