When my wife asked if I had anything new to review and I said the new Football Manager game, I got the eye roll, swiftly followed by the “not again”. Such is the draw of Football Manager of its Fans, it’s hated by significant others.
Football Manager, for the uninitiated is a Football Management Sim by Sports Interactive. Ultimately it’s been going for quite a while, starting life in 1992 as Championship Manager before Sports Interactive jumped publisher twice leaving original publishers Eidos, and the name behind moving to Sega for Football Manager 2005. It’s fair to say the move was beneficial, as it’s gone from strength to strength year on year.
This years effort continues the legacy of it’s predecessors in trying to provide as realistic a managerial experience as possible. There’s even Brexit fallout!
The core of the game hasn’t changed over a very long time. Let’s face it, it’s football management, from Bill Shankley to Alex Ferguson, the fundamentals have stayed the same. Drill your team well, take care of their best interests and make sure they’re prepared for whatever your opponent has to throw at them. As the Football Manager games have come and gone however, that has taken longer and longer to do. I for one am not complaining. The levels of control over your budgets, your training and your tactics keep getting more and more immersive. With Football Manager, the more you put in, the more you get out of it!
The game has progressed massively in the levels of control you have, from your interactions with your players and the media, your dealings with the board your backroom staff and even the fans. What you say seems to count for a lot more than it used to. The same goes for your team talks, over the last few years it had seemed that what you said was almost always met with apathy, but now your squad pays attention, and when you scream at them from the touchline to show more passion, they pay attention, their performance improves or they shrink away from the challenge, but it helps you know where your players heads are at.
Tactics too have really beefed up, drilling your players in your preferred formations really does make a difference, and the sense of control over how your players are instructed during matches really seems to make more of a difference.
The match engine has probably undertaken the biggest transformation of anything in the game, With the AI used more ‘football-esque’ Your players seem to think, not always well, but more like footballers. Now you also get a bit more of a wow from your sides goals, there’s some panache, it makes the highlights well… more high!
Adding a new manager has been spiced up a bit too, now you can create your look… even scan your face onto your manager, though I wouldn’t recommend it, it looks bloody awful!
I’m always waiting to be impressed by Football Manager, and this year… it did.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 8.5/10 Format: PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a review copy of Football Manager 2017 for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of a week . For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.