Reviews// Football Manager 2010

Posted 27 Oct 2009 17:23 by
The release of Football Manager 2010 is just around the corner, and having played the review code for several days Ė and a number more after updating (as such) to the demo code Ė it seems fans are in for another solid year of management simulation. However, with Eidos and Beautiful Games Studios entering the market again with Championship Manager 2010 (my review here), itís an important time for Sports Interactive and SEGA. Does FM still belong at the top of the food chain in the stomping ground of football management simulation?

With any annually released sim, each year will bring a new user interface. This year is no different for FM, and SI has ditched the tried and tested layout of having the menu on the left and the content in the middle, and replaced that with an extremely well presented design. The main menu is now spanned across the top of your screen, with everything below that used for content. It looks and feels like an extremely sleek and user-friendly website. Considering how long players tend to stare at these screens, itís nice to have a cool blend of soft colours to take the strain off your eyes.

Something else that was quickly noticeable was how fast the game plays. The code feels tight, and the game itself runs more quickly and more smoothly on my machine than last yearís outing. I think it also needs to be said that for the most part, FM isnít far different from last year. The core mechanics are very much the same, with a few key areas being targeted for improvement.

One of these is the match engine, a core component that you hope and generally expect to change each year. With the improvements [CM 2010 has displayed, it was important Sports Interactiveís FM 2010 followed suit. From all the games Iíve played to date, itís evident SI has delivered on a massive scale. It plays beautifully. Itís a virtual game of football like no other; a genuinely entertaining spectacle with extremely deep workings behind it.

Granted, the animations in its pseudo-3D mode donít quite match up to that in [CM 2010, but it is leaps and bounds ahead in every other category. The FM 2010 match engine continues to improve on a scale any fan should be appreciative of. The vision and passage of play of your team will raise the sincerest of smiles, whilst defensive blunders will have you fuming. All of it feels positively authentic.

Itís also a good sign that Iím still sticking with the 3D match engine this far into playing it, despite the fact I had to switch back to 2D top-down in CM 2010 after just a few games.

Also on the list for improvement were tactics and tactics creation. Previously, in typical football fanatic fashion, the ideas in my head never quite translated as well as I hoped on the pitch. Despite naysayers, I insist on putting this down to the tactic creation itself. In times of trouble, I would often find myself scouring the web for ďsuper tacticsĒ, and whilst some of them did work, they were hollow victories. They detracted from the gameplay, and I still felt like I was playing a game where finding and beating the secret formula was the first thing you ever had to do.

Fortunately, things have changed! I no longer have to face the mystifying challenge of translating my ideas into sliders, a skill many had mastered, but one I could never quite learn. With the new tactics creator, SI has listened quite extensively to its community in an attempt to improve the level of control the player has over their team and how it plays.

The Tactics Creator Wizard takes you through 8 fairly simple steps: Introduction, Formation, Philosophy, Strategy, Player Roles, Player Duties, Adjustments and Summary. Once completed you can quickly edit the formation and instruction for your players, such as stating which centre back will challenge and which will cover; making your central midfielder a deep lying playmaker; having your wingbacks pushing forward for support when on the attack Ė settings that Iíve previously wanted to define, but working that into sliders always seemed impossible.

(Itís worth noting that for the die-hard slider tacticians out there, you can still create tactics in the Ďclassicí way.)
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Reezo 31 Oct 2009 03:21
i think that fm 2010 is gonna be awesome fm games everrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The master 31 Oct 2009 19:40
i have been waiting so long for this game. i hope that is better than the last one
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