Football Manager 2015

1/13/2015 3:10:03 AM

The Football Manager (FM) game - the long-running football management simulation franchise - lets fans play out their dreams of managing a football club.


FM 2015 continues the tradition.

When you load up FM 2015, the first thing which strikes you is the change in the menu interface. All the main items, such as Squad, Transfer, Scouting and Tactics, are on the left side of the screen instead of being on top previously. The last time the main menu bar was sited here was in the 2010 version. I find this position more accessible.

There are other menu changes. However, the most significant one concerns how you select your match team line-up. Each position now has a drop-down menu to show the players who can operate effectively in that position.

So, if you forget who your best shadow striker or wingback is, this feature lets you pick and choose your player quickly, but you can still do the old-fashioned drag and drop.

When you start a new game in Career mode, it will prompt you to create your avatar, just like in a role-playing game. So, you can decide on your age, whether you are an experienced ex-international footballer or a coaching maestro with little professional playing experience. This will affect how your coaches and players react to you. For example, if you are a highly respected ex-international footballer, players will seem to react more positively to your comments than those of an armchair coach.

Many FM fans love scouting for players, as well as buying and selling talent. Your scouts have regional expertise, so you need to be mindful of their advice. Search the Internet for players to sign or trust your gut instinct.

Managing Liverpool, the club I support, I signed on winger Juan Cuadrado and striker Jackson Martinez against the advice of my scouts, who are not familiar with South American players. Both combined with Daniel Sturridge (when not injured) to solve Liverpool's goal-scoring problems and win the English Premier League.

Take that, Brendan Rogers.

There are more conversational options with your players and the media. You will find more players asking to talk to you about their first team chances.

Just as in real life, you will be interviewed not only at pre-match press conferences, but also just before the game begins.

Compared with earlier versions, FM 2015 has smoother graphics and more realistic match animation.

However, it still pales in comparison with Fifa or Winning Eleven. Still, the improved 3-D match engines make the build-up play and goal-scoring more believable than ever.

I found that the game seems to favour goals resulting from crosses by the flanks. Having played as a former winger, this sounds great to me. However, for others who prefer going through the middle, you might want to change your tactics.

Probably the best thing about FM 2015 is that each match is different and full of surprises. You have to continually adjust your tactics before and during the course of the match. Use the touchline shout to wake up a player who looks complacent or to make a timely substitution that will swing the match in your favour.

Despite incremental upgrades, FM 2015 retains the addictive gameplay for which the franchise is famed.

If you are a football fan, this is one game you should definitely buy.

Rating 8/10

  • $52.90 (PC, version tested; Mac)
  • Football-management simulation

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