Gaming: F1 23 release date confirmed as 16 June
Next F1 game adds Vegas track and brings back the soap opera...
What all true F1 fans know is that 50 per cent of the fun is the on-track action and the other 50 per cent is the petty squabbling between drivers who have just touched wheels at 180mph. In fact, after a few processional races this season and Max Verstappen calling George Russell a 'princess', the split might be closer to 30/70. That's why you'll be pleased to hear that F1 23, arriving 16 June on PlayStation, Xbox and PC, reintroduces Braking Point, the fabulously melodramatic story mode that first appeared in the 2021 version of the game.
This time, the plot introduces an entirely new team, Konnersport, presumably to allow for the sort of story shenanigans that would never be signed off by a multi-million dollar sports team with sponsors to keep happy. The hero from last time, Aiden Jackson, returns, as does his perfectly punchable nemesis Devon Butler, but this time they're joined by Butler's sister Callie Mayer, an F2 champion looking for a place in the F1 squad, introducing fiddly family politics into the sporting action. How easy is it to hold a game controller and a bag of popcorn at the same time?
While Braking Point 2 will naturally be getting the most attention, there will be tweaks and updates elsewhere. The brand new Las Vegas track, playable months before the actual race, will be joined by the Qatari Losail circuit which missed the cut in the COVID-disrupted 2021 game. There are physics updates promised and steps toward an iRacing-inspired safety rating system that should minimise first corner chaos in online races.
There's also F1 World mode, which allows you to construct a car and race team for online competition by opening 'packs', either earned in-game or paid for with cash. It's F1's version of the FIFA Ultimate Team style progression system and, if that game is anything to go by, a serious threat to all our pocket money.
Finally, there's the addition of community requested features, including the much anticipated introduction of red flag stoppages during races, with all the tactical possibilities they entail. Proof that F1 diehards remain the only racing game fanbase excited by the prospect of not driving...
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