Football season is back, and that means we will be getting heaps of football games coming out this year even though they are labelled 2010! It is madness but it is that special kind of madness we are all used to. Apart from all the other chaps here who don’t seem to care in the slightest about the grand old sport.
Come the 30th October 2009 you will find Sports Interactive’s latest version of their fabled series, Football Manager 2010, being released to the general public. Studio Director Miles Jacobson has some choice words in the press release concerning the announcement of the release date:
“We have worked very hard with the Football Manager community to target not only the areas of the game that needed re-working but also what we could add to improve what’s already there. We’ve also conducted extensive usability studies which has led us to overhaul the whole presentation of the game, which we’re really excited about.”
You can find a breakdown of the new features on the official website but what is clear from the off is that the front end has been totally redesigned, and I must say it looks very nice.
There is a big problem with these seasonal games, and that is that often they don’t add much new year on year apart from updated team sheets. Of course the last Football Manager game introduced the all new 3D match engine, but sadly that wasn’t enough to get me to play the game, the demo still had the feel of a tired old series running out of new ideas.
I have to say though that the new user interface (including the new news centre) for the 2010 version looks to really spice up the game. With an improved tactics system and match analysis tool this should be a pretty good update to the series. Oh I have to mention what is undoubtedly the best change for the new game, the improved editor. Finally you will be able to create your own leagues and other competitions, finally I can recreate my old team I played for and give them their own league with the sides I used to play! Yes!
Press release for those of you who love that kinda thing:
LONDON (August 12th, 2009) – Sports Interactive & SEGA® Europe Ltd. can today announce that Football Manager™ 2010 for PC and Apple Macintosh, and Football Manager™ Handheld 2010 for Sony PSP will be released on October 30th.
Football Manager 2009 is the most successful in the Football Manager series to date, clocking up 22 weeks at No.1 in the UK (PC charts) and selling in excess of 1 million copies worldwide, as well as being voted the 2nd best video game of all time in a recent Radio 1 poll.
According to data gathered from Football Manager 2009, people played the game for an average of 240 hours each. Developer Sports Interactive has spent the last year working closely with consumers and the Football Manager community to implement key improvements to this year’s game. Football Manager 2010 features new tools and changes across the board including some big additions to improve ease of use, navigation and feedback from the game with the introduction of a brand new match tactics system, the debut of a Match Analysis tool, a completely new look and new User Interface among other features.
“We have worked very hard with the Football Manager community to target not only the areas of the game that needed re-working but also what we could add to improve what’s already there. We’ve also conducted extensive usability studies which has led us to overhaul the whole presentation of the game, which we’re really excited about,” said Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive. “There has been a lot of polish to existing areas of the game but it’s also driven us to introduce changes to answer some of the feedback. We’re extremely confident that having done that we will deliver the very best Football Manager to date in October.”
The introduction of a Tactics Creator makes it easier to instruct the team to play the way the manager wants, alongside the introduction of touchline ‘shouts’ and quick tactic changes for instantly altering your team’s playing style during the match. Working with coaches from various levels of football, alongside some of the Football Manager community’s most respected independent tacticians, the game now has an extensive array of pre-set tactical options allowing the user to select a player’s role in the team (such as ‘Ball winning midfielder’ or ‘Deep lying playmaker’), however the option to use the old ‘slider’ controls remains.
Feedback from matches has been improved to give the user better insight into where their team is going wrong, or right. A new Match Analysis tool lets players see where shots, passes, crosses, headers, tackles, fouls and interceptions have been made on the field for all players on the pitch. Managers can view this analysis both live in-game and post match, allowing them to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of both their team and their opponent’s and adjust their tactics accordingly.
Football Manager 2010 features a brand new User Interface, with a light and a dark skin to choose from as part of a vibrant new look and has undergone a complete navigational overhaul. The side bar navigation of previous years has been replaced by an intuitive tab system at the top of the screen, making Football Manager’s famed depth easier to navigate and will make the game more accessible to new players.
A brand new Data Editor will allow the addition of new divisions to existing leagues and of entirely new leagues as well as making it easier than ever to keep the game up to date, and do so for free. The delivery of information to the manager has been refined with users now able to sign up to the News Centre, an in-game subscription based newspaper that lets you get the news that you want about the football world and filter out the stories that you do not need, making the football world as immersive as you want it to be.
Following the debut of a 3D match view in Football Manager 2009, this year’s release sees a revamp with improved AI, over 100 new animations for the 3D pitch view, new stadiums, crowds, realistic pitch degradation and better lighting, creating an even more realistic match experience.
Further new features will be announced via a series of blogs in the months leading up to the game’s October 30th release date which will ensure that Football Manager retains its position as the most realistic, most played, highest reviewed and best selling football management simulation in the world.
Football Manager Handheld 2010 also has a host of new features and improvements, including a brand new skin for the game and improved match engine AI.