F1 23 Review 

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Where to start with EA Sports’ F1 23.

Is it an evolution of the long-running race series? Certainly.

Is it a showcase of that which the racing gods at Codemasters can produce? 100%. 

Is it a chance for EA to stick their stamp all over it? Oh yes. 

Is it the best F1 racing game on the market? Well, yeah, we’ll go there. With caveats. 

f1 23 review 4
The Mercedes looks great in F1 23

There is no doubting the brilliance of F1 23. With the world-renowned race champions of Codemasters behind it, that was always going to be a gimme. See, if anyone knows how to create and develop an F1 title, it’s Codies. Christ, they’ve been doing it long enough. 

But this is now a series that comes under the EA Sports banner. For the good and the bad that brings, you’ll find the positive aspects absolutely flourishing, rarely leaving you wanting. Yet you’ll never be in doubt that there has been some big old EA push behind it. Does F1 23 come with FIFA Ultimate Team levels of gamification? No, not anywhere near in fact. But it certainly feels like the groundwork is being laid to possibly push on with future editions. 

How that affects you will be highly personal. For us, we can take or leave it, preferring to let our on-track exploits do the talking as we ignore the bits we don’t like. 

And my god, does F1 23 let you do that talking. This is possibly the finest handling, smoothest, most tense of all F1 titles, as the long and storied history of the development team behind it nails everything needed in regards the on-track action. 

If you have even an inkling of love for F1 as a sport – and we guess you have if you’re reading this – then we urge you to grab your fireproof overalls and jump behind the wheel of F1 23 this instant. You’ll not regret a thing. 

f1 23 review 5
Got a love for F1? F1 23 is a must play

As you’d expect to hear, cars handle as if they are on rails, with only your level of skill the difference between total success and utter failure. F1 23 replicates the brilliance of the real world circus extremely well, leaving you in no doubt as to whether you have what it takes to succeed. 

It looks brilliant too. The official cars, tracks, drivers and liveries are all in place and so immersion levels are immediately high. The, now expected, broadcast style comms, sweeping camera shots and TV personalities are all present and correct too. In fact, if we’re looking at things visually, the only thing that ever lets F1 23 down is the slight uncanny valley feel to some of the pit lane reporting, blank stares of in-garage mechanics and the like. 

And it sounds just as good as it looks. Those broadcast oddities that come to the fore visually are blown away by the lines and chatter that help tease you into each race. There’s about as much info thrown your way as you will ever need, not just before and after races as the champagne sprays, but during the race too. A simple hit of the right bumper will have your engineer relaying the info towards your ears, as you concentrate on making up places or touching apexes. 

And yes, the slightly muted roar (yeah, we’ll call it a roar) of the hybrid F1 engines are just as good. Engines scream when they should, tyres scrabble around for grip and the feel as you throw your car into a corner or power down a straight is near second to none. Activating DRS or tweaking other settings is similarly great. 

f1 23 review 1
Konnersport Racing are the main thrust of Braking Point

We’d guess that those are the main selling points of F1 23 – you know, the ‘on-track’ stuff. But there are a host of modes, features, challenges and more to keep you fully entertained. 

Braking Point is back for a second series, and this is again a highlight. After the success of the Drive to Survive clone in F1 2021, it felt like a step back with its omission in F1 22. So having this front and centre for F1 23 yet again ensures the Netflix crowd can get their fix. 

I don’t want to go into what happens in Braking Point too much, for fear of spoiling the tale, but as long as you know that new team Konnersport Racing come to the grid with Aiden Jackson, Devon Butler and more fighting away, you should be sorted. It’s a really well-told story too, put together with some brilliant cutscenes and decision-making moments. And what’s nice is that it not only places focus on the plucky underdogs of the F1 paddock, but it also brings some lower formula and female representation to the table too. 

Yes, Braking Point may, ultimately, play out as a series of scenarios, brought together by a set of cutscenes and light management choices, but you’d be mad to miss out on what Codemasters and EA have created here. 

At least, you’d be mad if there wasn’t anything else to get involved in. But there is – there’s a whole ton of different racing opportunities in F1 23. 

f1 23 review 3
Braking Point is basically Drive to Survive

A full career obviously has to have a place, and this year we get to take that in alone or with a friend via a two-player career. There are choices galore in there too – will you focus on being a driver for an established race outfit, or prefer to run the team, getting behind the wheel to take your rookies to the top step of the podium? Choosing the latter nicely gives you plenty of starting options in terms of resource levels and the like. The former meanwhile allows the chance to jump straight into the fastest cars, or hone your craft in F2 (the 2022 season) first. Customising the length of career and season is also possible. 

Split-screen racing opportunities also arise, as does the chance to compete with others via player-owned leagues. Perhaps the latter is only really for the hardcore of the F1 fraternity, but at least the chance to show your budding racing skills to a global audience is possible. 

But whilst Braking Point and the Career may take centre stage, there’s some real excitement found in the newly revamped F1 World. It’s here where that EA stamp begins to get imprinted. 

F1 World plays host to a range of racing ideas, all sitting under a ‘Play’ banner. There’s a full series of different races to partake in, a number of various solo and multiplayer events and challenges, multiplayer racing and a long-list of goals to work towards. We’ve found these latter objectives to be extremely addictive, especially as ‘Weekly’ and ‘Seasonal’ goals are included. 

And what’s pretty neat – depending on how you see these things – is that everything in F1 World builds. Tiers and car upgrades are worked through, enhancing your chances with every lap. Improving the Tech Level of your car is the ultimate goal, and the more you play, the better you do, the further things open up. With a Podium Pass delivering and Supercar Tokens sitting behind in-game actions, there’s certainly reason to keep going back to F1 23. 

f1 23 review 2
Right up there with the best F1 racers

We’d also like to point to the Compendium here; a sticker book which you get to fill, depending on success levels. Aside from being strangely clunky to navigate around – especially in the early stages when numerous stickers are thrown your way – the Compendium is a fun little diversion away from the fast-paced on-track action. Is it needed? No, not at all. Is it EA flexing? Quite possibly. But we’re going to take it nonetheless, at least until we’re bored of it. 

Most importantly though, for all the features and modes on offer, for all the brilliance in the racing and visuals, it’s nice that F1 23 is hugely accessible. Pretty much anything and everything can be customised and personalised to ensure this is the F1 game YOU want to play. And credit must go to all behind the scenes for being able to make that happen. 

So, F1 23 is a step up from what was created in F1 22, and thanks to the inclusion of a second instalment of Braking Point, it’s right up there with F1 2021. In some aspects it surpasses that too. The racing is nigh on perfect, always tense, never forgiving, and the inclusion of F1 World is a whole pitstop ahead of what was delivered in the ‘Supercars’ experience of twelve months back.

It’s this which will ensure that F1 23 is a racer that will have you going back time and time again – even if it does feel like the start of some EA muscle moving onto the grid. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • The best looking F1 game yet?
  • The sound is equally impressive
  • A whole host of race opportunities
  • The return of Braking Point
Cons:
  • Character models can still seem a bit stiff
  • Do we need to waste minutes slamming down stickers?
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - EA
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 16 June 2023 | £69.99
Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.

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Wal Sanson
Wal Sanson
9 months ago

I find the ‘catch up’ programming has made the game less fun than the 2022 edition, you can’t pull away from the field even if you can put in quicker lap times, so you end up just sitting in 4th or 5th place until the last lap then passing everyone, a really good way to spoil a game, if you’re considering F1 ’23, save your money & get F1 ’22 , it’s more of a challenge

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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>The best looking F1 game yet?</li> <li>The sound is equally impressive</li> <li>A whole host of race opportunities</li> <li>The return of Braking Point</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Character models can still seem a bit stiff</li> <li>Do we need to waste minutes slamming down stickers?</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - EA</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 16 June 2023 | £69.99</li> </ul>F1 23 Review 
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