Football manager puts the clipboard in your hand by allowing you to coach your very own professional team. There are various teams from different countries and different leagues in which you can choose to coach just one or several teams. Each team varies in stats and in players however throughout your career as a coach you can choose who to bring into the team and who to cut and watch the fruits of your labor as your dream team takes on other teams from around the world.
When you first start out, you create your own profile. You can set your name and your location and even upload your very own picture to your profile. Next you must select a team. You can select any major team that is known around the world. Not all countries are available which is a letdown if your country didn't make it. Football Manager focuses more on European Teams than anything else so if you love Pro Evolution Soccer from Konami, this would be a great football managing game.
It takes some time to get used to the menu but once you get used to it, it's very simple to navigate to. If you have the time then spend the time otherwise you will not enjoy the game. I actually went into a few matches without any team members on the bench to substitute players when they're tired. Each window serves its purpose. You can manage play's, players and even manage your email which is where the story is advanced.
For plays you are given a look of the field and you can adjust players accordingly. I always go for the 3-4-3 method as it gives me a better offence but less players defending your goal keeper means lower defense. You can have several plays and switch between them in field which we'll get into in a few minutes. In the player window you can view the player's stats, history and how much money he is currently making. You can interact with the players by asking them questions and you can even cut them on the spot if they are being jerks. If you change a few things around and the player is not happy he will approach you and tell you the reason he is not happy. From then you can tell them what is wrong with them and tell them to start flying straight or you will let them go. You practically have Pro Soccer Players kissing your feet which is a good feeling. I am not a huge David Beckham fan and just telling him to go screw himself is worth buying this game.
Your game advances through the email system which gives you inside tips on what is going on in the Soccer world. You are given tips on players who are free agents or are looking to switch soon. You can then negotiate a contract and if it sounds sweet to the player he will sign with your team.
From time to time you will be called into press conferences in which you have the decision to Storm out or answer questions. You are given a set of answers for each question and based on the answers you are either viewed as a great coach or someone who needs to retire which affects your future career if you want a promotion or want to go to a different team.
Football Manager is more than just earning money for your team and trades. You are also in charge of how intense your players training is. Work them too hard and they will become tired and possibly get injured for the rest of the season. Not training them right means lost games left and right. You have to make sure your players are happy and you can find out how they feel overall when you speak with them one on one.
Training your players and having a great formation will pay off once you see your team square off against another team. You can watch the whole game unfold right before your eyes. However this doesn't mean that you just get to sit back and relax. You must also manage your team by switching tactics, positions and substitutions throughout the game . You can also control the game with the in game controls which let you fast-forward through the game or rewind to an earlier time in the game. You can also set up different camera angles and even switch to the classic 2D view which shows your players as circles in a flat Soccer field.
Football manage is not about graphics as it's more of a program that lets you manage teams just like Quicken lets you manage your taxes. However the players could have used more detailed textures when playing against other teams. In other soccer games like Fifa and PES players are detailed and you can tell them apart but in Football Manager, the only way to see who anyone is, is by clicking on them. I know that Football Manager can't compare to Fifa or PES because it's not in the same category and I agree but it would be nice if the Devs would have added more details to the players.
There is virtually no sound in the game other than when you are playing against other teams. Sound quality then is decent at best. Better have your MP3 player in hand while managing your favorite team.
Football Manager is a great game aimed towards people who love Fantasy Games like Fantasy Football (NFL), Fantasy NBA etc. There is a lot to do from managing players to their contracts and training . You must also make sure your sponsors keep sponsoring you with money to run the team otherwise you will have to make cutbacks and you team will definitely suffer because all the good players will leave. Football Manager can get addicting even for those who don't like games like this. You can spend hours playing and not even realize that you are late for work.
Football Manager is aimed for the people who are into fantasy sports and those same people will get a kick out of this game. It's fun and entertaining. You can give raises to your favorite players or tell the player you hate to most that there is a fresh pile of Cow Manure his name on it. You are in control of your team and you get to run the team your way whether you assistants like it or not. There is even a network mode but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to use it, but other than that this is a great game and if you love to be in control of things.
Gameplay: Telling any player you hate to go jump in a trashcan is the best thing since sliced bread. You are in control of your team and you manage it anyway you like it and watch the fruits of your labor on the big screen. 9/10
Graphics: Players could use more detail when being viewed on the TV and textures could have been better. 5/10
Sound: Hardly any sound effects or music. Better have something to keep your ears entertained.
Performance: No lag time when the players do get on screen and game flows smoothly throughout the season. 8/10
LifeSpan: Hours feel like minutes. Better start coming up with excuses on why you are late to work.
Total Score: 70/100