SEGA Motorsport Manager

I was invited by our friends over at SEGA and The ID Agency to check out their newest release: SEGA Motorsport Manager.

If you’re a fan of fantasy leagues or games that have tons of stats and strategy, then this new game, SEGA Motorsport Manager, is the perfect game for you.  I’ve always felt that my two loves in life, Baseball and motorsport, have a few great things in common.  Number one, they are both pastimes that are great to have a conversation with friends about.  You can always find a friend who caught the game or race yesterday and can’t wait to throw around their hot sports opinions about something or other that happened during the event.  That’s what always happens, isn’t it?  Your buddy can’t wait to ask you, “Hey did you see that so and so, or whatever that happened during the game/race!?”  And because you’re a fan, of course you saw it, and likewise can’t wait to throw around your super awesome Monday morning managerial opinions.  The other fact my two favorite things have in common: Strategy and stats.  I love strategy and stats.  How did the game/race play out?  What would I have done different had I been manager/coach?

And there it is.  There’s the reason you’ll love SEGA Motorsport Manager.  You get to jump into the middle of the action and see how your decisions as the team manager will play out on the track.  As a hardcore gamer, or game enthusiast, that’s what we all want to see, isn’t it?  Now’s your chance.  With the new SEGA Motorsport Manager you get to make decisions about your drivers, parts, fuel, pit and tire strategies, and then see how they play out.

Jumping Right in

I was curious to see how intuitive the interface was, so immediately upon launching the game I went straight for the Single Race mode to see how quickly and easily I could get started.  Without using any of the tutorials, I was able to get a driver and team created and launch into my first race within just a few minutes.  The play was intuitive enough that I managed to figure out how to get through my first race and even managed to score my first win.  The Single race mode section is a great place to hone your managerial skills.  You can make all the changes to the car and driver that you can in the career mode, and get a good idea how your decisions affect your team during the race.  You can select from several different courses, each with multiple layouts, and you can even set what type of weather you’ll race in.  Or you can just leave it up to the game to make those decisions for you, and get your team right out on track.

SEGA Motorsport Manager

Gameplay in SEGA Motorsport Manager is actually pretty fun.  If you’re familiar with B-Spec mode in Gran Turismo, then you’ll like what you see in Motorsport Manager.  The difference here is that you’ll get to make a few more decisions, and you’ll be making them for both cars on your team.  That adds an entirely new element to the game.  You have two drivers, and cars to manage during a single race.  Each requiring a level of attention that keeps the game flowing and keeps you busy, even though you aren’t the guy behind the wheel.  The game plays at just faster than real time, with options to speed up play if you’re anxious to see how your changes affect the race, but don’t feel like waiting.  All in all, single race mode is a great place to hone your skills, and won’t take a ton of time and energy to get started.

SEGA Motorsport Manager

Career Mode

I didn’t get much time to play in career mode, but here are some of the highlights from my first encounter. I immediately appreciated the level of detail in the setup.  You can decide to include the tutorials at the start of your career, which is a great way to get familiar with the ins and outs of the game without intruding too much on your game play.  You’ll also get to specify race length, currency, and date format.  Then you get into the details of your avatar.  And the choices here are pretty expansive and includes all of the facial hair options you’d expect in a game developed in the twenty-teens. Name, Birthdate, where you’re from – all of these are options available to you when setting up your character.  You even get to choose your backstory – and your backstory affects gameplay!  That’s pretty awesome.

SEGA Motorsport Manager

Next you get to choose which series you’ll race in: Tier One, two, or three.  Of course I went straight for the top (because why not) and entered myself in the World Motorsport Championship.  Then you choose your team.  Each has it’s pros and cons, and your selection here will influence how easy or hard you job will be as manager.  Each team profile includes information about where you’re expected to finish, and how much pressure is on you to win, or do well – along with stats about several aspects of the team such as their funding, driver competence, car quality and organization.

SEGA Motorsport Manager

I just picked my favorite color car and got on with it.  Naturally, my favorite color was the worst team on the grid, but also had the lowest expectation to win.  There is some freedom in being able to make decisions when nobody expects you to win – and great satisfaction if you pull off a miracle!

Once your team is selected you jump into gameplay.  The scenario loads reasonably quickly and within a few short minutes you’re at your first race weekend making decisions.  There are more details to discover in career mode, and I look forward to experiencing all that the game has to offer.  Each time I fire it up, I find a new nugget or detail that I may have overlooked before, and I’m again surprised by the level of detail and ability to customize play to suit the experience you’re looking for.

Overall Impression

Bottom line:  A big thumbs up from My Life at Speed.  Definitely looking forward to spending more time in SEGA Motorsport Manager!