When you consider all of the love (and sometimes, the grumbles) that I give to the Football Manager series, you might think that I started my management game life with something like Championship Manager 3. You’d be wrong, as my first sporting love was Formula 1, not football, and in turn, my first experience of in-game management was with Microprose’s brilliant, Grand Prix Manager 2. I loved that game to bits, and I might finally have something to replace it with Motorsport Manager.
Now, before all the budding Christian Horner’s out there start planning how to steal the title from under Mercedes’ noses with young Max Verstappen, it is worth noting that this isn’t an officially licenced Formula 1 game. That has some disadvantages – fake drivers and teams racing on unofficial tracks. But to be honest, more fool Bernie and his paymasters running FOM as anyone trying to play ball and be creative with them is on a hiding to nothing.
Being free of any constricting licencing deals, Playsport Games have been free to create a game where you can race Nina Holtz around the Ardennes track with Steinmann Motorsport. Like real world Formula 1, you will be able to design and develop your car in pre-season, improve it over the year with work in the factory, and even exert some influence over the rule book to ensure your team maintain a competitive advantage. According to a developer blog, you will take your team through various championships which will have different rules on engine sizes and wheel diamaters amongst others. These regulation changes will hopefully lead to visually distinct cars emerging from you garage over the seasons.
While the tracks won’t be taken from the real world, they will be influenced on real venues. More intriguingly though, there will be different layouts for each of the 16 tracks with everything from street courses, to traditional grand prix style venues to American ovals available. The trick will be to influence the rules of your championship to ensure you race on tracks that suit your car.
It might not be quite what die-hard Formula 1 fans are looking for, but I think it looks quite exciting and will hopefully lead to greater things – just imagine a game combining grand prix racing with rally and endurance events? That would be brilliant. While I go off to dream world, I’ll leave you with the game trailer…