It’s that time of year again, where the sun shines and the football season once again descends upon us. Every Saturday night twitter feeds are taken over by fans exclaiming how they can do better than the current manager at their club of choice.
Well with Football manager 2013 being announced they can have a go themselves, and this time there’s something for everyone, whether you want to start at the bottom – bringing a non-league team to the heights of the premier league - or guide your superstars of choice to the Champions League (or Europa league if you’re a spurs fan).
As with every iteration of the popular franchise, FM13′s announcement comes with a list of new tweaks and features, but its two of which that are the main talking points this time around.
Classic mode or FMC has been introduced and designed to allow players a less time consuming way of playing the game where a whole season is playable in a round 8 hours.
“The introduction of FMC is a major step forward in Football Manager’s evolution, in recent years it’s become clear that there’s a large group of people who would like to play Football Manager, but simply can’t devote the time required to get the most out of the game – in fact, now that they have families and other commitments, even some members of the SI team have found themselves in this position. We decided, therefore, to try to find a way to accommodate players with limited free time, without significantly diluting the experience” Exclaims SI Games Studio director Miles Jacobson.
The other main feature introduced is Challenge mode, allowing players the ultimate test of their managerial skills across a range of scenarios replicating real world circumstances. Anyone who has played Football Manager Handheld will already have had a taste of this feature. Five scenarios will be available in-game, with the possibility of further content being added further down the line.
One, maybe contentious, inclusion however, is micro transactions. Players will be able to “unlock” features to assist in-game, such as adding extra funds to your budgets or removing pesky work permit rules. Players will be able to earn some of these features in-game by reaching milestones, but all of them are able to be purchased should you want to.
Some of the new features and significant tweaks include:
- Improved 3D match engine
Perhaps the most visible enhancements to FM13 will be those that have been made to the 3D match engine. In this year’s release, everything on and around the pitch will look more realistic; from the stadiums and crowds through the players movements and the way the ball moves through the air. A variety of new and improved animations give matches a more realistic feel, while a revamp of the camera system makes the matchday experience more ‘televisual’. These visual enhancements are underpinned by a dramatic improvement in the match engine’s artificial intelligence system.
- New staff roles
FM13 sees a significant restructure of the manager’s backroom staff and a revamp of their roles. This includes the introduction of a Director of Football who will, if required, take on some of the manager’s workload, such as contract negotiations or the disposal of unwanted players. In addition, the number of specialist coaches has increased and the manager has greater flexibility to choose which coaches to seek advice from and when to do this, as well as more specialised coaches and the ability to improve coach’s skills as they qualify for their coaching badges.
- Improved media interaction
The interaction between the manager and the media has been revamped. One significant aspect of this is that managers can now adopt different tones when dealing with the press – choosing between a number of moods ranging from ‘calm’ to ‘aggressive’.
- Network game
FM13 sees a huge revamp of the multi-player game, which now makes full use of the Steam system’s network functionality, allowing players to set up and enjoy games against other managers far more easily than before. The improved network game also includes a number of bespoke, one-off league and cup options alongside the standard career version, including one mode which allows the player to take the team that he or she has built and developed in their single-player game and test it in the multi-player environment.
- Worldwide leaderboards
FM13’s deeper integration with Steam also sees the introduction of worldwide leaderboards which means, for the first time, that players can see exactly where they stand compared to their fellow managers across the globe. In addition to the full global ranking ladder, there will also be a number of individual leaderboards covering the game’s different modes and every playable nation and division. The leaderboards use a sophisticated scoring system that takes into account a variety of factors including the level a manager chooses to compete at, his or her club’s financial performance and even their in-game wages – making the new manager contract negotiation feature a really important addition to the game.
- User interface
FM13 boasts a new interface and skin for ‘career’ mode, and a fresh new look for ‘classic’ mode, as well as lots of work on navigation, an animated interface and a new search system means that whichever mode you go for, FM13 will be the easiest to use and best-looking game in the series to date.
- Enhanced training
In FM13 managers will have the ability to go deeper into their team’s training and choose a schedule that suits their needs. Training is now managed through a simplified overview panel which combines general coaching with more detailed preparation. Managers can now choose where they want to focus their team’s training, whether that is on more general routines or in preparing for specific matches.
- Realistic tax regimes
One of the major factors which influences real world footballers when they come to choose which club to sign for is the different level of tax which is payable from one country to another. This is now reflected in FM13, which includes up-to-date tax regimes for each of its featured countries – something which the in-game footballers will take into account when deciding which club to join.
No release date has been set as yet, with SEGA and SI just stating the game will be out before Christmas, stay tuned to Midlife Gamer for more news.