F1 24 Review - Screenshot 1 of 5

There's something very "wannabe cool dad energy" about F1 as a sport. It's just one of those things. For every spectacular crash, breathtaking win or undeniable display of driving greatness... there's still a wrap-around shades sort of a vibe, a sort-of neatly trimmed salt and pepper beard aspect to the whole thing that it can never escape. In our minds, at least.

Codemasters has been making these cool dad games for a long-ass time now though, (this is their 15th in a row!) they are maestros when it comes to putting digital renditions of very expensive sports cars onto immaculately reconstructed tracks and then making them feel all real and whatnot. They're also in the habit of allowing the dad vibes and energy to flow, with drab office environments between races that are full of cringe patter, very tight suits and all the sorts of things that would have us reaching for the nearest window if they were to occur around us in real life.

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And this is the recipe, the very same blueprint for success that we've got with EA's F1 24. It's a racer that gives you all the very fast car stuff, immaculately presented and with a racing model that sits exactly where we feel it ought to. It's quite arcadey by default, the sort of thing you can jump into straight away without worrying about crashing straight into the nearest sand trap, but there's depth if you need it. Codies know how to make a driving game feel great better than pretty much anyone, and they've done that again here with driving that's incredibly slick, fast and exciting when races get into the tight, close-quarters, leaderboard battling good-stuff.

The new "dynamic handling" system doesn't feel hugely different to last year though, if we're being totally honest. It does feel like it's designed to make controllers more comfortable/sensitive to car movements, and it is very nice on the default Xbox pad, but don't go in expecting some huge overhaul. If you're hitting good times in F1 23, you'll still be hitting them here.

By the same token, it's not going to win you over if you've not enjoyed previous iterations. This is a spectacularly similar affair overall in how it plays, with a few tweaks here and there. But if you love your F1, well, you already know how much effort's been put in, how much depth there is to unlock once you peel away assists, pump up the difficulty and really start pushing those lap times.

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And you know, we do love our F1, no matter how boring folk may think it is from time to time. No matter how much auld da energy it brings to the table (lots), it still makes for a hell of a video game - which is what we're here for, innit. Call us old-fashioned, but there's just nothing like a sweaty enclosed track race to make flying around in a car feel exciting and dangerous, counting those precious seconds and weaving masterfully through a tight crowd. And this is where the F1 games have always excelled. They take a little mastering, you'll want to learn the tracks and turn off those awful driving lines, but put the effort in and this is a celebration of this most-dad-of-sports that delivers everything you could really ask of it.

We've seen a little upset online already about the new driving model, but in our opinion it feels pretty much in the right ballpark; hugely tweakable and flexible enough for both beginners and experts to find the right balance. There is a setting that makes off-track terrain easier to manoeuvre across when you crash — this is on by default — and we're not sure if this is causing some of this upset as it's unrealistic until changed in the menus. Once that's been tweaked, we've found this to be an incredibly slick, bug-free and challenging affair on the right settings for us (all assists off/difficulty at 60 starting out, for those curious).

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Of course, EA is involved now too, so there's an EA-ness to F1 24 that can't be avoided - there has been for a few seasons, and that brings all the swooshy XP stuff you can imagine. The battle pass-style nonsense and unlockable bits and bobs. It's a whole thing. We're bored to tears with it at this stage, and it feels a bit weird in an F1 game, but it's there for those who enjoy unlocking skins and whatnot. Fill your big sexy racing boots as it's entirely optional!

In terms of the biggest changes for returning fans this year, it's the boost we get in career mode that's of most interest. You can still play a regular single player career, or a full co-op season with a friend online - giving you the chance to work together on a team, earning R&D points and all that jazz, or even going head-to-head in order to ensure somebody, somewhere breaks their television in a rage. This year you can also take part in an all-new Challenge Career, which sees you jump into action online in bite-sized scenarios complete with their own seasonal leaderboards.

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In Challenge career you choose a real-world racing driver and compete in a bunch of ever-changing events with your score and performance analysed against everyone else, and honestly, we can see ourselves spending quite a bit of time dipping back in here just for the head-to-head challenge to keep us on our toes. Alongside all the usual online modes for multiplayer, the returning F1 World gives you more online challenges to compete in, whilst the story mode (Braking Point) takes the year off this time around.

Another very good F1 game, then. No big surprises, but credit to Codemasters for continuing this long-running streak of very good F1 games, nevertheless. Very good.


F1 24 gives fans of cool dad energy another superbly polished racer to indulge in for the upcoming season of loud car driving. The new "dynamic handling" system makes things feel nicer whilst using a gamepad, and Challenge Career feels like a genuinely great addition that we'll continue to play over the year. It looks and sounds as good as ever, there's plenty of fun to be had in co-op and online modes, and if you dig deep you'll find a fiendishly exciting and incredibly fast racer that can test your skills to the max if you let it - whilst remaining welcoming for newbies who need to tone things down a bit. That's pretty much all we could have asked for.