Quick Links

Last year’s F1 Manager 2022 scratched an itch for many motorsport fans, giving players an opportunity to look at the tactical and managerial side of Formula One. There hadn’t been an official management title in over 20 years, unlike the immersion of the brilliant Football Manager series, but games like 2016’s Motorsport Manager showed that there was definitely appetite. Frontier Developments, who has a long history of successful management games like Planet Zoo, is now back with F1 Manager 2023 with a refreshed line-up and some additional features.

F1 Manager 2023 certainly gives players something that they can’t quite find anywhere else: that officially licensed tactical experience. The game is an opportunity for players to delve into the less glamorous but just as fascinating part of the sport, and its importance is all-too-well-known to Formula One’s fans (particularly, of late, those who follow Ferrari). Although there are some hiccups, F1 Manager 2023 is a strong complementary game to F1 23‘s varied and enjoyable racing.

A Tactical Overview

F1 Manager 23 Williams Belgium

F1 Manager 2023 sees the player in the role of a Team Principal at the F1 team of their choice. This means that users will essentially control everything about their team but the actual driving itself. In individual races this means the strategic moment-to-moment decisions, but it develops into building a strong group of staff, car development, and more to either keep your team on top or push up from point scoring to race wins.

Much like games like the Football Manager series, F1 Manager 2023 is moreish to play. It’s very easy to get pulled into its central gameplay loop, either picking through individual races or going through its comprehensive career mode. There’s a “just one more race” line of thinking that will see players keeping the game going for a little bit longer than they initially planned.

That said, there are some minor issues that stop F1 Manager 2023 from being as immersive as it truly could be in a wider sense. There are still some bugs and glitches that have to be fixed, taking the player out of the moment, and there are some also some design elements that perhaps need ironing out. One smaller example is the use of real-world dialogue between the team and driver, as although the authenticity of this is commendable, it does come across as quite stilted when the situation doesn’t quite match the driver quote.

Building A F1 Empire

F1 Manager 23 Tyre Allocation Pre Race

The core gameplay mode of F1 Manager 2023 is certainly its career mode. This sees the player take control of one of the ten existing Formula One teams, taking them through championships to try and either maintain a position of power or build them into something that can challenge for the top spot. This is where the player will definitely be spending the majority of their time, whether they want to choose their favorite team or decide to take on the challenge of bringing back markers to the front row.

There’s a lot of fun to be had here, and there’s a longevity of play that will hopefully be further compounded with future updates from Frontier Developments. Whether it’s keeping an eye on young drivers in the (unfortunately only simulated) F2 and F3 championships to find a new driver for the team, or looking more into the technical side of building a race-winning car, it’s very easy to dive into the detail here.

That said, there is scope to improve this game mode in future releases. There’s nothing akin to the My Team mode found in the mainline F1 games, which is an obvious place for F1 Manager to go next, and it would be nice to be able to build your own personal career from F3 up over a number of years. Meanwhile, more emphasis on driver relationships outside of statistics could also help make F1 Manager 2023 feel more real, forging an emotional attachment to the team’s drivers.

Looking Beyond Career Mode

F1 Manager 23 Austria Ferrari

F1 Manager 2023 has more than just its career, though, and these other modes do give players a little respite from the depth of its main mode. One such example is the opportunity for the player to re-run real world races as they happen in Race Replay. It’s a neat option for Formula One fans, who can ask questions about what could have happened if a team had chosen an alternative pit strategy or made other tactical tweaks.

There are also some unique scenarios for the player to run through in Race Moments, too. These put the player into specific situations and ask them to reach certain end points in the race, which puts a unique angle on the strategy element in a way that feels quite refreshing. Given that some of these situations are unrealistic, it adds a gameified feel that allows players to delve into the mechanics differently.

This is another area where there could be more to come in the future, as dipping into these scenarios can keep players returning after they’ve exhausted their focus on a career mode. In the meantime, though, there’s more than enough here to keep players busy.

Our Review Score & Final Thoughts

Overall, F1 Manager 2023 is a successful management sim. It understands the complexities of the sport of Formula One well, and replicates it with gameplay that is accessible for people without them getting lost in data. Although there’s room for improvement, it’s an excellent option for fans of F1 in general.

Source: F1 Manager / YouTube

F1 Manager 2023 is out now for PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Screen Rant was provided with a PC download code for the purposes of this review.

Source link