For many, it’s the most addictive thing in their life. Forget the buzz of drugs, booze or London escorts. Behind closed doors they’re getting high on something else entirely. No matter how much they try and quit, they always find themselves draw back to its unique charm, to the incredible appeal that it offers. To its complexity, its excitement, the fantasies it lets them live out. Hundreds, thousands of hours spent just enjoying it. More than they could ever hope to count and every year they wonder if this will be the last time but it never is.
What incredible substance are we talking about? Why, Football Manager of course, the PC gaming equivalent of shooting up 3 times a day. The insanely addictive simulator has taken many men’s lives over the years, consumed in training routines, the perfect transfers and tactics that let them dominate their opponents. The appeal of it might not be obvious to novices, but play it for a bit and the sheer pleasure you can derive from all the things it offers becomes clear. It becomes compulsive. “One more match” is something you’ll hear a lot of, normally as the hours grow late. Even our clients that regularly see escorts in London find themselves up at 2am as often as a devout FM player. It just happens.
So what does this year’s offering bring? A new UI is a mixed bag, better in some ways, far worse in others. The tactics screen continues to be particularly awesome, a triumph of both bad styling and function. Given that it’s the core of the game for many, the failure to upgrade is a serious strike. Squad tactics have some great and intuitive visualisation options this year and show you exactly what your commands will do. It’s a great improvement and if the tactics screen learns from it next year the community will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
The match engine is improved again, as are the graphics. It’s strangely compelling watching the little stick figures carry out your plans. It’s nothing like the real matchday experience, where many spend their weekends celebrating close victories or mourning losses with a pint in their hands and a London escort soothing their sorrows. It’s more cerebral, more detached. You’re not just watching anymore, you’re in control. It’s a feeling that many have come to love.
In those areas, the game continues to shine. You can control everything, from wage structures to the size of the pitch if you wish. But there are also streamlined options for those that don’t fancy playing a game that essentially turns you into a business CEO. If the matchday and tactics are all you care about, you’ll be relieved to learn that the AI is learning to handle things off the pitch to a new degree of competence.
So, is it worth the upgrade? The improvements are generally very minor, but they’re all in important areas. With the 2016 winter window update having just come out, the game is reasonably priced at the moment but you might be better off waiting for the 2017 edition at this point. If it’s on sale, nab it. If not, continue to sink time in 2015, not that we need to convince you…