Football Manager 2017 First Impressions

Football Manager 2017 officially releases today (Nov. 04), and we’ve been getting our hands on it in anticipation of a review. Until we come to a definitive conclusion, we’re going to spend a little extra time evaluating it. I’ve got some early impressions to tide you over, but keep in mind these are based on the beta version of the game, which was playable for those who pre-purchased via select outlets.
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  • Football Manager is littered with brand-new features this year, but they’re mostly subtle enhancements. That said, the game plays really well, and this isn’t a series that needed an overhaul. There are still plenty of good reasons to jump on board with this year’s iteration.
  • This year’s match engine has been noticeably enhanced. Player AI upgrades result in a more realistic representation of soccer on the pitch, and it’s easier to see your tactics come to life on the 3-D field as a result. This adds to the immersion, as do the new pre-match cutscenes and behind-the-goal camera options. The engine still isn’t perfect, but it’s largely impressive.
  • Throughout the beta period, the new social media feed has led to an array feedback among critics and fans. The addition of an in-game Twitter-style timeline is a fun one, but it grows old once you’ve sunk multiple hours into a save. That’s not to say it’s a needless addition, but you’re unlikely to pay much attention to it in months to come.
  • It’s still the Football Manager we know and love, and it retains all the addictive qualities of past iterations. The quality of my social life is rapidly deteriorating, and that’s definitely a good sign…for the game, at least.
We’ll expand on these points in the final review, and discuss other features like manager game faces, new staff roles, player promises, Fantasy Draft AI and more. Keep an eye out for the full review soon here at Operation Sports.
Are you planning to pick up Football Manager 2017? Let us know your thoughts.
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Raychel Sanner
Executive Editor.