Handling and throttle improvements are under the hood; The 2 brake point provides the polished look
F1 23 Launching on June 16, Codemasters and EA Sports announced Wednesday, the Formula 1 racing simulator will indeed bring back a narrative mode, as well as several courses that aren’t on this year’s F1 calendar but have been fan favorites lately.
In terms of the big features in the back of the box, Braking Point Chapter 2, already previewed on Friday, gets the most attention. Devon Butler, the villain of F1 2021Debuting in narrative mode, he returns as the top driver for the fictional Konnersport; So does Aiden Jackson, the youngest of the two playable drivers from Chapter 1 (his teammate Casper Ackermann, who urged Butler to eliminate him in Abu Dhabi to finish the season, has retired). It looks like the Braking Point sequel will feature a mix of live-action and pre-rendered scenes, with real-life drivers (even Max Verstappen!) getting involved.
The “classic” tracks are familiar to any fan who’s played the game over the past three or four years: Circuit Paul Ricard in France, Shanghai International Circuit (China) and Portimao (Algarve International Circuit, Portugal). Those three have been confirmed for “launch,” Wednesday’s announcement said, suggesting that others may be added at a later date.
F123 It will also debut two new tracks – the Losail International Circuit in Qatar and the Las Vegas Strip, which will match the Grand Prix that will be held there in October and November, respectively. A total of 26 courses will be available at launch.
In terms of gameplay additions and improvements, a press release highlighted new control technology to give gamepad players “better control and confidence in crucial racing moments”. Races can now be set to 33% of their actual distance (previous settings were full, half, quarter or five laps), increasing accessibility to a growing audience. And yes, for the old fans who asked for it, red-flag pit stops and restarts will be part of this year’s game, for the first time.
Codemasters also says it has retrieved data packets from the F1 teams themselves to create a handling model that is more realistic in terms of tire aerodynamics and stability. “Improvements in engine torque and inertia also mean that throttle control is more realistic and provides a higher level of connection to the vehicle,” CodeMasters said.
Speaking from experience, driving on a gamepad without traction control or braking assist enabled was nearly impossible due to the throttle input, even on an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. So perhaps this, combined with new gamepad technology, will allow controller drivers with Experience stopping more passes (and pursuing faster lap times).
F123 Arrives June 16th to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5; Windows PC via EA Launcher, Epic Games Store, and Steam; Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Two editions will be available, a standard edition and a digital-only Champions Edition offering lots of additional in-game content and cosmetic items.