F1 24 Review - Narrowly Misses Pole Position
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F1 24 Review - Narrowly Misses Pole Position

The 2024 Formula One season is finally heating up. Max Verstappen will probably still win a fourth successive driver's championship after the final race in December, but at least the rest of the field is making life more taxing for the dominant Dutchman and his Red Bull team. Recent races have been more competitive and unpredictable, with multiple teams battling for first place in any given race weekend. It should be the perfect time for F1 24 to launch, but the same excitement generated by the real-life product doesn't quite apply to Codemaster's latest. It's still an excellent racing game, especially when you factor in an overhauled Driver Career mode, but its overt familiarity means there are fewer reasons than ever to upgrade if you own F1 23.

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F1 24's most significant selling point is its new, reworked Driver Career mode. You can still play through this multi-season experience as a custom driver, but F1 24 now lets you strap into the helmet of one of the 20 superstar drivers on this season's grid. You may want to try and win Verstappen's fourth successive championship yourself or pick a younger driver like Yuki Tsunoda and earn your way onto one of the bigger teams in the sport. Not only this, but you can also opt to start as an F2 driver--beginning your career in either F2 or F1--and choose from a selection of legendary icons like Aryton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, and errr… Pastor Maldonado. This isn't just a cosmetic change, either, because all previous stats and accolades carry over, including the number of successful podiums, race wins, championship victories, and so on. It's an enticing prospect being able to potentially win Michael Schumacher's record eighth world title or attempt to rebuild Williams back into a title contender with Senna behind the wheel.

Your driver's reputation within the sport will grow as you achieve top-10 finishes, complete contract targets, and tick off more accolades. This can help you secure a new deal with your current team or attract the attention of rival teams, who will then start vying for your services. If this happens, you can agree to attend a secret meeting and negotiate a move or turn down the offer, with the whole thing emulating the sort of behind-closed-doors nature of sudden driver moves that occur in real life. If you opt to stay with your current team, they'll be pleased with your decision. This is nonsensical considering the meeting was supposed to be secret, but these covert rendezvous are a nice new addition nonetheless.

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