james debate
james debate

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Well it's that time of year again. Football Manager is a videogame that every single year comes and draws millions into it's simple, beautiful-game-centric obsession. Relationships are broken up, jobs are lost and lives are enveloped by those who get sucked into what is time and time again one of the top selling games on any system every single year.

For those who have not yet been sucked into the abyss, Football Manager allows you to create your own manager and enter him into the big bad world of professional football management. You can take over any club team in almost any league in the world and you can lead whole nations, you can take amateur local clubs to european glory or take a premiership giant and create a legacy that will last for decades. A game can last years, decades, you can sign the world stars to your favorite team or you can nurture and raise local kids. This game, despite the lack of visual gloss, is the closest you will ever come to the real world of football glory, both the highs and the lows.

And now it is time for the most recent version to make an appearance.

football manager 2009

So I'll bet the reason you're really here is to find out what's new this year. Well I won't disappoint. Well just a few minutes ago it was announced to the world what the key headline features would be.

The first one is Assistant Manager feedback, where your assistant manager during a match will feedback to you on a variety of matters, from player motivation to team cohesion and tactical analysis. And obviously the better stats your assistant manager has the better and more valid his feedback will be.

The next big update is with regards to the media. Now there will be press conferences, which you face before and after a game and on your first day on the job. This is more than just simple Q&A, you also have to build relationships with the journalists, who will remember the answers you give to certain questions and may come back to haunt you. There is also a 'transfer rumour' page now which discusses rumoured transfers that are going ahead, some will be accurate and some complete bollocks just like real gossip columns. On top of this the general media and news items have been increased and enhanced to reflect the increasing influence the media has on the game.

Next we have some big improvements on training. Now you can train players in performing certain moves, giving players a bit more personality and individuality as in real life. On top of this certain players will be more keen in training and stay behind to work harder and improve themselves.

Big news for female gamers, you can now play as a female manager, a very big step in the game in introducing female players. Perhaps slightly unrealistic in a sport which doesn't have female managers but no doubt a big one in diversifying the game's audience. Perhaps this is simply the first step in bringing in women's football for future versions?

Other refinements on old features include an expansion and improvement of the club confidence screen, now including a 'team harmony' and 'team stature' rating as well as a more streamlined design.

There is also an increased adherence to real world economics and financial matters in each and every league across the world to add realism to the game.

Further more we have a revamped interface, more streamlined and for the first time featuring widescreen support.

The transfer has been completely ripped out and rewritten this year. This should ensure that the shortlisting model has been more accurate and efficient.

And LASTLY, the big one you've all been waiting for. The match engine is now in proper 3D. The demos we have been shown so far are supposedly about 50% finished and I can assure you it looks absolutely amazing and will truly change the way this game is played, whilst not being so overwhelming that you need to go and buy a more powerful computer to run it. Meanwhile the 2D engine has been left in the game for those of you who don't want to use the new engine.

On top of this the match interface has been redone. You can now use a special 'tv' view which lets you watch the game and pull up individual dashboard-esque widgets like stats, live table and whatnot which can be overlaid on top of the match view.

It all looks incredible and November can't come soon enough!

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