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EA SPORTS F1 24 Xbox Review – Polished and Immersive

EA SPORTS F1 24 by Codemasters and EA builds on the series’ legacy boasting meticulously recreated vehicles, tracks, and racing avatars that blur the line between game and reality. I am still relatively new to these games with F1 23 being the first title I properly dived into, so this review will analyse F1 24 coming from that point of view. I also reviewed this on the Xbox Series X and using a standard Xbox controller. This is a very polished and in-depth racing experience with some management and objective focus, and while it missed a couple of opportunities, it is an excellent F1 racing experience.

F1 24 performs exceptionally well on the Xbox Series X pushing its graphical limits. Spa, Lusail International Circuit, and Jeddah have received particularly stunning overhauls compared to previous F1 iterations, and the car models gleam with an almost lifelike quality. The AI drivers offered a good range of difficulty levels to cater to all skill sets. You can fine-tune the AI aggression to tailor the competition to your preferences, though I largely left those options alone. It was also awesome to see the current line-up of drivers available, but you can also choose to race as one of the legends of the sport like Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber.

The audio design complements the visuals perfectly. The roar of the engines as you shift gears and the screech of tires as you push the limits of grip are immersive. The inclusion of real driver radio chatter and engineer communication further adds to the atmosphere, making you feel like you’re truly in the cockpit of a F1 car. F2 makes a welcome return, offering a way to hone your skills before graduating to the main championship. Normally I would take this path, however given the review focus required, I went straight into F1.

The driver avatars have also been artfully recreated and I chose to start the career mode off as fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo. I was expecting to hear some of Ricciardo’s classic comments during the career introduction but to my disappointment, there was no such dialogue, not even his big toothy smile. His team manager has dialogue lines, but he had none, so I felt that landed flat. He does say some lines after each race which are taken from real race scenarios. Once I was behind the wheel, I quickly moved on and got stuck into the racing. It took a few screens to emulate the week’s business happenings leading into each race weekend, and then I was behind the wheel and having a blast.

One of the highlights of the media preview for F1 24 was the EA SPORTS dynamic handling model with core improvements to the tire model and aerodynamics. Coming from F1 23 myself, I didn’t notice too much of a difference in controlling of the car, so this is an easy introduction for newcomers. No doubt higher difficulties would give the player much more feel over the car. F1 24 introduces a more comprehensive tire wear and temperature system. Aggressive driving, dirty air from following closely behind another car, and even track temperature will all play a role in how quickly your tires degrade.

Aerodynamics also got a significant upgrade with the inclusion of a new airflow simulation system. This translates to a more realistic representation of downforce and drag, particularly when it comes to slipstreaming (following closely behind another car for a reduced drag effect) and using DRS (Drag Reduction System) within proximity of rivals and in designated zones. No doubt sim racers will have plenty to say but for a novice to these games, the racing felt spot on for what I was expecting. I improved my lines with each lap and as I learned how each track felt through practicing and qualifying rounds, before facing the big event days.

Wet weather races come alive in F1 24 even on casual difficulty. While the grip level is more forgiving than F1 23, navigating a rain-soaked track still demands a different approach. You’ll need to adapt your driving style, exercise extra caution on slick surfaces, and master the art of staying afloat to avoid a spin-out. You can always flick up the tyre condition with ‘B’ to keep an eye on them as the track dries or gets more rain soaked, helping to make the decision whether to continue or to pit. This adds a strategic layer to each race, keeping you and your engineer team on their toes.

The revamped career mode in F1 24 emerges as a true highlight and can be played solo or two-player co-op for a driver pairing. Team up with a friend and work together towards shared goals or create a rivalry and see who can dominate the championship. It offers a deeper and more interactive experience compared to previous iterations and is broken down into the following key innovations this year:

Driver Reputation System: Your actions on and off the track now have a tangible impact on your reputation. Strong performances, clean racing, and completing objectives set by your team will build your reputation. This reputation unlocks better contract offers from teams and influences the level of R&D (Research and Development) support you receive from your current team. A high reputation essentially makes you a more attractive driver in the driver market.

R&D System with Strategic Focus: The new R&D system allows you to allocate resources towards specific areas of car development based on your driving style and your team’s strengths and weaknesses. You can choose to invest in developing a more powerful engine and improved aerodynamic package or focus resources into improving tire wear resistance and car handling. This new system adds a layer of strategic decision-making to your career progression depending on how much you want to engage and your knowledge of real-world F1 racing.

Driver Accolades: Long-term goals are set based on exceeding team expectations and achieving milestones, and these provide a greater sense of accomplishment beyond just winning races. These accolades give you a sense of direction and keep you pushing yourself throughout the season.

EA SPORTS F1 24 on Xbox Series X is a polished and exhilarating racing experience that builds upon the strengths of the franchise. For newcomers to F1 games like me, F1 24 is a fantastic entry point. The revamped handling system makes it very accessible for newcomers, while the stunning visuals and deep career mode keep you hooked. The audio design and driver comments after races adds to the immersion of the engaging career modes, though I wish they spoke more in the week’s events leading into each race. Otherwise, the game has plenty of new gameplay systems to create a more realistic, strategic, and engaging racing experience.

This review utilised an Xbox key provided by EA Australia and EA SPORTS F1 24 is out now on PC and consoles.


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