Another year of Football Manager, another year to tell you why Football Manager 2024 is awesome. Let’s do this.
What I Like
Refinements Over Overhauls
Unlike any other football/soccer game on the market, Football Manager is never in need of a major overhaul because, simply put, it does the fundamentals extremely well. It’s for these reasons that Sports Interactive is able to tweak a few match engine things here and there while focusing their energy on how to make the sim engine and all of its components even more realistic. Perhaps it’s a bit easier for Football Manager to make these small changes as they don’t have to entirely focus on 11 vs. 11 but when real life scouting departments use your game to look for developing talent, you know you’re doing something right.
Even the new trend of inverted fullbacks has been added, further proving that Sports Interactive has their hands on the pulse of all the new tactical tweaks in the modern game.
The Attention To Detail
“Death is in the details” and while the “death” is a very serious term, the only thing that’s dying here is your playtime for other games not named Football Manager 2024. The amount of depth in Football Manager is unrivaled, making it feel like you are actually in control of a professional football club. Everything from hiring staff to setting training routines comes across your desk, and while you can delegate some — well, a lot of tasks — there’s an element of control that would even make Pep Guardiola happy.
Perhaps it’s too much for some (more on that later) but the tutorial and help section are there with you every step of the way for players new to the series.
As if there wasn’t already enough in Football Manager, Sports Interactive has added several new features for 2024:
Set Piece Creation
If Liverpool can hire a set piece coach then dammit I want one too! This new feature for 2024 gives you the ability to create set pieces to tailor to your specific team strengths, or if we’re being honest, to try out some famous set pieces you’ve seen successfully pulled off in real-life. The Football Manager series never disappoints when it rolls out new features and set piece creations have been taken to a new level in 2024.
Improved Transfer Market
Perhaps no aspect of professional football/soccer changes as drastically as the transfer market. With real-life clubs splashing out cash like we’ve never seen before, Sports Interactive has been committed to staying on top of the market with some nice new tweaks:
Smarter Transfer, Squad Building & Finance
Smarter opposition recruitment is the order of the day for FM24, with AI managers now tweaked to consider factors like form and reputation more so than ever before. AI managers also now do a better job at recognizing imbalances in their squad and will take their tactical style into consideration much more when shortlisting players and/or negotiating with you.
In addition to this AI managerial tweak, AI teams are much more likely to prioritize their matches throughout the season, utilizing the depth of their squad (including youth prospects) to aid in squad rotation, something that has plagued the FIFA/EA FC franchise for years now.
Introducing Intermediaries & Offloading Players
Utilizing their industry connections, Sports Interactive worked to better understand how clubs look to solve the problem of offloading players in the professional game and then applied their findings to Football Manager 2024. More so than ever before, player agents play a vital role when it comes to the transfer market. Existing Agents have had their functionality upgraded to allow you to speak to them about generating sale interest in your player, while they’ve also introduced a new Intermediary role (third-party broker that helps drum up interest in a player for a fee).
Real World Vs. Your World Modes
There are now three ways to start a save: Original, Real World, and Your World
- Original: Players will be at the clubs they play for in the current Football Manager database at the start of your game, reflecting the most accurate real-life data.
- Real World: Players will start the game contracted to the clubs they were with on the real-life date your career begins. They will then move to their new club on the same date as they did in real life.
- Your World: Club squads and budgets will be set at the date your game starts, and only players who joined before that date will be at your club — with all future transfers (for Real World mode) cancelled, giving you the opportunity to change history.
Ability To Import Prior Year Saves
One low-key feature that separates Football Manager from AAA sports games like Madden & EA FC is the ability to import a save from the previous game, in this case Football Manager 2023. As is often the case with Football Manager, you get so wrapped up in a save that by the time the next iteration comes out you don’t want to move because you’re still enjoying your save. Well, in Football Manager you have the ability import your 2023 save and enjoy all of the new features Football Manager 2024 has to offer. Some folks might prefer to start a new save but having options is always a good thing.
What I Don’t Like
Gamer Diaper Needed
If there’s one complaint about Football Manager it’s how in-depth it can be, which can scare off some players. For those who do not want to know what it’s like to handle the reigns of a top-flight football team, the full edition of Football Manager is probably not for you. That said, Sports Interactive offers a little something for everyone, no matter what device/console you’re on:
Football Manager 2024 is a wonderful simulation, something we have come to expect from Sports Interactive after continuously putting out top quality products. Even with some of the early bugs that accompany newly released games, the game represents the best of what is the beautiful game at its highest level. The only downside to this title is the amount of sleep you’ll put off when you’re trying to just get through the transfer window so you can finalize your squad to meet the demands of the business end of the season.