Motorsport Manager, review

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
Author and references

Have you lost count of all the times you sent Domenicali's strategies to that country? Are you still gnawing at your guts for the world championship lost by Alonso in the Emirates in 2010? Good, finally you can turn on the radio and remote control the drivers from the wall thanks to Motorsport Manager. This is a management system that refers, not too subtly, to the only and deserving exponents of the genre, namely the Grand Prix Managers of Eng. Edward Grabowski: Even the font used is very similar to that of the MicroProse games of the second half of the 90s. For a long time, a management software on the magical world of Formula 1 has been expected and, thanks to SEGA, the guys from PlaySport, after having gained experience on mobile platforms, can show off a title that is in step with the times, albeit a little longer. unripe.



There are no editors and licenses, there are a few bugs too many: even then Motorsport Manager is an excellent game

No Hamilton no party

Let's start immediately with the biggest sore point, namely the absence of the FIA ​​license: this implies that the names of the drivers and teams mimic the real ones, as well as the tracks that do not faithfully follow those we all know. While a large community is already working to remedy it, there is still the disappointment for the lack of an internal editor who can make up for the lack of Hamilton, Vettel and company.


Once the low blow has been taken, Motorsport Manager immediately manages to catalyze the attention: after creating the customized version of Maurizio Arrivabene there is a choice to face a single race weekend, try some situations preset by the developers (for the moment there are only two, but others have been promised) or face an epic world ride, choosing from three increasingly challenging championships. Tier 3 is the European one, then we move on to what we would call GP2 to finish with the premier class. There is no real level of difficulty, although it is obvious that by choosing the equivalent of Ferrari or Mercedes there will not be too much to deal with structures, sponsors and drivers, because those present by default are already at the highest levels. On the contrary, by choosing the very scarce Panther, a newly arrived Australian, the challenge will be total, given that the mechanics are the relatives of the team manager and the engine is that of the Punto del nonno. Motorsport Manager adopts a very audacious rule that Ecclestone and Mosley wanted to introduce a few years ago, namely a system of promotion and relegation to the next category, just like with soccer teams. Each championship has a dozen teams and a personalized "tracklist", as well as a series of rules that differentiate it, even significantly, from the others. For example, in GP2 you cannot get your hands on the engine, because you have to keep the one supplied by the parent company unchanged.



Oldies but goldies

The title of Playgames owes much more than something to Grand Prix Manager: the structure is in fact traced slavishly, with two main and complementary phases. On the one hand there is the management of the team which is governed through a desktop divided into ten menus, each with its own dignity, even if some screens are slightly redundant.

It goes without saying that each item must be carefully monitored between races, although some, such as the renovation of the headquarters, require sparse maintenance. Among the menus in which one enters most frequently, that of the development of the single-seater occupies the main place. There are six areas for improvement: transmission, suspension, brakes, engine, rear and front wing. A graph provides the degree of competitiveness of each component, in order to focus on the less performing areas. In principle, you can play between the increase in performance and that of reliability, with one branch at the expense of the other, but you can also take "borderline" roads that provide more conspicuous improvements in the face of possible irregularities that, in the case discoveries, they would lead to sporting and economic penalties as well as a ban on the upgrade developed. As development deepens, a range of bonuses to combine opens up: in the case of our Chariot (the equivalent of the Caterham) we have developed a dozen rear wings to get to climb only one position in the ranking, while at the same time the gearbox he stayed the same all season considering he was in the middle of the lot. There is also to manage the group of technicians who work to increase performance and reliability, in order to obtain the best compromise for each element of the machine. Once completed, the new part can only be mounted on one of the two cars, and this inevitably means that there will be a disparity in performance between the two squires in the next GP, with consequent risks of unhappiness on the part of those who have been excluded.



Da Silva and Prosit

This is where personnel management comes into play, an aspect that is certainly more in-depth than in Grand Prix World. In addition to any long faces for preferences in technical choices, there are also interpersonal relationships to manage. If the second guide consistently achieves better results than the first, it could demand that the hierarchies be overturned, not to mention the difficulties of renewal if the performance of the team is not considered to be up to par. Although only the pilots are endowed with the ability to understand and want, the bond they can create with the technicians is very interesting. Again in our example, Iker Vidal, the first Spanish guide, at the eleventh race had established an excellent feeling with his track engineer and this allowed him to unlock some modifiers, such as less wear on the engine, which otherwise would not have been accessible.

On the contrary, the young Ebony Tyler, who took over as second guide mid-season, literally sent his coach to that country due to a wrong strategy that made him lose the points zone in the final stages of the race. Still on the subject of human material, there is the figure, taken a little from Football Manager, of the talent scout. A feature that the programmers wanted to include in the dish but which turns out to be a bit too weak, as well as weak in general is the whole bargaining phase: for example, it is not clear why a pilot or a technician cannot be optioned. so that it takes over the contractual expiry of the one currently in force at the team. Even the contacts with the sponsors are not entirely convincing: beyond the "saleability" of the team, influenced both by the media appeal of the drivers and the performance of the team, we simply choose the company that pays best, preferring those which, in the face of the achievement of positions in qualifying and in the race (realistically obtainable) bestow objective prizes. The risk of being in a virgin livery is however very low and this somewhat facilitates the player's tasks since the income of the stickers is by far the most significant in order to survive. The social aspect could not be missing: the inbox is flooded with reports of the race and tweets from the fans, but also from more delicate communications, such as the management of emergencies (the engine of the first guide has losses: risk the withdrawal or invest a large sum to repair it? The game may not be worth the candle, for example if our wheelbarrows always occupy the last positions of the grid) or political decisions. From time to time, changes to the technical and sporting regulations are proposed (change the layout of a track to make it slower, reintroduce supplies, reward those who get the fastest lap) that the player is called to vote and which also heavily influence the way to play in the following seasons.


Lights (green) and shadows

Once the administrative procedures have been completed, the most awaited weekend finally arrives. At the beginning of the game you can decide the length of the races, so if the distance covered should be short (on average 10 laps per GP), medium or complete, a choice that we encourage to explore in depth all the facets of Motorsport Manager. In this case there are slight differences with the real F1, mainly aimed at making the action more engaging. There is only one free practice session, lasting 20 minutes, during which it is necessary to explore the most suitable set-up for the pilots who will provide feedback via radio communications. In addition, you have to decide what aspects to focus on: for example, by running for a long time in a race configuration you can get bonuses for Sunday, as well as always using super soft tires you will have a benefit in terms of durability.

The fact of having to try to guess the best set-up, combined with the limited amount of time available and the modifiers that are unlocked by turning, makes this phase, usually without bite, engaging. The qualifications were more disappointing, characterized by a single 12-minute session: no traps and a lack of immediacy of the hud that prevents us from having clear immediately the existing gap between the drivers. The only diversion is represented by the launch lap, in which the driver must literally be commanded, indicating how much to press on the gas using a sliding bar, so that the brakes and tires are at the ideal temperature once on the pit straight. Once the starting grid has been established, the strategy must be decided and here the grossest shortcomings of the PlaySport title come to the surface: in fact, it is not possible to plan a table of pit stops in advance, but they must be managed only and exclusively in real time, and the thing it becomes even more annoying when you have to deal with the fuel to be loaded between one stint and the next. Before starting the engine, in addition to a last and desperate possibility to alter the balance of the car, you have to choose the bonuses obtained during free practice: you can then proceed with the starting grid. The action gets really interesting when the red lights go out, because the pilots can be controlled through two driving strategies. On the one hand we find aggression, divided into five levels, which in the face of a more rapid deterioration of the tires offers better performance and at the same time increases the risk of errors; on the other hand, one of the four engine maps needs to be set, aware that the "magic" one for overtaking consumes an oil tanker and subjects the Formula 1 components to greater wear. During the race the drivers will however provide information that can be accepted or not: there are those who will ask to push harder even if the fuel level is below the threshold, who will press to change the tires prematurely. Systematically ignoring complaints can lead to a breakdown, especially if the strategy turns out to be wrong. At a certain point not only will he not want to renew with the team, but in the following races he will refuse to respond to orders, preferring to act on his own terms. However, the balance of the driving style seemed a bit too cumbersome: it could perhaps have been lightened a little by simplifying some combinations. The pit stops are the key part of the race: watching your drivers from above can be interesting, but seeing them recover in the time table is much more so. In Motorsport Manager, as in reality, undercut action could lead to climbing some positions, but miracles are not to be expected if the car is too slow., while you can bring home some real sensational results knowing how to adequately exploit the arrival of rain. In any case, the continuous evolution of the track (even if retirements and accidents are a bit too few, only five in the entire world championship we played) does not allow for any kind of relaxation: the race must be monitored from start to finish, at the more speeding up moments of apparent calm.

Engine ... graphics

The action is captured by a helicopter flying over the tracks: the care with which they have been reproduced is commendable, while the zoom level is a little less so, which does not allow you to appreciate too closely the liveries of the single-seaters, which are still excellently made. Each track is rich in detail and in almost all of them you can recognize elements of the famous tracks. Unfortunately the price to pay in terms of hardware is quite demanding (the system requirements are not very reliable), even if a recent patch, providing the possibility of a 2D view, has expanded the fleet that can afford to run Motorsport Manager .

Artificial intelligence is probably one of the trickiest points that the most bugs focus on. First of all, the gaps between the cars expand in an incomprehensible way: it often happens that a car manages to disappear at the exit of a curve and then be overtaken at the end of the next straight. Lap times should also be checked based on the engine mapping, because the rule that more power corresponds to less time is almost frequently broken. The gap between one driver and another is also too schizophrenic: understandable in the opening stages, much less during the rest of the race, when it happens that riders with destroyed tires continue to gain on those who have just changed them. It is not absolutely everything to throw away: these imperfections, which were the most predictable at the time of launch, are under the scrutiny of programmers who have promised prolonged support, and to confirm a couple of patches have already been released that solve anomalous situations. However, the fact remains that, net of a series of behaviors to be perfected, the tension during the GP is always high, above all because you must always be "on track", ready to change decisions already made on the fly. The level of satisfaction for having obtained a sixth place with the worst car on the grid, thanks to perfect timing during wet qualifying and equally fantastic tire management on Sunday, is priceless.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)
  • Processore: Intel Core i5-3470 @ 3.20GHz o AMD FX-6300 @ 3.5Ghz
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Scheda video: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 o AMD Radeon HD 7870

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit).
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 @ 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM
  • Scheda video: nVIDIA GT 335M o AMD Radeon HD 4670
  • DirectX: 11 version
  • Memory: 16 GB of available space

Comment

Digital Delivery Steam Price 31,99 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.0

Readers (25)

8.0

Your vote

A complex and multifaceted title, but at the same time very easy to approach. One of the most important merits of Motorsport Manager is its versatility and the continuous degree of challenge that never drops the level of involvement, which rarely happens to a managerial title. There remain some errors of youth which fortunately seem to be constantly corrected. For years we have been waiting for a management on F1, now that it has arrived we have to enjoy it to the fullest.

PRO

  • Engaging
  • Great graphics
  • High degree of addiction
AGAINST
  • Official licenses are missing
  • Some unpredictable behaviors
  • Some screens that can be improved
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