F1 24 Review

June 1, 2024

F1 24 Hands-On

Another year brings another F1 game, and we are now at the point where the Electronic Arts branding has been well and truly cemented back into the franchise. While Codemasters still have full developmental control over the game, F1 24 now also benefits from superior eSports racing and a larger budget. This year’s iteration brings a new Dynamic Handling system, updated tracks, and a fully overhauled Career mode at the expense of the Braking Point story mode, so let’s take a look at what’s new this year and make a decision on whether F1 24 is worth reaching into your back pocket for.

We went hands-on with F1 24 ahead of its launch, and found it to be a fresh update from last year’s game. While there’s nothing revolutionary, Codemasters has completely overhauled Career Mode. Players can now be One of the 20, building on existing real-world stats from your favourite F1 driver. Want to add more awareness to Esteban Ocon? Maybe some more experience for Aussie favourite Oscar Piastri? F1 24 Career Mode lets you live out these fantasies, and see how it can impact the standings throughout the season. Of course, there’s also the option to play as yourself, starting as an F2 driver and working your way up to F1 or simply starting in F1 and kicking out One of the 20.

This year’s Career Mode is basically the new story mode. The predictable (and frankly beginner’s experience) Braking Point is out, making way for a much more in-depth Career Mode. Not only is there the standard career, but F1 24 also introduces Challenge Career where you face mini scenarios, not unlike Braking Point, and compete for the best scores on worldwide leaderboards. We found this mode to be immersive and frustratingly fun, pitting you in some insurmountable scenarios where a race win is out of the question. Now we know what it’s like to be Kevin Magnussen. Speaking of F1 legends (we’re here for you, Kev), another new feature includes bringing back legendary icons such as Schumacher and Senna to continue their F1 Legacy. There’s a lot of different options in this year’s Career Mode, and we think it more than makes up for the lack of the introduction-esque Braking Point story.

The most fiercely debated update in F1 24 will certainly be the EA Sports Dynamic Handling system, making your drive more realistic than ever. We’ve read the comments, both positive and negative, but it’s hard to fault the new handling system when drivers like Charles LeClerc and Alex Albon had no issues racing around Monaco with it in the F1 24 The 10 Racers event. Sure, the new Dynamic Handling system will put some players off, but it has been designed in collaboration with an individual that knows a thing or two about F1 cars and has the last name Verstappen. Max assured us that this year’s F1 24 would be the closest experience to the real thing, whether using a controller or wheel.

Speaking of which, we fired up our Thrustmaster SF1000 Ferrari Formula Wheel and straight out of the box, everything worked natively on Windows PC. There are three different screen displays for the SF1000 which can be adjusted using the switches on the wheel, but unfortunately it doesn’t yet have the screen with the Overtake assist that we see on the real-world wheels this year. Thrustmaster have usually released an update a month or two after the launch of each F1 game, so hopefully we will see the updated screen soon. We also used an Xbox Series X/S controller, taking a few of the cars for a spin in various modes. While it’s definitely harder to get those top lap times with a controller, we could still feel the new Dynamic Handling system at work and accept that some novice players will find the changes frustrating at first.

F1 24 Hands-On

F1 World is back and bigger than ever with a new Fanzone where you can keep track of your progress against other like-minded fans and unlock exclusive limited-time items like helmets, race gear and car liveries. This is where you’ll find the Podium Pass, a premium system where you can spend real-world money to unlock even more items as you progress. It doesn’t feel overly invasive and it’s important to remember that all of the items offered here are vanity or boosters that don’t increase your speed in online races. MyTeam mode also returns, allowing you to control an F1 Team but this mode stops incredibly short of offering the amount of depth that you’ll find in the full F1 Manager 2024 game launching in July. We’d love to see the full manager mode implemented into the base F1 game at some stage, but unfortunately for us there’s more money in keeping them separate.

Online competitive modes can be found in F1 World and League Racing, with F1 Esports expected to migrate from F1 23 soon. For now, it’s worth levelling up your licence and division in F1 World which will also work towards unlocking items to upgrade your F1 World car. If you think you’re getting serious about F1 Esports, it’s worth watching some videos by Esports drivers such as Jarno or Otis to learn some much needed skills to work your way up the leaderboards and compete against the best.

Visually, a big change in F1 24 is the driver models. Noticeable improvements have been made to skin and eye shaders, while the most noticeable change is the hair. Each driver has had a full hair rendering, making for some funny moments as drivers judge their teammates. There are also a bunch of new cut-scenes that help make the game feel more like you’re watching the action, but probably the most important update is that four key tracks have been completely remodelled to bring them up to speed with the 2024 calendar. Silverstone, Spa, Lusail and Jeddah have all received much needed makeovers across all aspects of the track including paddock buildings and trackside artwork. We’re expecting Codemasters to update a couple more tracks as part of the content roadmap, though nothing has been announced at the time of writing this review.

The F1 24 PC system requirements are not outrageous, though you may need a decent rig if you’re wanting to play in 4K resolution or in VR. We got away with our slightly older rig, playing in Full HD on a NVIDIA GTX 1080, with the 1060 (6GB) being the minimum required. On the other end of the spectrum, Codemasters and EA are now recommending at least an RTX 3070 or RX 6800. Most modern wheels are available at launch, though if you have a logitech wheel you’ll need to update your GHub first. We experienced no framerate issues, and after running the built-in benchmark test, F1 24 performed optimally to our setup.

Oftentimes, yearly iteration sports games have barely anything to discuss when it comes to the game’s audio, but this year Codemasters and EA Sports have worked with all 20 drivers to add voice acting, greatly adding to the game’s immersion. Most of the audio has been borrowed from real-world races, but there are some fantasy moments. For example, you can now hear what it would be like for Kevin Magnussen to win a Formula 1 race, as well as many other race situations. There may be no smooth operator audio and unfortunately we’ve missed the opportunity to include Kimi and Seb (for now), but we hope this new feature is built on in the future, bringing legend drivers into the mix using the borrowed audio from historic races. Aside from that, all engine sounds have been updated to the 2024 cars, and we noticed a little more environmental sound when you hit the curbs at 300kph.

It’s clear that Codemasters has spent a lot of time developing every area of the game ensuring F1 24 is a big enough update from F1 23, but there will always be fans that disagree and complain unless the game is a complete rebuild. F1 24 offers new and expanded Career Modes, an immersive F1 World mode with many options, realistic Dynamic Handling, updated tracks, driver models and voices, and pretty much allows you to play the game however you want. It’s an improvement on last year’s iteration, and we hope F1 25 builds on this further, remodelling more tracks and adding more dialogue.

Rocket Chainsaw reviewed F1 24 on Windows PC via Steam with review provided by the publisher. F1 24 is also available on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more information, head to the official website.

Positives:

- Expanded career modes
- Dynamic, realistic handling
- Updated driver models and real voices!

Negatives:

- F1 Team mode very limited compared to the full F1 Manager 2024 game
- Braking Point is gone
Novice drivers may be overwhelmed by the Dynamic Handling.

Overall Score: