F1 24 is slick and polished on all platforms – but feels like more of the same

June 5, 2024
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Having a new F1 game release annually creates a real challenge to innovate – to truly rework its visuals and features – and so with F1 24 we have a more iterative entry this time around. With that being said, there are key upgrades. In particular F1 24 brings entirely reworked tracks, with fan favourites like Silverstone and Circuit de Spa – and more – getting major overhauls compared to F1 23. Equally, the drivers get a facelift. All 20 official F1 drivers are re-scanned in to create a more up-to-date likeness, with improved hair rendering to boot. At its core, developer Codemasters continues to use its EGO engine here and who could blame them – it’s a proven, dependable foundation, a technology that’s served the team well. It’s scalable. It’s fully cross-gen, and on PC and newer consoles it’s capable of ray tracing. Fundamentally the question has to be raised though: are we getting a next generation F1 experience out of this engine? Is it a radical difference from last year’s effort?

First up, being an even numbered year, the Braking Point story mode is given a miss this time. Potentially we’ll see the next chapter in 2025, but for now, the career mode is the real focus for solo play. On the plus side, new cutscenes are added between each race, essentially putting the game’s new driver models in clear view. These are closely remodelled – with results now better reflecting their style in the 2024 campaign. We get more accurate skin and eye shaders and a huge improvement to hair rendering in particular, with Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso letting their tresses flow freely. Funnily enough, the limits of F1 23’s hair rendering have been disguised thus far by having each wear their team caps. On a general level, every freckle and dimple is recreated for F1 24 and the way light interacts with skin and hair creates a much more authentic result.

Next up, a lucky quartet of tracks see a complete overhaul this year. Silverstone in the UK, Circuit de Spa in Belgium, the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar and finally Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia are brought up to date with a meticulous re-profiling of the road from Codemasters. Comparing F1 23 to F1 24, elevation changes are factored into every incline, turn and strait.

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