A « mogul » game is intended to be the equivalent of a single player role-playing game. The aim is to take on the role of a manager (here, of an F1 team) and meticulously manage every detail, before, during and after the races. It’s not about driving the car ourselves as the Codemasters games want. Realism remains targeted and appreciated by fans of the genre. Multiplayer was never targeted, although much desired by a good majority.
Featured Image: Frontier Developments
This genre has obviously evolved over the past two decades, from hits like Sim City 4 to Cities Skylines. In the sports field, we can note the successes of Football Manager, Out of the Park Baseball and the Eastside/Franchise Hockey Manager of this world.
We’re sorry if your favorite wasn’t mentioned here, take this opportunity to let us know what your favorite « mogul » game was in the comments!
Developer background and portfolio
Having a very good experience in this type of car simulation, it is time to put this novelty from Frontier Developments to the test, having notably developed Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, Planet Zoo as well as Jurassic World Evolution.
With an F1 license and a solid background in management games (moguls), the pressure is still high for this title which was released on Steam, Epic Games, PS5/PS4, Xbox Series S and Xbox One on August 30 last. This game was tested on PC with three screens via a 5-day early access for players who pre-ordered on Steam.
Such a game was long awaited by the nested community which was neglected by the departure of Playsport Games (Motorsports Manager) to mobile platforms. The original game, released in 2016, saw its last (paid) update released on 1er November 2017.
Enough of context, let’s finally embark on the F1 Manager 2022 adventure.
Only one game mode available, but no panic button
The main menu exposes a first surprise. The game offers only one option: the career mode. No “simple races” or bespoke championships. This is not a defect, but an additional pressure since this mode must deliver the goods.
The introduction to the career mode is splendid. With historical moments as well as the context of the 2022 season. A gem that some developers should consider (yes EA, we won’t let you save yourself that way!).
The following menu presents us with a first difficult choice: Choose your F1 team among the 10 existing ones. No custom teams, it was predictable for a first iteration, whether it will be added one day? Maybe, if F1 allows it. For now, this is an interesting dilemma:
Will you choose an established team looking to stay at the top with the infrastructure to succeed or a mid/back roster that has nothing to lose but starts out with a cardboard HQ? Can you do better than Ferrari’s strategists in 2022? (Sorry Scuderia fans, that’s an easy joke!)
Move into a new work environment
For a regular of the genre, the main menu of Career mode seems rich and motivating. Clearly there is a certain learning curve, but the gist seems to be there. Many people’s first instinct will be to jump straight into the first Grand Prix, but a first overview is always a good initiative that will pay off later.
Failing to summarize all the content step by step, here are the highlights:
- The usual/informative menus are present, it is easy to navigate through the calendar, classification, upcoming circuits and other important technical data;
- The Board of Directors (or « Board ») includes new features that allow you to see if changes to technical, financial and sporting regulations will take place the following year, and how these will be addressed by the R&D team.;
- The development of the cars is detailed, targeting 6 aerodynamic parts (chassis, front/rear wings, sidepods, suspension and floor) as well as 3 engine components (engine, ERS and gearbox). As always, with each circuit having its own unique challenges, a mid-term view can go a long way to helping the team succeed.
- It is possible to obtain contextual help at any time by pressing “H”. This can sometimes save a beginner from a blank page syndrome
- A strange similarity with Motorsports Manager has remained present, but is gradually fading with the innovations and novelties presented above which show that Frontier has done its homework regarding the annual challenges of Formula 1;
The experience of an F1 race, lived from the paddocks
From the first practice session, the drivers must get used to the circuit (just like in F1 22), obtain knowledge of the parts and above all develop their confidence in the configuration of the car. The three usual practice sessions are available in their full duration, which is worthy of the expected realism, but it is possible to simulate these sessions if the client does not require as much.
The principle remains similar to the predecessor: 5 adjustment parameters (angle of the front and rear fins, distribution of anti-roll, camber angle (camber) of the tires and toe-in (toe-out) allow to balance performance of the car as much on the straights, the tendency to oversteer, the stability under braking, the traction and the ability to corner. Technically and level of realism, it passes the test, but these mechanics quickly become redundant.
At each stint on the track during practice, the drivers will bring back with them a wealth of information allowing the manager to adjust the configuration of the car, test other elements on the track or test the performance of the different types of tyres. By combining these elements, the manager can obtain a maximum of 15 performance bonus points for each driver. Practice leads to perfection!
Graphically the game is very similar to F1 22 and offers an immersion worthy of the name. The TV cameras are there, the infographics are on point, and the menus are simple but still detailed. The majority of the shots are very close except for a 2D view of the layout. It’s almost a crime to use it, although accelerating the game to 4 times normal speed enforces that view. It is several levels below 3D shots, even a little disappointing.
Some car animations on the track are fast and sometimes a bit strange, but being a game that has to calculate and manage the position of 20 cars at a time, there doesn’t seem to be anything alarming, nobody « passes through” another driver. The pace of the game is realistic, but slow, and the time acceleration does not help fans of a shorter game. The full duration of the sessions, including the race, is mandatory.
READ ALSO: A panoply of Quebec talents in simracing
With the return of fall, SFTV is back on the air with the broadcast of Quebec series of virtual car races of all kinds. Come visit our social networks to find out more!