F1 23, the latest instalment of the popular racing game series by EA Sports and Codemasters, is set to release on 16 June 2023, and we had a chance to try out a preview version of the game ahead of its launch. Based on our hands-on impressions, F1 23 continues the franchises ability to offer a spectacular and realistic Formula 1 experience, perhaps even more so than ever thanks to improved handling, physics, and visuals.

Braking Point Returns

One of the highlights of F1 23 preview is the return of the story mode, Braking Point. This mode follows the careers of three drivers: Aiden Jackson, Devon Butler, and Callie Mayer. Aiden is a young rookie who joins Konnersport Racing Team, a new team on the F1 grid. Devon is his arrogant and experienced teammate, who also happens to be his rival. Callie is Devon’s sister and the first woman to win the F2 championship. She is eager to get her shot in F1, but will she have to replace Aiden or Devon?

Braking Point is a thrilling and immersive mode letting gamers experience the drama and action of Formula One both on and off the track. Players can choose to play as any of the three characters and make choices affecting the outcome of the story. They can also interact with other drivers, team members, journalists, and fans through social media and cutscenes. Better still, the mode also features voice acting from real-life F1 personalities such as Natalie Pinkham, Will Buxton, and David Croft.

New Circuits and Features

The F1 23 preview offered access to two new circuits to the series: Las Vegas and Qatar. The Las Vegas Street Circuit is a brand new layout that has never been raced in real life – allowing gamers to race it several months before the circuit makes it’s real world debut. It takes players through the iconic Strip and offers a challenging and exciting track with tight corners, fast straights, and elevation changes. The Qatar circuit is based on the Losail International Circuit that hosted the first F1 race in 2021. It is a fast and flowing track with long straights and sweeping curves.

In addition to the new circuits, F1 23 also adds some new features enhancing the realism and gameplay of the series. One of these are red flags, which can stop the race in case of a major incident or bad weather. Red flags add more drama and strategy to races, as gamers will have to adapt to changing conditions and restarts. Another new feature is the 35% race distance option, which strikes a balance between short and long races while still requiring a mandatory pit stop.

Improved Handling and Graphics

F1 23 also boasts some improvements in terms of handling and graphics. The developers have worked closely with real-life F1 teams and drivers to refine the handling and physics of the cars, making them more stable, responsive, and authentic. The cars now have more traction out of slow corners, more progressive torque delivery, and more realistic slip and grip effects. The game also introduces a new ‘PrecisionDrive technology’ for players who prefer using controllers, which helps control the car better and avoid simple controller input mistakes. The balance between aerodynamics and tyre grip has also been improved, resulting in a much more authentic feel.

Graphics seen in the F1 23 preview are also pretty great, thanks to a new colour encoding system delivering a more true-to-life visual experience. The game supports up to 4K resolution and 120 FPS on next-gen consoles and PC, as well as ray tracing effects for enhanced lighting and reflections. There is also dynamic weather and time of day effects, changing the appearance and performance of the tracks.

F1 World: A New Hub for Content

F1 23 also introduces a new hub for content called F1 World. This is where players can access various modes and features such as Career Mode, My Team Mode, Grand Prix Mode, and quite a bit more. The hub also allows gamers to earn rewards and upgrades for their cars by completing challenges and objectives across different modes. Car customisation is also a key point, where appearance and performance can be modified with various liveries, helmets, suits, gloves, badges, decals, parts, setups, etc. Better still, these creations can be shared with other players online or those of other players can be download to their own game.

Worth the wait?

Courtesy of the F1 23 preview, it is nice to see the game shaping up to be a good new entry in the series, one that appears to offer a lot of content and features for Formula One fans and newcomers alike. The game has a fairly interesting story mode, two new circuits, a host of new features, improved handling and graphics, and a new hub for content. These should, hopefully, allow for higher replay value with customisation coming to the forefront, but only time will tell once the game launches.

Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.