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F1 24 review - a solid but skippable racing sim

Our F1 24 review looks at changes to Career Mode and the Dynamic Handling system's introduction to determine whether it's worth your time.

F1 24 review: The Formula One car of the Kick Sauber Motorsport team.

Our Verdict

F1 24's new additions and changes, including its barebones Career Mode and overly forgiving Dynamic Handling system, often do more harm than good, making this a solid but skippable entry for anyone other than the most diehard fans.

F1 24 is my reintroduction to EA’s racing series after reviewing the 2020 and 2021 releases and then skipping the last two entries. I’m always eager to see iterative improvements, especially after an extended break, but – sadly – F1 24’s new features failed to pique my interest, certain modes like the revamped Driver Career disappoint, and the Dynamic Handling system makes me question the series’ direction.

I might be in the minority here, but I’m most drawn to sports games with career modes. Nothing beats starting as a rookie and being invested in the journey and drama as you claw your way to the top. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in F1 24, since there’s no Braking Point story mode this year. Instead, there are tweaks to Driver Career, which left me unenthused.

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Driver Career now allows you to choose F1 icons and F2 competitors. However, I started this mode by making my Filipino character, finishing a short stint in F2 to gain additional EXP and attribute points, before making my way to the big leagues of F1. Upon signing a one-year contract with Ferrari and learning about the Recognition system – a means of unlocking more R&D upgrades and functions – I realized that my standing had very little to do with my performance throughout the season. Instead, the system is primarily based on your overall rating compared to your teammate’s.

I played a full season with 24 races, including tracks in China, Belgium, and Las Vegas (Portugal isn’t active by default but is selectable). Having won most of these races – with my teammate Charles Leclerc sometimes placing third at best – I still found myself at a 36% to 64% Recognition disadvantage (only unlocking the first upgrade). It was frustrating to see the system disregard multiple victories throughout the season in favor of a slower grind.

F1 24 review: The Recognition system shows the difference between the player’s character and their teammate’s acclaim.

Likewise, the secret meeting mechanic, which allowed me to negotiate with other constructors, was underwhelming at best. I could only have dealings with one organization each season, and these are shown as three identical cutscenes at certain intervals. If your own team discovers this dealing, then it could adversely affect your Recognition, too.

Worse still, since a lot of R&D resources came from practice runs, which I skipped, I was left with precious little to spend. I also relied primarily on my partner’s R&D choices, meaning I could’ve just automated the R&D process since I had such little input anyway.

F1 24 review: The player is driving behind Charles Leclerc, while another driver, Fernando Alonso, attempts an overtake maneuver.

Speaking of Leclerc, the game had him assigned in the Teammate Rivalry category. My other two potential rivals depended on whoever was closest in terms of championship points and overall rating. At first, I wondered if this would lead to more dynamic interactions, but that wasn’t the case. For example, Driver Rating Rivalry changed as I climbed through the ranks from Lance Stroll (80 RTG) to Oscar Piastri (84 RTG) and George Russell (87 RTG). There were no cutscenes, interviews, or interactions. The whole thing was just a menu screen/panel where I’d sometimes receive experience points toward an attribute should I manage to outrank them.

Progression otherwise includes various customization options (i.e. liveries, decals, helmets, suits, and casual wear) that you can use in other modes. Unfortunately, most cosmetics are found in the in-game store and are only purchasable using the Pitcoin premium currency. It was also somewhat jarring to see my character living in a mansion filled with collector’s memorabilia paid for not via racing wins but by gaining Pitcoins as I leveled up the free battle pass.

F1 24 review: The player makes MyTeam choices with regards to sponsor, engine, and their teammate, Michael Schumacher.

While playing through the Driver Career seasons, I also decided to give MyTeam a shot. I enjoyed this mode in previous years, but I was surprised to see how little F1 24 mixes it up. I was still attending press interviews, designating weekly activities, hitting sponsor goals, and assigning R&D upgrades – I was just going through the motions. In the end, racing with Michael Schumacher as my teammate and being more involved (compared to Driver Career) were the highlights of this otherwise unchanged mode.

Then there’s the returning F1 World feature, which replaces quick access solo races, grand prix, and time trials with an interactive menu or suite. There’s also the FanZone, where you choose your favorite constructor and driver, and you get to see the rankings/points of other players who made the same picks. I found this mode fairly uninteresting as someone who isn’t particularly into community interactions, leagues, or multiplayer in F1 games. Your mileage may vary.

F1 24 review: The player speeds away after colliding with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, causing the rest of the pack to stop due to faulty driver AI.

Dynamic Handling, meanwhile, will likely prove to be a contentious change. While I’m comfortable using both a gamepad (Logitech F310) and racing wheel plus pedal setup (an old and cheap PXN V3 Pro), handling felt a bit off this year. For instance, the ‘sausage kerbs’ at Imola usually demand braking at those sharp turns, yet this time I just sped past them with barely a sweat.

Tires now have ridiculously strong grip, gaining traction regardless of the surface. Gravel on the side of the tracks, which caused my car to spin out of control if I made mistakes in previous games, is easily ignored with careful powerslides. At one point, I even had to double-check my settings to confirm that I hadn’t accidentally enabled certain assists. This all results in F1 24’s handling feeling overly forgiving, which helps gamepad users but makes the game too easy and, in some ways, more arcadey than realistic.

F1 24 review: A view from behind the wheel while playing VR Mode.

Driver AI also remains disappointingly predictable. I noticed how everyone still happily queues at tight turns as if they’re waiting for the cashier to scan their groceries. No one made risky or underhanded moves, which allowed me to get away with minor collisions and corner-cutting. I had more fun putting my Manila-based driving skills to the test by causing a ruckus in narrower tracks like Azerbaijan, Singapore, and Monaco. I’d bump into Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, slamming them into a wall and causing the rest of the pack to pause, with several drivers getting disqualified since they were unwilling to move and find a new path.

From a performance standpoint, I couldn’t find anything to complain about. F1 24 boasts impressive visual fidelity where real driver models and scenic tracks are concerned. With an Nvidia RTX 3080, Intel i9-10900K, and 32GB RAM, I was able to play at 4K resolution with the highest F1 24 settings selected – the performance benchmark noted that I averaged around 100 fps, too. Similarly, the audio and sound effects provide an unparalleled rush as engines roar at each turn and straightaway.

F1 24 review: A view of the player’s Philippine-inspired car livery.

I also tried the VR Mode, albeit briefly. While the experience was stable enough (the whole screen wasn’t jerking and bobbing around if I moved my head), the textures were blurry and rough around the edges. I can’t judge this feature too harshly, however, as I’m using a Quest 3 headset connected via cable (and a USB Type-A at that).

F1 2024 ultimately failed to reignite my passion for the series. Career Mode is underwhelming – I’d even go so far as to say that solo Driver Career should just be merged with MyTeam or F1 World. Dynamic Handling, meanwhile, makes things too easy at the expense of realism and immersion. So with the latest features and inclusions being of such varying quality, there’s just not enough here to warrant a purchase for anyone besides the most diehard F1 racing game fans.