Formula 1 Racing

Does revolutionised handling make or break new F1 game? · RaceFans

F1 24 screenshot

Like so many of you, RaceFans has keenly followed the journey of Codemasters’ official F1 game series through three console generations and 14 major editions.

Over that time, there have been leaps forward and mis-steps – just like those the teams themselves experience in the real world of Formula 1.

The most dedicated simracers among us may scoff at the suggestion that the sport’s official game franchise offers a solid mix of authenticity with accessibility – especially in the current golden age for PC-based hardcore simulators. But there’s also a reason the series has earned regular nominations for ‘best sports/racing game’ at the annual Game Awards – and that’s because when everything comes together in the way in should, there’s some incredibly fun and immersive racing to enjoy in Codemasters’ series.

But with each new edition of the game the new season brings with it, players just want to see improvement from every additional entry. A reason to get excited to leave the previous title behind and enjoy all the enhancements offered by its successor. Where the developers learn from the critiques of the previous title and give players something worthy of spending their increasingly limited disposable income on over and above the many, many other racing games on the market that lack the official F1 stamp of approval.

Having spent considerable time with F1 24, however, it’s frustratingly difficult to make a strong case for why fans of the series should rush to part with £70 for the latest edition of the long-running series.

A controversial change

As a racing game, the driving model, physics and handling naturally sit at the core of the experience in the F1 game series. So when publishers EA announced that the major headline-grabbing feature for F1 24 was not another instalment of Braking Point, historic content, ‘Be A Steward’ mode or some other gimmick but their “largest ever” overhaul of the game’s physics, that was perhaps the most exciting news possible for many series veterans.

While the fundamental handling and feel of F1 23 was far better received than that of its predecessor, there were plenty of details and nuances that could go a long way to drastically enhancing the game if they were addressed. And that is exactly what Codemasters attempted to set out to do with the newest game, introducing overhauled tyre, suspension and downforce models in what they claimed would provide the “most authentic and…

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