F1 Manager 2022 returns to your screens, having been developed by Frontier Developments, this iteration is released on PC, Xbox and Playstation. This is the first F1 game from the Frontier Development team, who are predominantly known for games such as Elite Dangerous and the “Planet” series. So how have they done bringing the most stressful job on the planet to your gaming nights.
F1 Manager 2022 – Unleash Your Inner Geunther
If you enjoy this review, why not check out our others on the site, or alternatively come and find us on social media and join in the conversation!
So F1 Manager 2022, where do we start? I think from the title you can guess what you are going to have to do for the majority of your time with the game. Yes, manage an F1 team. This is, to an extent, essentially Football Manager but with cars.
When starting up the game you are greeted with a few options, but let’s be honest you are going straight to start your career, and why on earth wouldn’t you? So starting out as a new fledgling manager in the F1 world you need to pick your team. Do you take over Red Bull and just continue their current dominance? Or are you more inclined to head towards the back of the grid and bring one of the smaller teams to the front of the grid? I went for the latter and after much deliberation, I rejected the Haas team and opted for the Aston Martin team.
The game does a great job at walking you through all the different options available to you, even down to the ability to ask your team to take on particular tasks around the garage. It all feels very similar at the moment.
The tutorial walks you through the different menus, and boy oh boy there are a few of them in there. From being able to check your research and development, down to getting your objectives for the upcoming races and beyond.
It all gets serious though when you hit a race weekend. Here you can take full control over each and every session, P1 to 3, Qualifying, and the Race. Alternatively, you can skip to whatever session you want.
If you are a stat mad sort of game player, there is a lot for you to get stuck into and digest. Once you are ready for the race it starts to get fun!
When it’s qualifying, you are given an overall objective, reach Q2 for example, and you have to decide at what point you send your drivers out. Once your drivers are out, you can either just leave them to drive their own way, or alternatively, you can give them a little nudge and ask them to push a bit harder. This has its own pitfalls, increased wear to your tyres, and potential for mistakes all at the cost of a slightly faster lap time. You need to strike the balance and get it just right.
Race day and things step up a notch. You have to decide on a race strategy based on your final position in qualifying, are you also going to favour one driver over another? You definitely feel like Toto on the pit wall barking out commands for your team to enact upon. You do need to be able to think dynamically though, with an unexpected safety car, do you dive into the pits and get some fresh rubber put on, or do you keep position and then hold off towards the end of the race?
Each decision you make will have an impact on the outcome of the race.
Hitting that R&D to develop your car is a great way to give the number one driver better performance parts. Alternatively, if you have an upgrade that you are unsure about, you can always give it to your slower driver to try and bridge that gap between your more experienced driver.
Don’t forget about your staff, scouting new staff members or drivers from other teams might give you the upper hand when it comes to a certain aspect. I mean we would all love Adrian Newey to help design your next car!
Graphics & Audio
So playing the game on all the versions you are greeted with a TV-style presentation. From the overlays showing lap times and splits, to the team radio popping up on the screen. It is all there, lovingly created for those that watch the F1 religiously.
Graphically, whilst not as clean and polished as a standalone race game, is brilliant. All the cars and drivers are accurately modelled in the game. So there is no doubt when you see Lewis Hamilton walking around the paddock. All of the reactions that you see on screen have all been motion captured using real F1 cars and equipment to give you the most immersive experience that Frontier Developments can bring to your screens.
Audio-wise, the one thing that particularly impressed me was the amount of little audio snippets from real drivers and their race engineers. Conversations happen on the fly and hearing Seb Vettel confirming with “ok” just added to the immersion. Giving you the real sense of actually being the team principal. Everywhere else you are greeted with the traditional F1 theme music when you fire up the game, and some great atmospheric tracks just playing in the background. Not too loud as to take away from the game whilst you play. Then the cars… oh the cars!
Honestly, how can you put a number on a game like this? As with other management-style video games, the limit really is how far you want to go. You can be 5 seasons deep with totally different drivers on your team and still have another 5 seasons left before you even think about being bored. Time. Will. Fly
So there we have it. F1 Manager 2022 review done and dusted. So what do I think about the game? Personally, it’s great. There is plenty to keep you interested. Yes there are going to be some people that don’t quite get on with the amount of stats and everything else involved, and that is fine. Any F1 fan though should really give this a play. Being able to manage your own team is the thing of dreams. Just don’t stand for it if anyone “fok smash your door”
F1 Manager 2022 receives the Thumb Culture Gold Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.