F1 World is the most significant new addition in F1 23. Putting Time Trial, Grand Prix and multiplayer into a single hub, F1 World is the go-to place for most of F1 23’s game modes.
With weekly goals, seasonal challenges and a wide range of events based on the actual Formula 1 calendar, F1 World has breathed new life into the F1 series. In fact, F1 World is arguably the saviour of EA’s F1 franchise.
A declining franchise
It’s safe to say Codemasters' F1 series has been on a decline since F1 2020. Regarded as the pinnacle of the series, F1 2020 saw the introduction of My Team.
Revolutionising the single-player experience, My Team puts players in both the racing boots of the lead driver and the loafers of the Team Principal. Developing the car, managing the team’s finances, and hiring your teammate keep you busy off the track. That’s before you even step into the car to take on the rest of the grid.
My Team was expected to be the start of a series of additions to the single-player F1 experience. Instead, it was the last true innovation of the franchise. Braking Point in F1 2021 created a new story mode, followed up by F1 23's Braking Point 2. But beyond that, the single player hasn't had any major new additions.
That is until F1 World was introduced.
F1 World saves the day
A big complaint about the F1 series over previous releases is the disconnect between the game and the real world of F1. Besides the F1 Esports qualifying events, the last few F1 games had no events related to their respective F1 calendars. F1 22’s polarising F1 Life attempted to introduce players to the world of F1, but ultimately failed.
F1 World was seen as an F1 Life 2.0 when it was first announced. In reality, it’s an evolution of F1 Life's original intent. F1 World features weekly events inspired by the 2023 F1 calendar, including F1 Replay, Scenarios, and themed events. Now fans can watch an exhilarating race on a Sunday, before recreating the same race in F1 23 the next day.
This week sees the debut of the Pro Challenge in F1 World. Featuring EA ambassadors Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, the Pro Challenge pits players against F1 drivers in a series of challenges. The first Pro Challenge tasks players with beating a lap time set by two-time World Champion Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix.
This is yet another example of F1 World bringing players further into the world of F1.
F1 World is arguably the best new feature in the F1 series since My Team, being the catalyst for new content to be added to F1 23 every single week. Finally, Codemasters has the means to add new liveries, challenges, Scenarios, and even track layouts and drivers seamlessly.
Previously, F1 titles stopped receiving new content a few months after release. Now, F1 23 can see regular additions right up until the release of F1 24. With cross-game utilisation, players could even continue their F1 World journey into F1 24 and beyond.
It can also be argued that F1 World now means Codemasters have no excuse not to add new content. With a dedicated platform for both single and multiplayer additions, Codemasters is obligated to continue creating new events for players to enjoy. Scenarios and F1 Replay events can be updated after every race, with new liveries added to existing car models just in time for their real-world debut.
Despite all of F1 World’s positives though, many fans still aren’t convinced.
Bringing the hate
Despite revolutionising the F1 series, F1 World still has many haters. Some argue the hub is too complicated, with many popular game modes hidden in various menus. Others claim that F1 World is an unnecessary use of resources.
The biggest complaint though is that F1 World has been used to disguise the lack of single-player experiences available in the game, with no innovation to Career Mode or My Team once again.
However, the Solo Series within F1 World is the single-player experience the series has been looking for. From teaching you how to drive an F1 car and nail every track, to providing an almost endless number of races and challenges to compete in, the Solo Series is perfect for players looking for a change of pace from Career Mode or My Team.
The Solo Series events reward players with upgrades for their F1 World team and car, neatly dovetailing with the multiplayer offerings from F1 World. The F1 World car can be used in Time Trials, as well as online races against friends or other players around the world.
A hard sell
F1 World was always going to be a hard sell. Not every player is convinced that F1 World is what the series has been crying out for. So, was Codemasters right to focus resources on the new hub?
In short, yes. F1 World has revived the series, acting as the portal for multiple new forms of content to be brought to the game on a regular basis.
F1 World could also be used as a method to transform the F1 series. With some franchises starting to switch to an online model, F1 World proves that the F1 series could survive as an online-based game. With frequent updates adding new features instead of yearly releases, the F1 series could mimic the real world of Formula 1 more closely.
Only time will tell what Codemasters plan to do with F1 World moving forward. Hopefully, the hub will return in F1 24 with more new features added to further enhance the experience for players. There’s also potential for F1 World to be better integrated with Career Mode and My Team, satisfying those who had reason to complain this year.
There’s no doubt, though, that F1 World has played a huge part in rejuvenating the F1 series this year.
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