After three highly successful chapters, it is natural to have an excellent expectation even for a spin-off that starts with somewhat dubious assumptions, so we are going with great interest to evaluate the new effort of Playsport Games with the Motorsport Manager Online review. Why are we talking about dubious assumptions? Because after three excellent chapters that followed the standard formula of the premium game, or with the traditional price to pay to get a title complete with all its features and the ability to play offline, the inevitable online chapter has arrived, distributed as free-to-play with micro-transactions and the premise is therefore not the best, considering how games structured in this way usually end up. It must be said, however, that Motorsport Manager Online has such a solid foundation to be able to probably also sustain some deviations from the correct formula imposed by tradition, even if the question remains open as to why it was necessary to resort to this solution instead of focusing on a Motosport Manager 4 with possible online multiplayer mode.
To get an idea of what the series in question is, we refer you to the review of the first Motorsport Manager on PC and more precisely to that of Motorsport Manager Mobile 2, a title much closer to this new one in structural and conceptual terms, having been developed thinking above all of mobile platforms. It is about build and manage a racing stable controlling every aspect, from the design and improvement of the cars from a technological point of view to the administration of the drivers' contracts, from the strategy to be adopted in the race to the minimum practical decisions to be taken during the races. All things that the series manages to put on the screen particularly well, referring in many respects to the tradition of the 90s simulations by MicroProse, with that mixture of depth and immediacy that allows you to easily get close to it but also requires a certain study to be able to control every aspect.
Motorsport Manager Online largely recovers the mechanics of the previous chapters but also tends to simplify them, probably to make the game more accessible to a wide audience such as that of a free-to-play multiplayer, but in this general dynamization it also loses part of its historical identity of simulation, in addition to introducing the inevitable drifts of pay to win, although the phenomenon is not too marked.
From the laboratory to the day of the race
Compared to the previous chapters, Motorsport Manager Online goes beyond the scope of Formula One alone, allowing you to manage cars belonging to the Formula And the alle Stock Car: the result is that in multiplayer races it is possible to find the various categories of cars all together in the same race, which is somewhat strange and can make simulation purists turn up their mouths, but it is clear that this game intends to interpret a little in its own way the genre in question. If nothing else, new introductions result in a minimum of change also in the aesthetic characterization of the vehicles and give greater freedom of choice to the players. In any case, it is a matter of choosing a name and a symbol for your team to launch into the glittering world of motor racing, whatever the chosen category.
In principle, the game action is divided between the car and driver management and the action during the race, but in any case the gameplay focuses only on the managerial aspects, without ever providing the possibility to directly control the cars. The technical parts, inside the workshop, allow to improve the performance of the vehicles through the improvement of the various pieces and the application on the two cars of the team: this is where the classic mechanisms of long waits come into play to have the pieces ready, which can be reduced by spending the in-game currency (obviously increased through the purchase with real money). The department of research and development it is set up in a more linear way than that seen in the previous chapters, with a rather pre-set evolution of the car, in which the management of waiting matters more than the choice of which technical solutions to adopt. Similarly, the bargaining with the pilots is mainly focused on spending: with a notable difference that emerges in the results as the cost of the pilots increases. It is easy to understand how this whole structure easily leads to the typical dynamics of pay to win in an essentially context multiplayer, although it is still possible, with a lot of patience and dedication, to be competitive even without spending a fortune.
During the race, the gameplay appears very similar to that already appreciated in the previous chapters: it is a question of staying at the wall and influencing the race by choosing during the race the behavior of the drivers, the use of the engine, the use of pit stops and the type of tires. use. There strategy is very important: it is possible to adopt a more aggressive approach and a greater exploitation of the engine but with the consequence of wider and faster consumption of tires and gasoline, therefore it is always necessary to learn how to dose resources and also take advantage of the more relaxed profile in order not to run into cracks, empty tank or lack of grip for finished tires. On this front, the gameplay the very valid one of the classic Mobile Motorsport Managers has remained and the thing is positive, with the addition of a greater involvement given by the presence of human opponents on the track and constantly updated rankings.
CommentTested version Android, iPad 2020.4.1 Digital Delivery App Store, Google Play Price Free Resources4Gaming.com
Taking advantage of the experience gained with the classic chapters, Motorsport Manager Online is easily fun and engaging in the race even for those not accustomed to sports management, but some defects strictly connected with its essence of free-to-play with micro-transactions emerge on the distance. These are concentrated above all in the phase of elaboration of the car and progression of the drivers with the classic work of attrition between waiting and in-app purchases to reduce them or to receive better pieces, pushing (albeit not too markedly) towards pay to win . The presence of online players certainly makes the challenge more lively, but the new mechanisms and the general simplification implemented on the simulation ultimately lead to a rather negative balance, at least compared to the levels reached by the regular series previously, which makes us wait longer. impatience a Motorsport Manager Mobile 4 rather.
- The basic structure remains very solid, between the management of cars and drivers and the stages of the race
- Online multiplayer and leaderboards provide an added incentive to compete
- Excellent technical realization between cars, scenarios and interface
- Expectations and micro-transactions make themselves felt and in the competitive context they push towards pay to win
- Some stability issues with the game servers
- Some simplifications too many in the dynamics of simulation and management