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OS Scores Explained Football Manager 2015 Overview (PC)
Pros
New interface is much more accessible to new players, deep gameplay, ball physics, new scouting.
Cons
Managerial styles not fleshed out, New UI will make longtime vets a little uncomfortable, still some areas in the UI that could be better.
Bottom Line
A good, solid addition to the franchise. If you are on the fence, this is the year to jump into Football Manager.
8.5
out of 10
Football Manager 2015 REVIEW

Football Manager 2015 Review (PC)

Football Manager 2015 could present itself as the best way for soccer newcomers to learn its ins and outs. I'm surprised they never have, because Football Manager 2015 has made massive strides to create a more intuitive experience for both newbies and series vets.

PRESENTATION

Kelvin Mak noted in last year’s Football Manager 2014 review that some things had been moved around within the game’s menus. Well, if last year’s effort was a small step, FM 2015 took a gigantic leap forward with an entirely new user interface.

The new user interface helps break down complicated information into digestible chunks. In previous years, you navigated between the game’s various screens through menus at the top of the window. This time around you’ll use a a vertical menu bar on the left side of your screen. You can then move through different options within a section by using tabs near the top. The important sections -- Squad, Tactics, Training, Scouting -- have their own menu options on the left-side navigation.

There are still some areas in which the information being presented could be more intuitive — transfer offers, for one — but as a whole I found the new interface to be positive.

GAMEPLAY

The big new feature in this year’s Football Manager 2015 is the option to choose what type of manager you are: Tracksuit or Tactical.

What kind of manager are you? What do you focus on? You can allocate “manager points” into various categories representing different skills and priorities, such as scouting, tactics, managing players and more. You also have the option to choose a more balanced approach and divide the manager points equally. However, in a management game, this feature falls flat.

Scouting within the game has been redone, mostly, to make things more challenging and realistic.

My biggest takeaway is that scouting a player no longer gives you the full god-like set of player information. Instead of a firm numerical rating, you're given a range. As someone who has scouted a sport professionally, this approach resonated with me because I understand the difficulty in watching a player once from afar and trying to get a firm assessment. When I’d watch a player just once, there wouldn’t be very much I came away feeling sure about. The same holds true in Football Manager 2015.

The other big challenge presented by the new scouting system is that your scouts’ knowledge matters much more. If you’re a small club with just one scout, your knowledge of the players dotting the vast football landscape is limited to what your one scout knows. If you’re managing a small club in England with a local scout, you won’t have a wealth of information about players in France. It’s now a legitimate difficulty for small clubs to find a useful player.

The Football Manager world as a whole feels more immersive and alive. The experience of interacting with the media brings more variety to the stories and press conferences, with new team tunnel interviews. Tabloids try to trip you up into saying something juicy for a headline, while more reputable journalists want to talk tactics. Handling the media feels like a bigger part of your day-to-day experience as manager this year.

Many of those same improvements carry over to your club’s internal affairs. Players seem to bring more personality to their interactions with you and the media, giving a better handle to balance the happiness and well-being of everyone. When I first took over my club, for example, I decided to change our captain. Doing so triggered a series of conversations and meetings in which I had to win the respect of the players, keep the former captain appeased, and refrain from throwing anyone under the bus in the media. It was real drama.

Heading down quickly to the pitch itself, Football Manager 2015 sees improvements there, too.

You have more managerial control over what happens in-game, as you can give touchline team talks to address your players even while they’re knocking the ball around. It gives you something else to think (worry) about during a match, along with changing tactics and making substitutions.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Longtime Football Manager players who had hoped this year would represent a revolutionary new version might feel disappointed, but there’s a lot to like here.

The new scouting setup introduces more strategy to wrap your mind around, and while I’m disappointed with the managerial styles feature, it may be something rendered more meaningful the deeper I immerse myself.

If you haven’t played the series before, but have been on the fence for some time, Football Manager 2015 is the one you want to jump in with. The new user interface makes it easier than ever to tackle each area of the game without feeling overwhelmed.

Either way, this game is worth picking up.

Learning Curve: Relatively speaking, the annual adjustment period for hardcore players is probably a little greater, while this version should be more accessible to new players than earlier versions of the series.

Animations: Sports Interactive says they added over 2,000 motion-captured animations and new lighting. I didn’t count the new animations but the work shows. The game looks much smoother on the pitch and features player models with more detail to set them apart from one another.

Ball Physics: A weird thing to note in a review for this game, maybe, but the improved ball physics help the game-watching experience much more than I expected. I didn’t realize how much the physics in prior games took me out of the experience until I played Football Manager 2015.

Immersion: Along with some of the aforementioned new additions that improve immersion, new improvements to job interviews and displaying managerial history make you feel like a real person in the game. The “Tracksuit Manager or Tactical Manager” feature could have helped big time here, but alas.

Score: 8.5 (Great)


Member Comments
# 1 PES3Paul @ 11/25/14 08:08 PM
There's been a torrent of nay's on Steam itself; too easy to score off corners, too many injuries, unrealistic scores.
 
# 2 Suntan Superman @ 11/25/14 08:36 PM
most of that sounds like it was from the original beta, and most of those issues have been addressed since then.
 
# 3 LingeringRegime @ 11/25/14 11:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan Superman
most of that sounds like it was from the original beta, and most of those issues have been addressed since then.
Thanks for clarifying that. I was wondering why the feedback was so bad.
 
# 4 TheMagicMushroom22 @ 11/26/14 12:23 AM
It is still not balanced. There are still too many goals and injuries. Players are forever complaining about their lack of first team football (even if they are a backup or youth player).

It is still not playable for me. It was the same last year - the game was what I would call 'finished' by December.

Here's hoping the next patch solves some of these issues.
 
# 5 Suntan Superman @ 11/26/14 12:39 AM
If there's too many goals make sure not to inform my players.
 
# 6 Pythons80 @ 11/26/14 03:02 AM
So you just get to watch your team play the games, correct? How is that anyway, are the games exciting to watch or do you just end up simulating through?
 
# 7 Suntan Superman @ 11/26/14 03:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pythons80
So you just get to watch your team play the games, correct? How is that anyway, are the games exciting to watch or do you just end up simulating through?
That's entirely dependent on your own personal taste, I love watching matches and find them exciting, and bald-spot creating. Some don't care for it as much and try to get through as much as they can, as fast as they can. I tinker a lot during the match and i enjoy the effects they can have, and the fact that there's no set reaction for what you choose to do. I was never a huge fan of the controller based games, and much prefer the absolute depth you get with this type of game over the shallowness of FIFA/PES. Nothing against the two franchises, but they can't touch FM in terms of depth.
 
# 8 RoyceDa59 @ 11/26/14 10:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan Superman
That's entirely dependent on your own personal taste, I love watching matches and find them exciting, and bald-spot creating. Some don't care for it as much and try to get through as much as they can, as fast as they can. I tinker a lot during the match and i enjoy the effects they can have, and the fact that there's no set reaction for what you choose to do. I was never a huge fan of the controller based games, and much prefer the absolute depth you get with this type of game over the shallowness of FIFA/PES. Nothing against the two franchises, but they can't touch FM in terms of depth.
So true haha, Football Manager is one of the reasons why I stopped playing console footy games for up to 3 years until of PES 15 came out. I still have and enjoy playing FM 12 from time to time haven't felt a prime reason to upgrade yet but maybe this one is pretty solid.
 
# 9 kaletore11 @ 11/26/14 10:20 AM
This is a really good year for FM in my opinion.

I've been playing since CM 00/01 and the last few years have been pretty much abysmal. This one is not quite on the level of FM11 which was the best in recent memory imo, but it's definitely much better than 14. The ME is much more realistic, players are not skating all over the field and there's much less goals from unnatural positions.

Sure, it has some bugs and glitches, but it's definitely an improvement over last year's version.
 
# 10 Mass052 @ 11/26/14 10:55 AM
Watch your team win or lose? Check. Manage your team everytime? Check. Get your player injured every match over a tackle? Nope.
I give this a 8.4/10.
 
# 11 AnthonyKyne @ 11/26/14 12:00 PM
The problem with the game as a whole, is that I never feel that I've masterminded a victory or underestimated an opponent.
I just had a fixture against Braintree, and when I was asked in the tunnel before the game, how much of an affect would Smith's absence have on Braintree. I didn't have a clue who Smith was or the affect it would have. I should be spending at least a small bit of my time thinking about how to expose a weakness in the opposition or limit the weaknesses my team have.
There should be emotion when I see the teamsheet from the opposition. But there never is!

I find myself just tinkering with the tactics and team until you hit a magic combination for a few games. Then rinse and repeat throughout the season as your tactic becomes stale.

Scouting improvements were nothing new, see http://www.totalvideogames.com/Champ...iew-14573.html
And they're still someway off a lot of what BGS were doing in terms of Training and Set Piece creating.

Overall, nothing really new but I'm sure I'll put 300hrs in over the next year
 
# 12 bballshawn24 @ 11/26/14 07:59 PM
if they chill with the injuries then it would be better
 
# 13 elprez98 @ 11/27/14 01:43 PM
I don't understand the issue with injuries in 14. If you have injury prone players, that's what happens. If I have someone who is injury prone, I move him out of our system.

But anyway, Good review, Z. I may pick it up in a few months when it is on sale on Steam. I'm good with 14 for right now and i'm only in year 6 or 7 of my career. I've probably got another 10 or so years before I get tired.
 
# 14 TheLetterZ @ 11/28/14 09:26 AM
I appreciate everyone's feedback and taking the time to read the review.

Regarding unrealistic scores and injuries, I don't feel I've been seeing those things.

It's definitely common for me to see injuries but the vast majority are minor injuries that don't necessitate removing the injured party from the match. I don't feel those injuries are uncommon in real soccer by any means.

Minor injuries certainly appear more obvious in FM where it's up to you to evaluate the injury and make a decision, as opposed to watching on television and seeing someone sometimes favoring an injury but otherwise playing on.

There's my take on it. Again, I appreciate the feedback from you all and thank you for reading.
 
# 15 Lukin4 @ 11/28/14 03:08 PM
Anyone running this on a mac? If so, how is it? Used to play this game constantly, but the last version I had was I think 2008. Thinking about jumping back in, but only if it runs well on mac
 
# 16 Pythons80 @ 11/28/14 06:40 PM
Is it possible to watch the games as shown on that second screen shot when using the android platform? Or are you only able to watch a bunch of dots kicking another dot around when playing on android?
 
# 17 TheLetterZ @ 11/29/14 04:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukin4
Anyone running this on a mac? If so, how is it? Used to play this game constantly, but the last version I had was I think 2008. Thinking about jumping back in, but only if it runs well on mac
Yes! I reviewed it and play it on my 2013 MacBook Air and it runs quite well.
 
# 18 ImTellinTim @ 12/02/14 11:21 PM
I play on a Mac and it runs perfectly.
 
# 19 theo @ 03/14/15 10:18 PM
My wish is for Fantasy Football... much like the Sim City style.


I'm not a joystick control freak or an intricate manager where a video game becomes an obsession. Games are meant to be fun... Fun enough to amuse, too cheap to complain about, and nothing to remember in the morning.


The most I enjoy is EA's Wii Console All Play style with a Pass button and a Shoot button using the wand with the computer taking care of player movements.


What I enjoy is the off field stuff. Creating stadiums, teams, players, tournaments, and scripts.


What the scripts do: Scripts create a predefined match result. The scripts can be as deep or shallow.


I could enter the match result in terms of who wins. I could go deeper and enter the score line at half time and full time, whether the match goes into overtime and penalties, player of the match, scorers, customise moves through stages of the match. Anybody with the correct instructions could recreate a real football match.


The theatrics are important... and with the correct depth and presentation, the movie created is beautiful football... Fantasy Football.


If only I knew where to get this as a console version. I've got an Xbox360. Would look good on TV.
 

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