Did I accidentally download Football Manager from last year? Ronaldo plays for “Man UFC” (!), That’s the name of the team in this game, and Messi is with PSG, but otherwise everything looks the same as last season. Updated templates and out? The truth is, after ten hours, I’m still not entirely sure what’s new about this game. Having to go to the official site to examine the differences and news compared to last year is pretty enlightening. What’s new? It doesn’t seem like much. Nearly nothing.
They boast that there is a new animation engine for dribbling and player movements during games. It’s not that they have the FIFA graphics either, so not much changes. But it’s a good thing to try to make the engine the best you can and eliminate the absurd elements that appeared in the games before. There’s also a new data section where you can see all kinds of stats, from key moments from previous games to how your team performed in certain cases compared to the rest of the division. Goals per game, frequency of passes, balls played when possession … There is a lot of information. It can be interesting if you like statistics, but most people probably won’t bother with that much.
Perhaps the most noticeable novelty is the meetings that you have to attend regularly. They deal with topics like finding players (scout), assigning new penalty takers, training councils and others. It is true that, among other things, you can disable this feature or run it once a week, once every two. It can be a good tool for keeping track of team and player needs, but after a few meetings I skipped it and read the summaries.
The latest change that Sports Interactive describes in this issue is a new deadline system with new catch-up functions and different values for players on the last transfer day. It’s an entertaining detail like everything else, but not a drastic change: there were deadlines in previous games. Otherwise, that’s exactly what we can expect from the franchise. It’s Football Manager and the game stays the same as it has been for ten years. In other words, a waste of time with “still a game” and suddenly it’s early morning. But who wants to sleep when they can play another game? It’s a derby. I lost? Now I have to spend an hour on the transfer list to find new players. The game is like a fountain and you can spend several hours alone on the menus without changing the day.
There is something problematic about the game and it’s the fairly regular quality of the translations. There are a lot of typographical errors, untranslated words, and more of this type. It’s pretty strong to see this in a game where practically everything is text. Speaking of text: press conferences are of course back. Depending on what you answer, it will lift the mood of the players or give the fans and the board more confidence. If you don’t fit in well, your answers can have the opposite effect. Even as you become a press favorite, the questions become less aggressive. As with company meetings, it didn’t take me long to skip them and leave them to the assistant trainer. I think they just aren’t that interesting or add a lot to the game.
The key, of course, is setting the right strategies and lineups for the next few games, a task as difficult as it is frustrating. Why don’t my strikers score? Do I have to play with two strikers? In my last six games for Paris FC in the French second division to become the new big club in Paris, we only scored two goals. The defense is qualified as good with only five goals conceded and no two goals conceded in the same game.
But why is my attack strategy not working? That is what makes this game so interesting and tries to solve these kinds of problems. Make a small club a threat in the top leagues or extend the dominance of a large club – the choice is yours. The truth is, Football Manager won’t bring anything new in 2022; some corners have been polished, but none stand out. What they offer us instead is the same as always. There’s nothing wrong with that, the franchise is still what we had in Club Technical Sims, but the question is whether the time has come to release a new game every two years. Something tells me this fig won’t fall.