EA Sports F1 24 Career Mode preview – get ready to build on Nigel Mansell’s moustache legacy, if you want to

By admin Apr25,2024

Playing an F1 game is all about pretending to be an F1 driver – and usually realising how terrible you’d likely be if that dream somehow came true. In the realm of Career Mode, however, you can always be the uber-skilled lovechild of Ayton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and Lewis Hamilton that you like to think of yourself as.

As part of a hands-off preview that saw us learn about the handling changes coming with EA Sports F1 24, we also got a rundown of the freshly revamped Career Mode it’ll feature. The big news? You’re no longer limited just to creating your own F1 legacy.

During the preview, Codemasters’ senior creative director Lee Mather and Casey Ringley – the latter of whom serves as both a senior game designer and vehicle handling lead on the game – outlined what’s gone into this year’s Career – which is the biggest overhaul of how the mode works in a good number of years.

As I alluded to earlier, the biggest new draw is that – in addition to being able to kick off a career using your own unique driver avatar, as you’ve done in previous years – you’ll be able to take over the career of an existing driver in F1, F2, or from the game’s roster of icons for F1 history. Which of these options you go for will affect things like where you start things off and what your goals are at any time – with the latter being emphasised as a big focus this year thanks to a new accolades system.

Mather explained that this new system for measuring your progression up the F1 ranks is more focused this time around either building a unique legacy for your drivatar, or building upon the established legacy of whichever real driver you’ve picked. If you’ve gone for the latter, the objectives you’ll be given along the way will be specifically tailored to where the driver you’ve picked is at in their actual career and what they’ve already achieved.

“Driving as myself, the first of the accolades may be ‘attend your first practice session’ or ‘complete your first race weekend’. For Lewis Hamilton, a very established [driver], a very achievable accolade would obviously be ‘take that eighth world championship’, for a driver like Nico Hulkenberg, ‘take your first win’ [could be one],” Mather explained. “Those accolades are very real-world, they’re attatched to what the driver has achieved in their career or you’re building upon [that legacy even further] yourselves.”

A McLaren rounding a corner on the Miami street circuit in F1 24.
Image credit: VG247/EA

As you achieve those goals, you’ll also be trying to grow your recognition and influence within the F1 paddock – asserting youself as the number one driver at your team so that you can steer which paths your car’s development takes and land the contract you want from a squad at the front of the grid. When it comes to the latter, you’ll even be able to have secret contract meetings with other teams – which can cause your paddock rep to take a hit or seemingly lead to some fun questions being asked if they end up leaking to the press.

Whether there’s anything you can do as you become a Fernando Alonso-level paddock manipulator to help make things less likely to leak was left a bit up in the air by Mather – so it seems like this might well just be a risk you’ll always have to be aware of. Aside from that off-track stuff, when you’re in the car you’ll be given plenty of scenario-specific on-track objectives by your engineer as weekends progress – as well as being given a range of different rivals to try and outperform.

There are three different types of rivalry, with some being shorter and more circumstantial, while others can get a lot more heated – lasting for multiple seasons and potentially helping define your career legacy as a whole. Oh and if you’re after a taste of these mechanics with your friends there are Challenge Career and Two-player Career modes that include them, but with the twist of either having set scenarios that’re constantly rotating or just the chance to feud with your mate Bob.

Overall, I’d say all of that sounds like it might be more up my alley than Braking Point was at times, but we’ll have to see how it comes together in practice.

EA Sports F1 24 is set to be released on May 31 for PC, Xbox and PlayStation.

By admin

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