This review will be about the Motorsport Manager PC game, which is an expansion on the very popular mobile game, released by Playsport Games, and published by Sega.
I have played the base game for two seasons, then followed up by various mods, including: ACE, FIRE and ICE mod. When I bought the game, it had everything the former mobile game had (which I’ve not played) feature-wise, but included more tracks, more options to build out your headquarters and more features during the actual race weekend.
I will take you through my stories, after which I will discuss the gameplay more in-depth.
I wanted to know if this is the game out of all management games, to keep me hooked onto the gameplay, like some haven’t in the past, including Football Manager. They stretch too long and it takes an enormous amount of time to load and advance through the game if you want the full experience. You also get bored from the constant events hurled at your face.
I started off in the normal game, and did two seasons with various teams, like VÃ©lan and Steinmann. After a while, I thought: This is pretty hard, and not as fun as I thought it would be, with fictional drivers and teams. I want a challenge and I want the best drivers in the world to work for me. I want the best possible staff to build that ultimate car and win Championships. As a gamer and a person, you are looking for success.
I started looking for mods that were available, and I found the ICE mod. The ICE Mod had a list of real-world drivers in IndyCar, Formula 3, and Formula E. That sounded like a challenge and a fun experience to me. Who wouldn’t like a former F1 driver like Sébastien Buemi to also be as hot-headed as he is in real life, throwing temper tantrums and swear words to his colleagues, his assistant and you? Well, I do! That is some kind of management you have to deal with in Motorsport Manager, with random events occurring.
I mostly played around with the mods I mentioned earlier, all of those made by the same people. The ICE mod was a lot of fun, as I played with the Formula E cars. I created my own team, (which you can create with a free DLC) Blight Racing Team, which struggled in its first season.
Aware as I was, I didn’t spend a lot of money, but I gained a lot from the sponsors. It all paid off in the second season, by expanding the headquarters before the end of season 1.
Every component nearly got the best available part, and that led to a lot of podiums and even victories. I then moved on to the IndyCar series to manage the team of Chip Ganassi, in which I won the constructors championship but got fired the following season for poor results. The cruelty of motorsport in two years time, perfectly shown.
How did that happen?! Well, I won the championship and I decided to upgrade my headquarters, so I would get better components for the next season. Usually, you save up money during the season to get that money during the pre-season. Boy, did I forget, I put that level of input down due to the low level of sponsors the team had in the first season.
I got to the selection of components, and we were are able to buy components of the lowest level. I exited the game, counted to 10, rebooted and moved forward. We came last for three consecutive races. I developed parts in-season thanks to new sponsors, but we didn’t get the result that were needed for me to stay hired. Chip came to me and said: “Sorry kiddo, but your time is up. Get your stuff, clean your office and I’ll see you outside in an hour.”
That is how I got hired and fired in the span of two years in-game time.
Now moving on to the newly released endurance racing, a new experience in Motorsport Manager.
The teams in the normal game are very competitive and close in racing. The two classes will compete for an overall victory, but much as in real life, the second tier cars are no match for the speed of the Tier 1 cars.
In the short race option of 90 minutes, expect a weekend to take up from 50 minutes to one and a half hours, depending on how much detail you put into your work. I have not touched the middle or long length races for time reasons. Then brought in the form of the FIRE mod, showcased the actual World Endurance Championship, with its LMP1 and LMP2 class cars, and the GT series. With my own team and no resources, I was a backmarker for season 1, and barely got moving to the midfield in season 2, after which I retired with no victories and 1 podium, coming from a string of retirements.
Endurance racing is not for me in the game, nor in real life. I like quick-paced action and especially a race where overtaking happens a lot. Endurance racing is for those who like to stay up 6, 12 or 24 hours to watch a parade of cars, and hoping a top car breaks down and underdogs win, seeing some unique crashes and overtakes, or fans of a specific driver, brand or team.
Therefore I was looking for another challenge, and I found one, moving over to a place across the big Atlantic Ocean, to go to the country of dreams, the United States of America again.
The ACE mod was the third mod released by the same modders for Motorsport Manager, and I’m still playing it to this date. It’s refined in its database, with a vast expanse of real-life drivers, teams and leagues, and takes everything on that is mainstream racing in the U.S.A.
Having to start all the way down from the Pro Mazda Championship in open-wheel racing is tough. All teams have 4 spec parts out of a total 6, meaning parts that all teams have the same and will not be developed. I decided to go with young talented drivers, and hire them for a reasonably low wage, because as mentioned, the first season makes no sense. I made sure to look at the driver’s statistics, and there were some young ones that developed at 300% to 500% of the normal rate, meaning they are wonderkids. Jordan Cane and Todd Gilliland were excellent choices from season 3 onwards. Young, low wage and excellent drivers. Currently being in third in the constructor’s championship, 18 points behind the leader feels good.
The gameplay is all in your hands. You literally take the team by its hands and lead it. You hire the staff that help in development, you hire the drivers and pit crew. The financial management, as well as headquarter construction, is yours. Once the race weekend comes, you decide which driver gets the better parts fitted to his car, depending on how his/her morale is, compared to the teammate.
The option is also there to change rules via voting in the board, called the General Motorsport Association in-game, for the upcoming season.
Part development is something unique. You get to choose which traits will be added to parts. You can choose to go for performance or for reliability. You can also later update these parts by having the staff work on it during the time you are not racing. Drivers statistics will level up, based on random aspects, but also based on how good your HQ is. If your HQ has a well developed test track, drivers will be learning quicker how to handle a car. Beneficial, until you have to work on a new contract. Always keep contracts in mind when you’re looking at your financial management.
Before travelling to the race, you might also have to select a sponsor to showcase, based on the type of sponsor contracts you have signed, either direct money, or a fixed amount and potential bonus per race. You have a practice session to figure out the right setups, fit the right traits drivers have learned (like less wear on parts during the race, faster in the race etc.).
In qualifying, if you dare, you can set how fast the drivers have to go in their warm up lap, to heat the tires and brakes. You can also set this automatically by the way.
In the race, you manage how much drivers push the tires and the temperatures, as well as the fuel amount they can use. You have a weather radar, so you can predict if rain is coming and thus the right time to make a pit stops. Deciding how much fuel the car needs and which tires to go on, is a thrill feeling. If you don’t win by a second, retire the car or crash out, it sucks. If you win, then there’s this awesome feeling that you made sure this win happened.
The control is in your hands, take it and you shall succeed.
The gameplay in Motorsport Manager is good, but can still be enhanced with new tracks, new sudden events happening and more features to play with. Throughout the year that I’ve had with this game, endurance racing, GT racing and other free updates and DLC’s have been added, such as pit crews and the option to create your own team. The developer really tries to keep the fans to keep on playing, possibly looking at a sequel. The sequel for mobile gaming has already been released, but I think the PC game still has more to offer. Mods will allow you for a more real-life experience, but whatever you choose, you can definitely play the game for a long time, which levels the gameplay time/price relationship to a very good level.
- The option to expand the game with mods.
- Many options to customise and manage.
- Gameplay time outlasts price, good ratio.
- The audio might get stale after a while.
- The base game is good, but a little limited.