In what must be the surprise of the footballing season, Football Manager 2011 has been announced. The premier managment sim from Sports Interactive will be released for PC and Mac sometime before Christmas this year and boasts a boot-bag full of new features as introduced by Studio Director Miles Jacobson after the jump.
In the annual football battle on the consoles it has been a well established fact that the FIFA series has been trouncing Pro Evolution Soccer. On the PC it is another matter entirely, FIFA has the slightly better gameplay, but has been left with ageing PS2 graphics while PES has had the looks but lacked the gameplay. This year things are changing for FIFA.
I’ll be honest from the off, I started the FIFA 10 demo expecting to be disappointed. For all the talk about how the series has drastically improved over the past couple of years I was skeptical of what the new version was going to be like. I played theFIFA 09 demo last year after getting caught up in the hype surrounding the game, it left a bad taste in my mouth and I quickly turned back to ProEvo. This year I finished playing the demo with a broad grin stuck on my face.
It is a small demo in some ways, you can only play a ten-minute exhibition match with a variety of top European teams (plus Chicago Fire) inWembley Stadium, but, you can play as many times as you like and your stats are recorded in the widget on the menu screen. You get a small amount of information on the new and improved game modes such as the enhanced ‘Be a Pro’ mode which now covers both club and country and ‘The Season’ which lets you play through a full season of domestic and continental games without the hassle of handling team finances or training.
The matches though are where FIFA 10 shines, it feels much better than the clunky FIFA 09 demo from last year. I think it is fair to say the new fangled 360 degree player movement is the main factor in this. Why it has taken so long for full 360 player movement to be introduced I don’t know, regardless player control is a much more dynamic and fluid experience that it has been in any other football game I have played.
Even when Barcelona were trouncing my Bayern Munich side 3-0 I still enjoyed it, and after lowering the difficulty and thumping Olympic Marseilles 4-0 with Chicago Fire I knew that this game had finally come good on the PC. I do fear that the high-defconsole versions of the game will provide a better experience, but I am looking forward to what the full game has to offer. Judging from the main menu there will be a lot to play around with and right now, I cannot wait.
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.