The most addictive computer game ever is back,
and now it has
match engine to view your games, but has the move from 2D to 3D worked?
(Click on the screenshot thumbnails to see the full
Manager (FM) is a game where you can take charge of any club anywhere in the
world (virtually) and try to take them, over a number of seasons, to
success. As manager you control pretty much everything, from training to
transfers, and match tactics to media matters. For those new to the world of
FM there is more general detail in the FM’07 review.
New features for the 2009 game are an improved transfer
system which attempts to make buying, selling and loaning players more
realistic than before, and improved media and player interaction. Match
rating for players have been given decimals now too, so a player will now
get 7.3 rather than just 7 as a rating. This may only seem a minor change,
but it does give you a greater idea of how someone is performing, given that
two players may have scored 7 before, whereas now they are given 6.5 and
7.4. Okay, that’s hardly a major change but useful none the less. The
biggest change in FM’09 though is the new 3D match engine (more below) which
makes watching the games more entertaining.
game itself seems a lot harder. The match engine has
been rewritten (again!)
and more micro management is required if you are to have any form of
success. While this is good for perfectionist football managers, it can be
frustrating if your team keeps losing.
Two rather annoying issues can’t be passed up though. The
first is that the game now requires ‘activation’ (the DRM method to avoid
piracy). This is not as simple as it should be (and certainly wasn’t on the
day of release) but by the time you read this the problem should have calmed
down. The other major bug is the fact the game was released (yet again) with
problems, and for FM’09 the “injury bug” means the game is unplayable out of
the box, and needs patching straight away. Poor effort.
major change to this version of FM is the introduction of the 3D match
engine, so after years of text only or 2D matches, you can now see your
players carry out your instructions etc in 3D. You can view the games from
various camera angles which is good, as you can then pick the one that suits
You can also add ‘widgets’ to the screen that give you more
match day information and statistics. The old 2D view is still an option
though, especially for people whose PC isn’t quite as powerful.
As always, the stadium crowd noises and referees whistle won’t win any
gaming sound awards, but this has never been an issue in my opinion.
The game is a lot more difficult than previous versions, and may frustrate
players who are used to winning games with ease, or who don’t like to micro
manage their tactics. It is still likely to dominate your playing time for
months though, and so is always good value for money, however some may find
the realism (difficulty) a little too much for them.
As always, you will lose countless hours of your life with this game, trying
to get your team to the top. The introduction of the 3D match engine is long
overdue, but enjoyable, however it took the makers a couple of years to
perfect the 2D view, and I suspect the same will happen with the 3D view. A
fairly powerful PC is needed for the game to run smoothly though, so be
warned. If you’re used to Football Manager then you should love this game,
but beware, you may need to go on a UEFA coaching course first, as the
makers seem to have made it even more complex, and this makes winning a lot
harder this time round.
You can read how
some of us are
doing with our teams on the Forum in “FM
Overall Score: 85%
(not an average)