F1 24 hands-on preview: like driving on new tarmac

We got a first hands-on session with EA Sports F1 24 and driving feels graceful
F1 24
F1 24 / Electronic Arts

EA Sports F1 24 is getting closer and closer. As we approach the release date, we got a first hands-on session highlighting the biggest changes to this year’s Formula 1 official video game.

We got to play the PC version for a few hours, and in terms of polish and content, it’s already pretty close to what we’ll get on May 31.

This version included the brand new Driver Career, setting out to be the biggest addition in the final game. But, before diving into that in our incoming review, we’re going to have a bigger focus on on-track gameplay.

F1 24 Red Bull car
F1 24 / Electronic Arts

F1 24’s driving feels graceful. Your car glides around the track like a turbocharged snake. On tracks like Silverstone, probably due to the EA Sports Dynamic Handling suite, it’s like driving on new tarmac.

Of course, as is the case with so many annual game titles, the differences are in the details and minutiae. Codemasters says that the bulk of Dynamic Handling’s improvements are to be felt with most of the assists off. However, it feels smoother right away, and with more control over your car, it’s more difficult to get off the recommended trajectory. Or, at least, it’s easier to get back into it and pick up pace lap after lap.

It doesn’t mean the game is easier. F1 24 can still feel pretty tense with more assists off, especially when braking. And even with some on, tracks can be tough to grasp. Speeding through Spa’s Eau Rouge is a shaky battle for survival where you never know who’ll come out on top. 

F1 24 screenshot
F1 24 / Electronic Arts

Eau Rouge looks marvelous thanks to a new chateau on the edges,  groves on the straight immediately after, and a new tower in between turns at Lusail.  And with new lighting softening up the contrast between your car and the environments, this makes the game even more pleasant to look at.

There seem to be some small but significant innovations in AI as well. We’ve already noticed some nice defensive tactics from CPU-controlled drivers, such as a Hamilton covering on the inside on the finish straight in Jeddah. And that’s even from the lowest difficulties, which is quite unusual for the series. On the other hand, drivers like Max Verstappen feel even more aggressive when coming for you, with more offensive strategies at hand.

Beyond how they behave, it’s also more authentic in how those drivers look. Improvements were made to character models, with faces being a real highlight. The real team radio further put them front and center, too. We’ve heard several of them, and they are generally very safe and short sentences, often with a rough audio quality compared to the ultra-sharp sound effects you generally hear in games.

F1 24 screenshot
F1 24 / EA

Curiously, we won a race as Lando Norris, and the game didn’t feature a team radio celebrating victories yet - poor Lando, can he get one in time for launch? We’ll see...

These were our early impressions, but we’ll discuss so much more in our incoming F1 24 review. Check this space again in the coming weeks.

Paolo Sirio


Paolo Sirio is a writer based in Naples, Italy. He’s cursed with a passion for football, and a bunch of motorsports. He enjoys playing any sorts of good game, even though his favorite ones include action-adventure titles with a deep story, JRPGs, and anything touched by Hideo Kojima.