View Full Version : Why Football Manager 2013 won't ruin your life

October 15th, 2012, 23:29
In 1963 Coca-Cola introduced a diet version of their ubiquitous fizzy drink to the American public for the first time. Despite fears that it would cannibalise Coke's existing marketshare, 'Tab' (later usurped in 1982 by its successor, Diet Coke) was a roaring success for the company, succeeding both by capitalising on a new, health-conscious consumer-base and appealing to existing Coke drinkers eager to try something different.Fast-forward 50 years and Sports Interactive are taking a leaf out of the soft-drink giant's book. In the biggest shake-up of the series since leaving Eidos in 2004, Football Manager 2013 will come bundled with Football Manager Classic - a Football Manager 'lite' aimed at a growing community of time conscious football management fans. It won't make you late for work, it won't make you miss deadlines. It won't even cause arguments with your girlfriend (and it won't make you fat or rot your teeth either).While my opening analogy may be specious, what particularly intrigues about FMC is what's implied by its very existence. Coke is bad for you. So is Football Manager. Here's something else to try.It's a bold step for a developer that has for so long cherished complexity as a byword for progress. Football Manager 13 - and I'm talking about the 'full fat' version here - continues much in the same vein as its predecessors, adding more and more variables and a finishing gloss of cosmetic sheen to the database we've all loved interacting with for the past 20 years. Fans will love it - and rightly so, as it's undoubtedly the most in-depth and fascinating football management sim that's ever been made.http://images.eurogamer.net/2012/articles//a/1/5/2/0/5/8/9/AFC_Wimbledon__Training.png/EG11/resize/600x-1You'll work up a sweat just trying to get your head around the new training system

Training has been completely revamped, and improvements continue to be made to the more repetitive parts of the game (I'm looking at you, press conferences). What stands out most is the changes made to the matchday experience. Managing from the touchline is much easier than in previous versions, and an ingenious, Twitter-inspired 'match feed' offers short messages from your assistant about the team's performance. For the first time I felt like my involvement with the game didn't pause when the players stepped out onto the pitch - and the game is more absorbing as a result.A souped-up, steam-integrated multiplayer offering and a new scenario-based challenge mode complete the package (who said annual release cycles were unsustainable?) but it's FM13's little brother that justifiably demands the most attention. After all this time spent chasing realism and depth at all costs, why change now?To some extent, the motivation is obvious - if anything you could argue it's a wonder FMC hasn't come out sooner. If I had a penny for every time I'd heard someone reminisce about their 'Champman' glory days, or read a user comment along the lines of 'used to luv it too difficult now - Kennedy Bakircioglu legend! ROFL!' I'd be a rich man. It makes a product that harks back to previous versions something of a no-brainer for Sports Interactive - especially considering the success of their ideologically-paired mobile iterations.Having had the best part of the week getting to grips with the game, even as a purist, I couldn't help but be impressed, and to describe it simply as a slimmed-down FM is to do it a grand disservice. FMC retains all the best parts from the evolution of the series over the last ten years, but manages to revive the simplicity and speed with which you could navigate the game back when it was Championship Manager. Add in a sexy new interface (that's right, sexy) and many will find it hard to turn back once they've had a taste.