Football Manager 2013 - Review
So by now, my review of Football Manager 2013 may be a little pointless. The game has been live for 10 days or so, and following a few computer /connection issues on my end, the first time I really get to sit down at my computer, the general reviews and opinions of this fine video game and potential life ruiner are available for all to see. IGN gave the game an ‘Amazing’ 9.0 (their review can be found HERE) whereas Gamespot gave the game a gentleman’s 8.0 (Review is HERE)
So, instead of me simply regurgitating their information, or simply waxing lyrical for 1,000 words on a game which any self-respecting football fan is going to own, I will simply pick out my 5 key features of Football Manager 2013. These features, which genuinely influence the way you play 2013, are enhanced or new features for the franchise, and if you like the sound of any of these, chances are you will have already popped open another window and logged in to Steam to purchase a copy of the game for your very self.
Before we go any further, may I once again remind new and regular visitors that I am a huge Football Manager fan. I have played, tried and tested many other management titles, some of which aren’t bad at all. My aim to finally get EA Sports to send us a copy of FIFA Manager 2013 is falling on deaf ears, and to be honest, I find it very hard to see it compete with a game that has taken up literally months of my life for the past few years. Since playing as Dortmund on FM 2010, I have been over to Germany and watched a game, and since doing the same with Sporting Lisbon in 2011’s edition, have been lucky enough to travel to Portugal too! My ventures and RNK Split last year were both delightful and frustrating, and whilst I am a console gamer, my passion for FM has lasted for many years and continues to burn strongly. Whilst my own personal opinion of the game shouldn’t be enough to sway you, I urge, encourage and hope that any one wishing to enhance their knowledge of the footballing world take a serious dip into Sport Interactive’s game, you won’t be disappointed.
Okay, so back to the point. Passionate opinions aside. The five things which make Football Manager 2013 worth spending your hard earned cash on.
1. Network Play
I played Football Manager Live, and it was a decent concept spoiled by lack of marketing and support. I have played previous FM games which have claimed to have network support, and seen the game crash after 1 week. Football Manager 2013 is the first game to use the power of Steam to support online play. This is a piece of software that supports thousands upon thousands of online games every day, and therefore is ideal and secure enough to make FM 2013 Network play exciting. As well as being able to securely save and play the game, features include the ability to place time limits on all players, so no need to wait for 40 minutes while your opponents scour the Japanese Youth League for a reserve GK. Ingenious as this may be, perhaps the best feature is the ability to export teams from your save game into a virtual league and play againstyour mates. Irrelevant of your game state, the year your in, you could field a team of your players against a friends team, separated by 20 virtual years. Imagine having a young Alex Oxlade Chamberlin play against his 35 year old veteran self, or having a team of U21 as regular seasoned pros. Custom tournaments and leagues are also supported, meaning the argument of which team is better can truly be settled one and for all.
2. FM Classic mode.
Ask any seasoned FM player their favourite football sim, and Champion Manager 2001/2002 will pop up. Even today, the update to this classic title with modern players still is a popular choice amongst gamers. Why? Because it was quick and simple to play. Leagues could be completed in one evening (granted a very late evening) and whilst FM 2012 and 13 are exceptionally in depth, some gamers much prefer to play quickly. Enter FM Classic, a game mode designed to strip back the team talks, press conferences and training reports and just focus on the core features, picking your team and setting your tactics. Gamers who may have been overwhelmed or lost interest in the wealth of stats and data from recent years need fear no more, and FM Classic is the way forward for you guys!
3. Enhanced Training Modes
A personal favourite for me. Basically, this is giving you a greater level of involvement within your teams training schedule. Taking the form of a calendar, you can take complete control of how often your players train, their rest days, their work loads and the sessions they do. Want to become a set piece team a la Leicester in the late 90’s, no problem. Drill your boys on corners and free kicks and reap the rewards. The more coaches and the better staff you have, the greater improvement you will see in your players tactical and technical performances, and whereas FM has always addressed the issue of training, this is now starting to really feel like you are a coach as well! Don’t worry if this daunts you, set your trust Assistant to look after the task, and sit back and watch is all organised before your eyes, leaving you to do some virtual punditry or ask the board for more transfer funds.
4. FM Challenges
Not so much a new mode as a new inclusion for gamers who have only played the PC version of FM. In a nutshell, you are set a challenge which you must compete by the end of the season. These range from going unbeaten to keeping a side in their division. Once completed, you can then choose to continue the game or end the scenario there and then. Simple enough, but ideal for those gamers looking for a short term objective or a unique start to their virtual management career,
5. Everything Else You Come To Expect From FM
Okay, so maybe a cop out, but literally what most games would see as improvements are simply the norm for FM. A bang up to date and exceptionally in depth database, including youth players, reserves and new rules are standard. A brand new skin and face lift, using a window navigation system. Enhanced 3D match engine. More interaction with players, assistants etc. Features that make FM 2012 seem old fashioned instantly.
So there you have it. Short and sweet maybe, but well worth leaving Soccer Gaming, logging into Steam and picking up your copy. If you want more information on the game itself, or to check out the FREE demo, please visit www.footballmanager.com