Football Manager Live is a multiplayer online version of the classic
(Click on the screenshot thumbnails to see the full pictures)
You start by creating a fictional team, naming your stadium, and designing the home and away kits, before selecting your likely playing intentions. This essentially involves stating when you are most likely to be online, e.g. UK/European evenings, and how often you expect to play e.g. 0-5 hours per week, 10+ hours per week. You then get placed into a league with other similar managers.
Next up is to buy your squad of players. You begin with a modest budget for transfers and wages, and so you need to search for ‘free agents’ (which aren’t free, but have a value comparable with their skills so those who began the league at the beginning couldn’t sign an established player, e.g. Kaka, for nothing).
There is only one Kaka though, and so the transfer market is quite different to the offline FM game. As you progress through the seasons, you earn revenues and prize money etc, so you are able to sign better players, and the system for both buying and selling players is via an eBay style auctioning system.
A league season lasts four weeks, the first for friendly matches (where you can challenge people to a game, or even create a mini knockout competition) followed by three weeks of competitive fixtures. All the matches have a staggered completion date, and if you fail to meet an opponent online then the AI “assistant manager” will manage the game for the team who are offline.
When playing against a human opponent the games show the highlights only. Before you kick off you have five minutes to select your team and tactics, and 60 seconds at half time to make changes, while throughout there is a mini chat window where you can talk to your opposing manager. Tactics and substitutions are made real time, however you can request a time-out, which also happens if a player is injured.
There are some large differences between the offline and online versions of the game. In FM Live there is no media interaction, no team talks, and you can’t get sacked! You also have no staff, but you as a manager can improve your “skills” over time in various areas via an RPG style progression system.
You have skills in six different area; coaching, tactics, physiotherapy, finance, scouting and infrastructure. You start with limited skills, e.g. your tactical options are very basic until you “learn” various items, e.g. counter attack, individual player tactics, playing with a target man etc.
goes for coaching, e.g. can’t get
your strikers to specifically practice
‘finishing’ until you’ve learnt that
coaching skill, while you won’t be able to
expand your stadium (even if you have the money) until you’ve learned
various skills on the infrastructure tree.
Some skills require you to learn others first, or reach certain levels before new skill openings become available. “Learning” just requires you to select a skill, and they are ‘taught’ in real time by selecting them, however they can take from a few minutes to a few days to achieve. You do nothing yourself, but as the days and weeks pass by, you gradually build up your skill base. The huge range of skills, and the time required to learn them mean no two managers with have the same skill set as there are too many to learn them all.
There is essentially no sound in the game (there has been limited sound in all the FM games) but this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of playing matches.
Online: Yes, online only.
If you would be a casual player then it's likely that too many of the deadlines set for playing matches would be missed, resulting in your AI ‘assistant’ taking over. This seems pointless, and so playing the traditional offline Football Manager games would appear the better option for you.
If, however, you are someone who can commit a substantial
amount of time to the game (a
of 10 hours a week) then FM Live is a great new way to create and manage
your own team, and take them to glory.
Overall Score: 88% (not an average)