F1 Manager 2022 review: Racing is exciting, but playing off the track is boring

F1 Manager 2022 review: Racing is exciting, but playing off the track is boring

Suspension

Available at: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Series S and Xbox One

Developer: frontier development | publisher: frontier development

Would racing games be fun without the actual racing?

This is the question you might be asking yourself when you start F1 Manager 22, a new racing game that challenges players to navigate menus rather than drive race cars. In many ways, the game is the spiritual successor to Electronic Arts’ F1 Manager, which was released in 2000, and is one of the most popular sports simulation games since the NFL coach series in the late 2000s.

Unlike the long-running Formula 1 racing series developed by Codemasters and Electronic Arts, ‘F1 Manager 22’ puts you in the shoes of a Formula 1 Team Manager, giving you complete control of the team, from hiring to budgeting, car development and during the race. Manage every aspect. strategy. Sounds like a lot? That’s right, the wide scope of the game is a blessing and a curse at the same time…

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The overall structure of the game is deceptively simple. Career is the only game mode available where you can control one of the ten existing F1 teams and play as many seasons as you want. Pick the frontrunners Ferrari or Red Bull for instant success, or pick a team that struggles like Williams to return to glory.

Choosing a team introduces you to the headquarters, which is the central hub of the menu where you can view all kinds of information and make various promotions and decisions. Visually, it can be a little confusing, and like many management games, the controls are best suited for a mouse and keyboard, but Frontier did a great job of making the console’s controls as intuitive as possible (I played on PS5, after a few races) .

As a team manager, the options available to you are amazing right from the start. You can research new additions to your vehicle, manufacture parts, build new facilities, explore rookie drivers, or assign personnel to enemy teams. The level of detail and accuracy here is amazing. Each team has a real business team, including an engineer, technical director and aerodynamics director.

You can also check your in-game mail from the main hub. The game attempts to point you in the right direction (no pun intended) by suggesting your next move. Early tutorials are helpful, but they leave a lot of things unexplained and time may be spent.

Simply put, you should be prepared to read because there is so much to take in.

When everything is ready, the second phase of ‘F1 Manager 22’ will begin. Grand Prix Weekend is definitely the highlight of the game. Guide the drivers through every practice and qualifying session (or simulation if you want to speed things up), and tuning every car, after exactly the 22nd racing season this year, which begins in Bahrain and ends in Abu Dhabi. Set up based on driver feedback.

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The race itself is the best. Featuring commentary from Sky Sports announcers David Croft and Karun Chandhok, it has surprisingly good graphics, especially for a management simulation. Oversee every aspect of the race, manipulating several boards while deciding on stopping strategies for each of the drivers. How aggressive are you in the race, when to post ERS (basically charging a battery to pick up speed) and how much fuel you’re using. You can see the race from multiple angles of the cinematic camera based on the drivers and the overall view is solid.

Most of the racing is quite addictive, and to my surprise, I found it more exciting than most of the real racing games. With two cars in motion, it’s almost always guaranteed to find yourself in at least a few dramatic scenarios, offering real entertainment away from your seat. There is nothing more satisfying than changing the car, leading the driver to an amazing overtake in the final lap and securing a top ten position.

You can choose to accelerate the race up to 16 times your normal speed, but I rarely do that in case I miss a crucial moment.

However, there is still room for improvement. AI opponents rarely deviate from recommended strategies, which makes it easy to predict what they will do. Safety car crashes and accidents seem to be rare – in fact, a safety car encountered only once in the first eight races. That’s incredibly low for Formula 1. The car rolls sporadically and hits a wall with what appears to be no visual damage. Based on these poor visual cues, it is almost impossible to determine the extent of the damage to the car.

At the end of each race, go back to HQ. Headquarters is filled with emails and suggested new tasks to prepare for the next race. In the middle of my first season, the novelty of these emails started to fade and I started replying to them like real business. Ordering parts, voting on next season’s regulations, and recommending that we do a lot of things like building buildings. By the end of the season, I wanted to run my absence and take time off.

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As we head into a new season, drivers may change teams, engineers may retire, and we have to start tweaking car designs to comply with new regulations. It’s so satisfying to slowly reach your long-term goals, even if you’re on the road (I never thought I’d be so excited to improve the “dirty air bend”).

Get ready to immerse yourself in this game. Each race weekend can take an hour or more to play, and a full season can take anywhere from 12 to 25 hours. There is plenty of content here to keep you occupied.

But through it all, we were hoping the game would have additional game modes to spice things up and make it accessible to regular audiences. It was a nice addition. Creating your own team from scratch, a feature available in the Codemasters series, would have also been a nice touch. And there are no multiplayer options at all. This is really unfortunate. Because I want to fight my friends (especially since AI tends to be very vanilla).

Who should play this game? Obviously, Formula 1 fans will love it. No doubt about this. However, for casual fans who are just getting started in the sport, this is a tough sell. You can embody more game modes and expand its appeal.

As it stands, “F1 Manager 22” can be an incredibly fun and addictive game, but remember that you need to do real work to get the most out of it.

Gregory Liporati is a freelance writer and photographer covering esports, technology and motorsports. His recent work has been published in GQ, Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.


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