The release of F1 23 brings back Breaking Point, continuing the story mode that went on hiatus in last year’s release from EA and Codemasters.
Hit your Breaking Point
Played here on PS5 the game is also available on PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Steam and Epic Games.
Precision Drive Technology delivers greater control for players using a controller to play. It gives a feel to the driving that has never been present in any F1 game I have ever played in the past. Start to lose the back end of your hybrid beast from getting a bit trigger happy with the accelerator and you can now correct the slide with confidence. This allows you to push the limits knowing that you are one with the car rather than a passenger who is along for the ride.
The game is broken down into 3 main sections:
- Breaking Point – Story Mode
- Career – Single or Two Player
- F1 World – Solo, Multiplayer and Time Trials
What has been great about the F1 games over the last few years has been the abundance of customisation options. This means things can be taken from an accessible arcade feel right up to a punishing realistic SIM level. This level of control over settings continues here in F1 23.
Breaking Point sees the return of series regulars Devon Butler and Aiden Jackson (plus others I’ll not spoil). Centering around the new fictional team Konnersport, the story mode not only sees players take on the role of the different drivers in the team but also puts you in the shoes of the team principal—your decisions affecting team Performance or Reputation.
Graphics & Audio
Players are given the option of choosing between a “Performance” or “Quality” setting for graphics priority. There don’t seem to be any significant changes in the visuals from previous years. It’s more evolution than revolution.
The game has a default HUD-less design which I really like. It did come with a caveat though causing a soft lock and preventing progress in the story mode. A quick trip to the EA help forum had details on how to circumvent this issue.
The highly detailed character models in Breaking Point are really excellent. Their performances also match up to how good they look. It would be great to see this level of quality brought to the race cutscenes – like the end of race celebrations, podium scenes and post race interviews. The presentation of the Breaking Point mode gives the feel of a season of the F1 Netflix series Drive to Survive. It’s really well done.
The in game driving animations are superb with the steering animation especially adding to the realism. Watch as the driver wrestles with the steering wheel as different surfaces and bumps in the track affect the ride. There’s even a little subtle movement of the finger to activate the DRS.
There are some lighting and shadow quirks that have been present in a couple of the previous games in the series and it would be nice to see these ironed out.
On the sound front, the audio is brilliant, especially on a headset. I never get bored of that distinctive whine of the hybrid engines. Paired with the haptics and adaptive triggers (recommend changing to strong setting) of the DualSense controller and you’ve got immersive feedback for the senses that excellently compliments the perfect driving experience.
The team have done a really nice job on the UI here with everything contained in the one main menu. Each section off the main menu has its own dedicated menu. It’s clean and easy to navigate. One issue I did find was having to return all the way back out to the main menu to adjust some settings. It would be nice if these settings were accessible from within each of the sub menus.
Players can also customise the menu music to their preference from the “EA Music” option in the settings.
The Breaking Point story will take around 8 to 10 hours to complete. The setup of F1 World means there are constant rewards for playing and goals to aim for. F1 23 offers plenty to get lost in before you even brave the online multiplayer.
For trophy hunters there are 50 trophies to aim for. The list includes 36 bronze, 11 silver, 2 gold and a platinum. As usual online play features heavily here.
F1 23 really nails the driving experience like no iteration has done before. Catching slides makes you feel every bit the seasoned F1 driver. It’s a game changer.
The Breaking Point story mode is really well done with some great acting, story twists/turns and some top notch cutscenes that heighten the drama.
It’s time now for the franchise to move up the grid and onto current gen only release, carrying forward the pieces that have been mastered. Codemasters must press the foot to the floor and finally put some of the quirks that have been hanging around the game for a few years now firmly in the rear view mirrors.
This one takes the chequered flag with a very strong Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.