There are three constants in life. Death, taxes, and a new F1 video game being released every year. Since 2009, without fail, Codemasters has delivered a new F1 game depicting the current season. Only the almighty himself can stop those mad lads in Birmingham. Thanks to an early F1 23 preview code provided by EA, we had a chance to get behind the wheel of the newest F1 game and get all the juicy details.
What tracks are in F1 23?
F1 23 features all 20 tracks from the official 2023 season, including the brand-new Las Vegas Strip Street Circuit and Losali International Circuit. The following tracks are not featured in this year’s season: Circuit Paul Richard, Shanghai International Circuit, and Algarve International Circuit. But are still inclued in F1 23 as bonus tracks and brings the total count to 23.
F1 23 Preview – Visuals
The venerable EGO 4.0 engine has been rolled out once again with improvements made to the lighting and shadows. A chromatic aberration effect has been added to the post processing pipeline. For this preview, I opted to play the game on my PC rig with an AMD Ryzen 3700X, Geforce RTX 3070 and 32GB of DDR4 memory. Even with Ultra High settings across the board and the resolution set to 4K, I was maintaining frame rates above 80fps without the need to rely on high fidelity upscaling.
However, F1 23 still supports every upscaling technology under the sun: DLSS 2.4, DLSS3, Intel XeSS and FSR. These should help anyone with lower spec machines hit more desirable framerates, assuming their cards support the technology.
If you have pockets deeper than the Kali Gandaki Valley and own a computer that costs more than your car, you can enhance the visuals further by exploiting the game’s suite of Ray tracing options for the shadows, reflections and ambient occlusion.
In addition to Windows, F1 23 is being released on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S | X. But we didn’t have access to these versions during the preview phase.
F1 23 Preview – VR Support
The biggest draw to playing this game on PC is the inclusion of VR support. Like F1 22, you can play the entire game in VR and it’s spectacular. Driving an F1 car on a regular screen is already an exciting experience. But being placed behind the wheel of one inside a virtual space increases the immersion tenfold.
Those deadly walls and rival cars are more intimidating when viewed in VR. My heart was racing like someone who drinks Monster Energy and hates water. There currently is no news of VR support being added to F1 23 on the PS4 or PS5.
What’s new in F1 23?
The improvements made to F1 23 are not strictly cosmetic. Codemasters has improved the audio design with the sounds of your gearbox and engine delivering a greater punch when compared to last year’s entry.
Outside the presentation, the handling and controls have received an overhaul in F1 23. The controls are tighter than a cheapskate with the desire to make the experience more enjoyable for gamepad users, while improving the realism of the handling and physics. Although, serious players will always opt for a racing wheel.
Do cars really have this many buttons?
Like its predecessors, F1 23 includes numerous ways to tweak the difficulty to match your skill level. New to the world of F1? You can play the game with brake and steering assists until you’re ready to remove the training wheels. Are you a seasoned F1 player? Full damage model, no anti-lock brakes, and zero driving lines. Make the racing as difficult as finding a good coffee at Starbucks. The power is yours!
“I’m sorry, I have to give up racing. I’ve finally reached my… Braking Point.”
Braking Point, the story driven campaign makes a return in F1 23. Featuring races bookended by pre-rendered cutscenes. If you prefer to play the game without the storyline. You can always play through the Grand Prix or Time Trial mode and jump straight into the action. The preview build didn’t include the revamped F1 World or any of the online components. However, these features will be included in the final build.
With the improvements made to the car handling and audio-visual design. F1 23 is shaping up to be a promising entry and another feather in Codemasters’ cap. Stay tuned for the full review when the embargo lifts later this month.
A preview code was kindly provided by EA Australia for the purpose of our F1 23 preview. Be sure to check back when our full F1 23 review is live, and in the mean time join the Qualbert Discord to chat with the author about his experience in the preview!