GAME NAME: Football Manager 2013
DEVELOPER(S): Sports Interactive
GENRE(S): Sports Strategy Simulation
RELEASE DATE(S): 20 November 2012
Arsenal has just been relegated from the Premier League, Siphiwe Tshabalala has signed a loan deal with Manchester City, Lionel Messi has made a transfer move to Real Madrid, Liverpool has lost to Everton in the FA Cup final and Tottenham Hotspur have just won their first league title since the 60’s. Anything is possible when you take control in SEGA’s Football Manager 2013.
FM 2013 is a landmark title in the FM series which brings a noticeably improved match engine to the game that includes far better AI and camera angles. Visuals were never the number one priority to the franchise. This makes the new stadium designs and animations a welcomed addition and will leave you wondering why they weren’t included ages ago.
Being a manager/strategy title the game is all about content and interface. The content is as you would expect with an abundance of players and staff members that can potentially be signed and help you make your team of choice become one of the best sides in the world.
One of the new features in FM 2013 is the ‘Classic Mode’ which is a streamlined version of the game. No thrills, no fuss just the absolute basics. Forget about the team talks and the media interviews and simply focus on your tactics for match day. At first glance fans of the series will think that Sports Interactive have lost their minds all together by introducing this mode but believe it or not there is a time and place for the bare minimum. Sure, every year the Football Manager series adds an abundance of player and team data but there is something about the pure simplicity of the Classic Mode that just fits, not having to worry about the finer details allows you to complete a season in around 18 hours which will assist you in not neglecting your wife, children or social life.
If you are a newcomer to the FM series Classic mode is a great place to get a feel of what the title has to offer and will act as a great starting point. The same can’t be said about the Challenge Mode and first timers will probably want to stay away from this mode until they have warmed up and attended a couple of training sessions. The challenges provided are at times ridiculously… er… challenging, sometimes teetering on the brink of impossible. Go a whole season without being beaten? Sure why not? If Arsene Wenger can do it then surly anyone else can. Difficulty aside, this is an action-packed new addition to the series and will have fans both frustrated as well as addicted to the monumental tasks found in this mode.
The interface of FM 2013 has had a slight facelift which helps this 20 odd year old franchise (Think back to Championship Manager days) still look fresh and appealing. This isn’t to say that the interface hasn’t changed over the years, it’s just that this version has more defined changes that are a lot easier on the eyes. You’ll also find that your assistant plays a more important role during your team’s time on the field. In previous titles you could turn a deaf ear to their words of advice; this is not recommended this time round. Man marking and tactics are vital and can change mid-game so you’ll continually need to be aware of what is going on… without over-analysing your opposition. Another noticeable difference is the way in which you deliver your ever important team talks. This has always been a slightly frustrating aspect to FM games as you deliver (what you think is) superb advice only to find out that your team has fallen to pieces. This time around you are able to give team talks in specific tones which will give you a better idea of how your excessively sensitive, overpaid players will react to a given situation.
Football Manager 2013 is easily the best game in the franchise and this latest instalment will have veterans and amateurs alike glued to their monitors for hours days at a time. If you are a self-respecting football fan with a passion for your team and the sport in general, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this game.