Final yr, Frontier Developments jumped into the sports activities administration simulation world with the spectacular F1 Manager 2022. Sports activities titles are sometimes iterative, and with regulation adjustments, revolving rosters, and adjustments to autos, this sequence has confirmed to be no exception. That brings us to F1 Manager 2023. On condition that Frontier had a robust basis to construct upon, that is one other stable entry that provides robust options and brings extra general depth to the core gameplay.
It’s essential to notice how nicely Frontier did at translating a dense sim to an simply playable console title. Whereas it’s a bit extra cumbersome to navigate than final yr’s model on account of extra layers and menus, it’s nonetheless quite easy — and the considerate consumer interface must be applauded. Numerous PC ports could be tough to navigate with a controller, however the console ports have all the time been a precedence as they don’t really feel like a lesser model in any respect.
My favourite new additions are the brand new Race Replay mode and the Unique Eventualities that include the Deluxe Version. Much like moment-based modes in different sports activities video games, these assist you to relive iconic real-life performances and feats. The very best are ones with distinctive conditions, equivalent to tasking the participant with mounting a surprising comeback in a restricted variety of laps or defending a lead for the ultimate period of a race. These are difficult and enjoyable conditions, made all of the extra thrilling by the truth that outcomes aren’t totally in your fingers. You’re merely deploying a technique, then hoping for one of the best consequence — similar to an actual race.
Whereas this new mode is enjoyable, it’s very a lot only a diversion. The majority of your time will likely be spent in profession mode, which is the one different actual choice. Whereas it’s nonetheless the identical primary format, you possibly can choose to take over a high crew proper off the bat, or attempt to construct out a smaller crew right into a contender. Quite a few tweaks have been made below the hood to make this a extra refined, fleshed-out model of the mode.
Six occasions within the yr function F1 Sprints, that are shorter races that decide the ultimate qualifying lineup. These are enjoyable checks that really feel decidedly completely different from the longer, marathon-like classes of an precise race that takes place over 50-plus laps. There are additionally extra choices to enhance the drivers, as you possibly can concentrate on what parts to coach in on. For instance, you can also make it simpler to overhaul rival racers, or deal with your autos on a moist observe higher. This provides extra general depth, and permits for some actually satisfying long-term simulations if you wish to play for in-game a long time.
Equally, there are extra choices with the way you strategy the pit crew and develop new expertise. The latter facet is especially essential, as drivers’ abilities and functionality to study new abilities will enormously cut back over time. Ultimately, even legends like Lewis Hamilton should dangle up the racing gloves. That’s why scouting prospects and constructing out a developmental F2 and F3 crew are simply as essential. Even if you happen to begin out with an incredible crew, it received’t develop into a dynasty if you happen to don’t plan for the longer term.
The additional layers of depth are nice, however Frontier additionally made some actually essential tweaks to the precise races that make them way more satisfying. The largest change is that gamers now have extra management over racing technique. From telling drivers to not combat with their teammates over place to concentrate on protection or overtaking, there are a number of methods to race riskier or attempt to defend a lead. Relying on how a race goes, you’ll wind up quickly altering your strategy. Moreover, new on-track incidents and higher crew radio communication additionally add to the immersion. Every race looks like a novel state of affairs to beat, as an alternative of simply one other lap across the observe.
F1 Manager 2023 Review: The ultimate verdict
F1 Manager 2023 is a superb sequel that improves on each facet of its predecessor. Whereas the sheer quantity of choices could be overwhelming, all of them serve their objective and wind up including to the general expertise. Some good adjustments make the precise racing extra thrilling than final yr’s sport. This can be a sport constructed to final, and I can’t wait to see how Frontier continues to construct this simulation in future installments.
Great additional depth in the career mode
Races are more enganging
New scenario mode is quite fun
Menus can be a bit overwhelming at first
Disclaimer: Our F1 Manager 2023 review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on version 1.003.000.