All of Codemasters’ F1 games have been great in recent years, but we remember F1 21 particularly fondly because of its story mode, Braking Point. Following the fresh-faced Aiden Jackson, trying to make a name for himself after finally breaking into the sport he loved, it married exciting racing challenges with dramatic story scenes. There was trouble with his teammate, who thought he was trying to steal the limelight, but it was Devon Butler who was the real villain, a cocky and devious rich kid who gets a kick out of causing trouble.
After skipping a year, we’re very happy that Braking Point makes a return in F1 23. Once again the action focuses on Aiden Jackson, though this time he’s at a new team: the newly formed Konnersport Racing Team. We’ve been able to play through the first three chapters of this continuation of the Braking Point story mode, and have found that it’s set to be more dramatic than ever. The action picks up with the team having some troubles – Aiden is doing his best, but his car keeps failing him. Then things just go from bad to worse.
Related: F1 23: First Hands-On Impressions
Perhaps the main trouble is that Aiden’s new teammate is Devon Butler – the very same who has previously caused him so much trouble. Even worse, he’s still up to his old tricks, trying to push Aiden down whenever he can. It leads to friction not only off the track but also on the track, and when points start to be lost due to the pair not ceding positions when instructed and even causing collisions, the higher-ups start to get frustrated. What’s surprising is the response of the owner of the team, however, who’s none other than Devon Butler’s father.
The format remains largely the same as it did in Braking Point in F1 21. The story is presented documentary style, with interviews giving way to dramatic story scenes and bouts of racing action. There’s the occasional press interview, too, where you get to choose your own responses to a range of questions about your performance and your relationship with Devon Butler. These can have an impact on subsequent news stories, social media posts and emails you then receive.
It’s the on-track action that remains a highlight, though. Between all the story scenes you’ll take part in numerous Grand Prix events, and it’s here that you need to complete objectives in order to progress. You might need to reclaim a set number of positions before the end of a race after a crash, for example, or simply overtake your teammate. There are even optional objectives to complete. Will you take it upon yourself to beat opponents boasting about their home advantage? It’s up to you, and your driving abilities.
Like before, it’s the presentation of Braking Point that sells it. The visuals here are truly phenomenal, with photo-realistic character models. The actors do a great job of bringing these characters to life, too, with animation and voice acting that is on point. You really do feel like you’re at the centre of a documentary following your exploits, and it’s great.
Needless to say, after going hands-on with the continuation of Braking Point in F1 23, we can’t wait to play more. The first three chapters have got us invested in the continuing exploits of Aiden and Devon at the new Konnersport Racing Team, and we love the racing challenges presented between all the trackside drama. Alongside everything else that the title is set to offer, F1 23 is shaping up to be something pretty special.
F1 23 launches 16th June on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.