Football Manager 2013 kicking it
Statistics, training schedules and elaborate tactics sounds like fun… right? If you can answer yes to that, then Football Manager might just be something for you.
One could ask: why even bother reviewing the new Football Manager game? Fans of the genre will undoubtedly get it anyway, no matter what somebody on the internet writes about it. And if football management is not your thing, then you’ll probably not even have come so far as to read these words.
The gamer with no interest in this game whatsoever might call it a glorified spreadsheet, and to some, that might actually be accurate to some extent. This game caters to the stat-hungry individual, who shouts at the TV, because the manager of your favorite team uses a ridiculous tactic or because he insists on fielding the 33+ year old former great star instead of the up-and-coming talent. In Football Manager 2013 you’re at the helm. You decide which players is fielded, you decide which players to target on the transfer market and you hold the keys to your teams glory. It’s a heavy burden, sure. But my lord… is it ever so entertaining.
Yep, I’m a dedicated Football Manager fan, so keep that in mind when you read this Just Played article. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get on with it. What’s new?
So, what’s new?
The biggest visual change have been the new interface overhaul. You still get the same feel from the previous titles, but everything is in a different place than you remember. The redesign can also be a bit overwhelming, since it seems Sports Interactive have tried to cram absolutely all the information on to the same screen at any time. Luckily they’ve made it very customisable, so with a little getting-used-to, you’ll easily find your preferred setup. I actually like the new design elements, but admittedly, I did have to convince myself of the fact.
Is it just a graphical update? Oh no, not at all. The developer has also tinkered with the mechanics in a couple of areas. When you’re offering a transfer target a contract, you can now for example lock the wages offered, to indicate that you can’t afford more from the wage budget, but let it be known, that you’re willing to make up for it elsewhere in the financial side of the contract. It’s a great evolutionary move by the developer, and one that makes sense.
You’re also no longer tied to your initial choices from when you started the game. You can now add or remove countries and leagues in the database while your game is on-going. That’s a great addition to the game, that’ll allow you to continue with your career with a team in a completely different country, so you don’t have to abandon the database which has evolved with you over a ten year season span.
I’ll admit it, although it may be perceived as heresy by hardcore management fans. I can’t be bothered with training schedules. It is the one aspect of the game that I really detest. But luckily your coaching staff is able to handle that task completely. You can of course also let your assistant pick the team for you. But really, what’s the point of playing if you do that to an excessive extent?
And the verdict is in.
Well, you get more of just about everything. It’s really difficult to criticise Sports Interactive for a lack of innovation when they already have a great formula. All we can really hope for is tweaks that will make the experience more enjoyable than the last title. And that is something they have managed (no pun intended) to accomplish.
Anyone that considers him- or herself amongst the core audience should pick it up without a doubt. But how about newcomers? The developer have done a great job putting together a comprehensive tutorial. While the learning curve is still pretty steep, you shouldn’t be afraid to give it a go. When it comes to football management, there really is nothing better on the market.