A host of significant additions make this the most exhaustive, but also the most streamlined, Football Manager to date.
- Classic mode speeds the game up and is inviting for newcomers
- Assistant manager comments help tactical awareness
- Challenge mode is focused and enticingly difficult
- 3D match engine looks better than ever
- Most addictive and rewarding game of the series so far.
- Media interaction still needs work
- Team talks feel inconsistent.
The first thing you do is pick a team. After that, anything could happen. It's one of the beautiful things about the Football Manager series--every game is different, every player plays differently, and every team provides a different challenge. By focusing on stats and raw data, Sports Interactive has distilled the beautiful game down to a form that has created a 20-year line of addicts. Addicts who want more detail, more leagues, and more chances to turn an underperforming minnow into a blossoming goliath of the game.
It's odd, then, that--in a gesture of what is likely supreme self-awareness--Football Manager 2013's biggest new feature is Classic mode. Designed to streamline the playing experience for veterans and provide an extra helping hand to newcomers, Classic mode is seemingly an admission from the developers that the core game of Football Manager is perhaps becoming too big, too complex, and too time-consuming for anyone with a job, partner, and/or need for sleep (or, at the very least, aspirations to experience such things).
Without exaggeration, it's possible to complete a season of Classic mode in a day or less. This is largely thanks to reduced levels of media interaction, the complete removal of team talks, and the option to auto-resolve matches, taking you straight to the end of each game and displaying the final result in a matter of seconds. This may sound like Football Manager for Dummies, but to think of it in such a way is to do the mode a great disservice. Yes, you can fully simulate matches in seconds and completely remove yourself from player training schedules, but success and failure still ultimately rest on the work you put in over the days leading up to each match, and whether your team actually wants to play for you. Classic mode or not, good and bad managers still exist.
Underpinning Classic mode is the same set of algorithms and painstakingly categorized data that sits at the foundation, meaning the same level of flexibility is afforded to you when it comes to judging, buying, and selling new members of playing and backroom staff. For anyone who has stuck with the series year after year, seeing the same depth of information presented and harnessed in a slightly different way can be initially quite alarming and raises more than the odd question about why this mode is being introduced at all, and whether the game will be streamlined further from here on out.
It's a valid concern, and one that will no doubt split the existing Football Manager community in two--some will appreciate the time saved; others will see it as a threat to the full game they love. Unfortunately, there's no answer at present, but expect to see more resources being sunk into Classic mode in the future if players take to it in a big way. Future concerns aside, though, Classic mode is an excellent addition that makes it easier to get stuck in the world the game creates and a demonstration that, even after 20 years, Sports Interactive still has new ways to introduce us to its offspring.
Accompanying Classic mode in the "new ways to play stakes" is Challenge mode, which features challenges aimed at testing your managerial abilities under various adverse circumstances. The Challenge mode menu suggests that these feats of football wizardry range from easy to hard, but in reality they range from hard to sadistically hard. One challenge asks you to save your team from relegation. Sounds easy enough. Until you load a game up and realize that you start 21 games into the season and 17 points from safety. Another asks you to go through an entire season undefeated, while yet another demands that you meet the chairman's start-of-season expectations with a team so riddled with injuries that you wish you could suit up yourself in a bid to provide options at center back.
Like Classic mode, the challenges offer a new way to play and make it possible to live an entire story in a single sitting. Despite their uncompromising difficulty, the fact that you're presented with such a clear and direct goal makes the experience extremely rewarding when you get it right. It promotes a different way of approaching the game, knowing that you don't necessarily need to worry about next season and beyond--all you need to worry yourself with is what the best strategy is for the next game and this season. In an odd way, the constraints of the challenges are liberating in their narrow focus.
@tenz01 when did it ever have fake players? Every player in the game is not only real, but scouted and accurately assessed to the point that when real teams capture a rising star it comes as no surprise to people who play this game.
Wow! GS fails... giving it the trait "Getting more what you paid for" as much as i love Football manager and fifa manager i dont think you get even close to the 60 euro
@Majkic666 Really? Most people I know into this game get dozens upon dozens of hours of entertainment that keeps them up until all hours of the night. I'd say that sounds like an excellent value.
@Kevin-V well we live in 2 different countries.. even though Football is everything where i am from... people get this game and mostly plays this game when they are bored or in school... however after 1-3 seasons in-game most people just turns it down and don't return to it... beside over the last years (since the game has become worse since 2008 or 09 edition i have seen many people just skip it.. but most people i see who play the game have gotten it illegal and tells me that they would never pay such price for such a game... and they are actually people who buy FIFA and PES every year.. i myself have only tested the game on my computer and not felt any improvements that i liked since the old versions... Basically what i mean is, people look at the game as a manager game they play online like UEFA fantasy league and such thing, where they don't have to pay to set up their dream-team and that is what they look in Football manager from the many people i have meet from my football nation...
And most of the people i have talked with have said they would buy it if it was between 10-20 euros tops, while others think it should be free or less then 5 euros.. because get the same satisfaction of setting up their team on "football" manager games which can be found on the browser...
So yeah i find it overpriced especially if you compare it to other games. Look at example Torchlight 2, big game for cheap money which you can play for years... while this one kind of losses everything and the end of the football season...
I play this franchise since late 90's, and is good to see a review of the new FM here:) One day we'll have great games like FM for american football, baseball etc.
I like that classic mode speeds things up. Hopefully it will keep this game from molesting my social life. Again.
I'm surprised they don't call it Soccer Manager in the US to stop any confusion. Football Manager 11' is still installed on my Laptop, but I kind of want to try out Van Persie and Kagawa on Man U so I might need the new version I think.
@Joeguy00 The first version I bought of this was '09. For the '09 version, I bought it via Steam and it was called "Worldwide Soccer Manager." I bought '11 version directly from their website, however, so I got Football Manager instead. A steam search now shows that the '13 version on Steam lists it as Football Manager. I guess they gave up on trying to gain an American audience.
@BPoole96 because the sport in it uses the foot 99% of the time,hence "football",not like those girlie boys armored up to do some softcore version of rugby.Don't you find it ironic that you americans call "football" a sport played primarly with the hands?what,handball was taken too?
@enartloc I know I was just screwing with people :P
Forget him BPoole96, he clearly doesnt understand sports or the subtlety of your humor. Doesnt realize the sport was Soccer even in Europe at one point ... nor does he know anything about the equipment or the effects of highspeed collisions in gridiron. Don't waste your time on him
The game is for statophiles. And for soccer fans. Thankfully, we don't have many soccer fans in the United States.
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Ahh Football Manager, every year I say I wont get the new one and each year I can't help but get it.
I'm staying away from it this year - can't afford to fall into a 6 month FM black hole.
@meconate It's for people who like statistics an probability, and understanding the overall possibilities of the sport. If you don't like any of these you sure won't see any appeal to the game.
Having just read the review, I'm a little confused. If this is such a great improvement with the features over last year's iteration, why give it the same score? the bad points that have been listed are very minor, given the scope of the game. I understand that reviews are essentially an opinion piece, but to compliment so many features and then rate it at 8/10, seems as inconsistent as the reviewer claims that the team talks are.
@richardcam21 Because if there would have been no improvements, just being as good as a previous game that gets 8/10, it should get less than 8 for bringing nothing new. In order for a series to keep it's good score year after year it needs to get better and better.
@Nattravnen I definitely see you point. Sequels should always look to bring improvements to their predecessors. However, the extent to which the reviewer compliments the new features, makes the 8.0 seem a bit miserly. It just seems to me that the tone of the review suggested that it would be a massively high scoring game i.e. 9.0 or even higher.
@richardcam21 I see your point too, but also understand why the reviewer did the way he did. I have experienced myself games that you can't really point out any flaws, yet you don't feel like it deserves a 10/10. There just might be that feeling that it could have been better.
I like the way that classic mode has been introduced for the newer players and those without so much time to play. I'm also happy with the fact that it hasn't caused the main game to be cut back in any way. As a result, this should end up attracting a much wider audience. Well played SI.
@Slash_out It appeals more to the football fan. This game takes you in to the depth of actually running and managing a football club. Like; contract negotiations, buying / selling a player, developing the youth players, all that type of thing. But at the same time it doesn't play like Fifa or Pro Evo. Despite it's 3D game match engine. You could even make your own club from scratch via the database editor.
Hey guys, does this game appeal more to the football fan (which I am not) or to the sim fan (which I am)?
@Slash_out Its a great sim game. But like som of the others are saying: very detailed! If you want to try a football manager sim that is easier to cope, try one of the fifa managers.. To me, football manager is a great sim but tends to be mostly for football fans.
@Slash_out I think you could have much fun with the game even though you are not into football. A former roomie of mine loved the game and hated football at the same time. The game offers a lot of candy for the sim lover.
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@Pieter_1986 Thanks for your input.
@Slash_out @Pieter_1986 Don't listen to the naysayers. If you have any interest in simulators and strategy and tactics then you're likely to enjoy this game regardless of whether you like football or not.
Contrary to what many people think, it is possible for someone inexperienced with football in general to grasp, and even excel at, the tactics of football. There's more to it than simply who's been watching games the longest.
You seem to like to play a game that lets you build something from the ground up and turn it into a powerhouse. So I reckon you'd enjoy this game. Of course you will need to get up to speed with the tactics and whatnot but that's nothing a little experimentation and analysis can't fix.
@Slash_out Why would you play it if you're not into football? You would really struggle with pretty much everything.
@Zarkhaine Because I like sim games. I like to be able to take care of a hotel, a F1 team, a restaurant, a city, a bunch of random dudes making children in a house, whatever.
The theme doesn't interest me, it's how well the sim aspect is done.
I don't like football, so the football theme is not a + at all for me. But it's not a deterrent either, it's not like I hate the sport.
Which is why I want to know if the football theme is sugar coating for the fans and essential to enjoying the theme, or if it's a simulation that stands on its own.
@enartloc @gbus316 @Slash_out @Zarkhaine If you want a screenie from Steam I'll get it for ya. Not sure if all those hours are active play time or not though. I tend to have the game running 24 h a day when I'm in the mood for FM. I play like one season a day when I play. And yes, I might very well have played it for 402 days.
@Slash_out Well there's a lot to take in with this game. It is insanely detailed, but I still think you'd struggle with your lack of football knowledge - although if you do end up playing it, you will probably take more notice of real life football.
It's the best simulator i have ever played. But i am not sure how you'd get on with no knowledge of football. Having said that, all the tools are there for you to get by. If you like sims then you should go for it, because it really is top notch and a massive gaming experience. When I am in a full FM addiction, i'd tend to have it on my computer all day, getting in about 6 hours of gaming. Takes over your life
- Player Reviews: 4
- Game Universe:
- Worldwide Soccer Manager 2006 (PC, MAC, PSP, X360),
- Worldwide Soccer Manager 2007 (PC, MAC, X360, PSP),
- Worldwide Soccer Manager 2008 (X360, PC, PSP, MAC),
- Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 (PC, PSP),
- Football Manager Handheld 2010 (PC, MAC, PSP, IP),
- Football Manager 2011 (PC, MAC, PSP, IP),
- Football Manager 2012 (MAC, PC, PSP),
- Worldwide Soccer Manager 2005 (PC),
- Football Manager 2005 (MAC),
- Sky Sports Football Manager Season 01/02 (PC)