Football Manager 2017

Sigames have just released the beta for their latest Football Manager game, Football Manager 2017 (FM17).

The full game will be released on 4th November but for those who preordered the beta was released yesterday.

I’ve been playing the Football Manager games since the early 90s when it was called Championship Manager with CM2. Ever since I’ve been addicted to the games and have bought every version since.

The game I knew as Championship Manager became the game we now know as Football Manager in 2003 following a split between Eidos and Sports Interactive (sigames). This split resulted in 2 games being released in 2004,  the first incarnation of Football Manager and the new version of Championship Manager. I bought both of these as I was loyal to the championship Manager series but the Football Manager game also looked good.

It turned out that main gameplay from the CM series was from Sigames which went to Football Manager and Championship Manager had evolved to have a different gameplay and Football Manager was clearly the superior game. After that I only bought the Football Manager games.

Football Manager has since gotten better every year whereas Championship Manager evolved into a freemium mobile game. I did try the last CM16 mobile game and found it wasn’t worth playing. It’s just a watered down manager game and has no real depth to it. That could just be personal preference as I’ll admit to being a Football Manager ‘fan boy’!

This year’s Football Manager has again been improved with an updated match engine, better 3d graphics in game plus 1000s of tweaks to the game to make it more realistic.

I won’t go into detail for all changes as there’s too many and there’s a YouTube video explaining it.

The one big change announced yesterday has caught alot of people by surprise. Miles Jacobson announced on Twitter that they have incorporated Brexit into the game. Currently no one knows exactly what will happen when Brexit happens but we do know several permutations of what could occur. In Football Manager, the developers have looked into every possibility and put them into the game. Some scenarios are more likely to happen than others.

What this means is that during your game, with 2 to 10 years game time Brexit will occur. This can range from a soft Brexit where not much will change to a hard Brexit where players will need work permits to play in Great Britain which would dramatically alter the game. It also means that no 2 games could be alike. You could manage Man Utd and get a soft Brexit whereas your friend could manage Man Utd and get a hard Brexit so both games will follow a different route.

I questioned Miles on Twitter if the game could be reloaded to a previous save if you get an unfavourable Brexit and he confirmed that was not possible. What ever is chosen in the game cannot be changed.

To me this is a good thing. It freshens the game up and adds some unpredictability to it. Not everyone likes it though and some people were complaining on Twitter that it will ruin the game but there was more people who liked it than didn’t.

One other thing I was impressed with this year is that Sigames have rewarded loyal fans. Usually companies bring out new versions of games every year like FIFA or Call of Duty etc and Football Manager is no different. This means people pay for a new game each year and there’s not always alot of changes. What Sigames have done this year is given loyal fans a 5% discount for any previous versions you own upto a max 20%. This works out at a £8 saving for a game most loyal fans will buy regardless. The only catch was it had to bought on steam and the other versions also on steam. There was also a limited window (4 months) which the game needed preordered in. That offer finished last week prior to beta being released.

As beta was only released yesterday I haven’t had chance to play it much. I downloaded it as soon as I got home from work last night but then had to wait until the kids had gone to bed to be able to play on it by which time I was also tired so didn’t plan on playing it for long.

I created a new game and after creating my manager profile, decided to start with Carlisle Utd as I usually have good games with them. They start off with a decent team and have potential to do well. It’s a challenge to do well with them which I like and I usually get bored managing the top teams as it gets too easy too quick.

With regards to the manager profile, a new feature this year allows you to use a photo of yourself or anyone/anything else and it will generate an in game face based on that. It’s a cool feature although I thought my manager looks more like a Nazi war criminal rather than looking like me! I can imagine the Internet will have plenty of funny managers created. I saw one this morning on Reddit which made be laugh out loud while at work and got me a few funny looks!

Apart from starting the game I didn’t get much else done except play 1 friendly match. I then found my first bug where my top players were deregistered from my training camp and got unhappy. Bugs are to be expected in beta and when I went to report it online someone else had already reported it.

I’ll hopefully get to play it a bit later but I also want to get on Eve Online tonight too and Wednesday evenings I play 5-aside football (soccer for my American readers) . The good thing with Football Manager is that it’s an offline game so I can play it on my second monitor while I also play Eve on my main monitor.

– Sparko Marco

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