We absolutely love Football Manager at Zath (even if some of us are still recovering FM addicts!), and every year I look forward to the latest installment of what is most probably the greatest game ever created. You can understand my excitement at the unveiling of Football Manager 2011, then, which promises to add more features to the game including a refreshed training system which gives you more control over the training ground in your team.
Sports Interactive have never been shy in making major changes between different versions of Football Manager, and I suspect that this year will be no different. Last year saw a complete overhaul of the interface, which took quite a bit of getting used to at first, but proved to be just as successful as Football Manager 2009 in making the game as intuitive as it could be after a few hours of gameplay. Looking at early screenshots of FM 2011, it appears that the main user interface remains mostly intact, so hopefully it will be familiar to users who have used Football Manager 2010.
For this years Football Manager, there seem to be three main areas of focus: real-time contract negotiation, a revamped training system and a number of match engine improvements.
Real-time Contract Negotiation
When dealing with the contract renewal of players, you can look forward to dealing not only with the player, but the players’ agent too. This will make it more challenging to please both the player and their agent in contract negtiations, and you will have to cope with a wide range of personalities, too.
Sports Interactive said that “by working with a multitude of real-life football agents, Sports Interactive gained an insight as to how these negotiations can be made as realistic as possible in-game. Prepare to meet different types of agents in your contract talks; each with their own personality so will therefore need a different approach.”
Revamped Training System
The main new feature that you will notice in Football Manager 2011 is the ‘match preparation’ area of training, which will allow you to give your players a specific area of focus going in to the next game. You can focus your player on a specific ‘skill area’ too, and there are more presets available so that you won’t have to fiddle around with all those sliders as much!
“At Sports Interactive, we always strive to give the end-user the best experience possible,” said Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive. “The training system for example has always been the best we thought it could be, until now. We’ve found a way to make it even better!”
For me, training has always been one complicated aspect of the game, and I’d always spend around half an hour creating my training profiles when playing a brand new version for the first time. Hopefully, the new changes will make the whole process more simple, not only for casual gamers, but die-hard fans too.
The 3D match engine, introduced in Football Manager 2009, was as big as the transition from scrolling text to 2D pitch in the days of Championship Manager, and it’s been implemented really well, despite a few bugs and unrealistic animations. In FM 2011, the match engine has been further refined to make it even better.
“With over 100 new animations added, as well as more player emotions, new player models, new stadiums, pitch textures, improved lighting, floodlit night matches, more goal celebrations and lots of other extras which improve what was already the best match simulation on the market.”
I for one cannot wait for Football Manager 2011 to hit the market later this year, and you can count on the latest news being available to read right here on Zath in the build up to its release date of 5th November.
Do you have a long history of playing the Football Manager (or even the old Championship Manager) games? Or have you now retired from football management? Tell us your story!