Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

F1 23 game review: welcome to a new (F1) world

EA SPORTS F1 23 delivers with enhanced on-track vehicle handling and the latest season’s content. Braking Point 2 continues the story with some mixed results, despite some brave topics, and F1 World is an engaging new mode.

f123_16 (1)

A new year, a new official Formula 1 video game from Codemasters and Electronic Arts. F1 23 has some ground to make up after F1 22’s post-launch instabilities, superfluous supercars and inconsistent handling left us looking elsewhere for our virtual driving kicks after the initial sheen had worn off.

For this year, we must first touch upon Braking Point 2, a story mode continuation from F1 2021. Fictional racers Aiden Jackson and Devon Butler return alongside a roster of new additions, such as Davidoff Butler, Devon’s father. He also happens to be the majority investor in the Konnersport team, that fields the duo. Then there’s Formula 2 driver Callie Mayer, who happens to be part of the Butler family too.

 

In between set on-track driving challenges, you follow the cast’s plight through cutscenes. Strangely, two years ago Jackson was the main focus, but his character barely develops this time, bordering on unlikeable. Instead, the Butler clan take the lead, with Devon stealing the show.

Fun for those who’ve just watched the latest Drive to Survive season, but a little perfunctory. Previous Madden NFL games have also shown it’s possible to create non-linear narratives within a yearly sports franchise.

 

Elsewhere, F1 World is a new main hub. Building from features in last year’s title such as F1 Life and Podium Pass, it combines most of the game under one banner with aspects reminiscent of a smartphone app. It’s something like FIFA Ultimate Team, but you earn car parts and engineering team members. Those upgrades contribute to an overall tech score that determines performance.

Purists look the other way, as elements include, for example, increased downforce at American tracks or reduced weight if you set a quick first sector.

 

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend real money to succeed, because it looks like the only items you receive from buying Pitcoin or buying into the Podium Pass are cosmetic. XP boosts are the only elements that paid-for in-game currency can be used for that assist advancement.

F1 World is where players will also find a new license system, ranks A through D, where once you unlock a level, you can race others at the same performance any letter beneath. This sits alongside a list of goals which unlock more things in the hub, such as further car upgrade opportunities or historical F1 images for a sticker book compendium.

 

It seems to be aimed at bringing in and maintaining a younger audience, and it does hook you in. However, not much has changed in the My Team managerial career mode, which historically is the main draw. There’s a nagging feeling that we’d prefer more of that and less of F1 World.

When it comes to the core driving experience, however, things are dramatically improved. F1 23 will still punish you for poor driving, but that razor’s edge we experienced 12 months ago has been dulled. You can catch a slide thanks to greater feedback through a steering wheel, and with a controller, more precise steering inputs.

 

There’s generally more grip, through what feels like higher levels of downforce, although for those who like to tinker, the set-up window has increased.

Losail and the stunning Las Vegas Strip are also present. Most tracks outside of that are still the same as they have been, for better or worse. We like the revised Red Bull Ring and tweaked kerbing at Silverstone, plus the latest Barcelona-Catalunya layout change, but not so much the ageing Spa-Francorchamps. Marina Bay is set for an update later in the year.

 

Besides the schedule, the 2023 lineup of drivers and teams, the added (paid-for) career icons and updated rankings, the rest of the game remains familiar. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, actually, that may be a strength. Outside of F1 World, it maintains an authentic experience for those racing diehards and the online, cross-platform, multiplayer options are as plentiful as ever, only now with a new licensing system.

We likely won’t be playing F1 22 again any time soon for the same reasons we will probably get deeper into F1 23 this year. The driving experience makes it enjoyable and we can enjoy racing at our personalised pace. Even if Braking Point 2 or F1 World may not be for you, there’s enough intrigue there to at least try them.

 

How it will stand when many players hit the online servers remains to be seen, let’s hope it’s more stable than last time. F1 23 is more of the same, yet crucially better on track, and that's what we think matters most.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article MotoGP 23 game review: Significant progress
Next article Covers pulled off Le Mans Ultimate Game at Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe