One of Reiza’s main goals with AMS 2 is to create the ‘best ever career mode’ in sim racing. But with its current content, is that truly possible?
Whilst driving and on-track action are certainly the main focus of the sim racing industry, there’s one feature that may be just as important. A strong career mode can, in many cases, turn a fairly average title into a timeless icon.
The Project Cars Series, the Codemasters franchise of F1 games and even, at a stretch, iRacing. These memorable legends of simracing all remain in racing fans’ minds thanks to their in-depth progression-based career modes.
It is this same level of depth, realism and immersion that Reiza is in search of with the career mode for Automobilista 2. In fact, the AMS 2 website claims that the “endgame for Automobilista 2 is the most comprehensive and true-to-life career mode ever designed for a racing game.”
But with a wide range of content spanning multiple decades, I wonder how the developers will bring it all together to create such a ground-breaking career. Whilst the simulator has promise, here are my doubts and concerns when it comes to the project’s supposed ‘endgame.’
Mixing Old and New
When it comes to real-world motorsport careers, they rarely last as long as many would want. Racers remain at the top of their chosen discipline for no longer than a decade or two. Prior to this stint in a World Championship or racing as a professional, the generic junior echelons provide the action. Later on in life, most racers disappear from the limelight.
Therefore, when it comes to a simracing career mode, content must focus on a certain era and even discipline. Automobilista 2 does neither of these featuring cars and tracks from every period of the sport.
When first jumping into AMS 2, fans enjoy the luxury of skipping from one decade to another both with its cars and tracks. One could easily go from wrestling a classic GT Porsche 911 to driving a modern junior Formula car within minutes. This variety, whilst impressive, doesn’t lend itself to making an immersive career mode.
Sparse Career Mode Grids
For a sim racing career mode to really take shape, a game needs a good selection of believable full grids. Bar the odd Brazilian championship, none of Automobilista 2‘s car selections does this. Cars either feature glaringly standard livery packs or memorable models from certain car selection are missing.
Sure, the Stock Car content is very thorough with every car, track, livery and driver. But that isn’t the case when it comes to content packs further afield from the developer’s specialty. Modern prototype racing and the GT3 category for example both feel rushed in AMS 2. Just a few cars, most of which aren’t the newest models, blend together making a thin soup.
The same can be said for older content. Although with the legendary status of many models, the issue stares back at the player even more. Whilst the formula packs do a good job of filling each era with differing car models, other classes don’t fair so well. The aforementioned 1970’s Porsche 911 RSR sits alongside a Corvette C3-R. But where is the Ferrari Daytona or Alfa Romeo Giulia that would have competed in the same class in 1973?
My AMS 2 Career Mode
Given the restrictions of an in-depth career mode in AMS 2, it seems impossible to pull off the studio’s claims. But this article isn’t all about negativity. If Reiza truly wants to accomplish this goal, anything is surely possible with enough motivation.
With that in mind, I was wondering how one could pull off a unique and ground-breaking experience whilst utilising the existing content in Automobilista 2. Here’s the best idea I can come up with.
With content spanning nearly 70 years of motorsport history, I would turn AMS 2 into an ode to the sport’s diversity throughout the years. Most games put the player in the body of a random racer looking to progress through the ranks. This take on the sim racing career would provide a time-travelling adventure.
After a cinematic trailer showcasing the best cars and tracks in AMS 2, a main menu displays a timeline. Akin to the graphs found in primary school classrooms, this would unlock new eras and iconic events of motorsport’s history. Once you unlock a decade, compete in cars from that time period to unlock a selection of memorable races. Win a trilogy of the best events of said time period and you can move on to the next decade.
The majority of races would see a player compete in unrecognisable events in random car-track configurations. But headlining races peppered throughout a decade’s playthrough would bare resemblance to an infamous event that marked said decade. For example, the 1990’s would feature an F1 contest at Imola paying tribute to Senna. The same decade would see a GT1 race throwing back to a golden era in sportscar racing.
Whilst one would lack the sense of connection to the playthrough from not playing the role of a specific driver, this would provide a unique approach to simracing career modes that fans could really enjoy. Fans of historical content – which AMS 2 seems to rely on at present – will find great pleasure in traveling through the ages.
Are you also worried about the AMS 2 career mode promises? What do you make of this solution to the problem? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!