Football Manager 2015 – A Preview

The time is near once again. The moment where all aspiring football managers get the chance to live their dream. As the nights grow longer and the days turn colder, a new dawn awaits. A new challenge. A time where all men are equal. There have been no euphoric moments of success yet, no gut retching, heart breaking failures. Stories will be written, tales told and even some myths made. Someone might even get Woking from the Conference to the Champions League in six seasons.

The latest instalment in the Football Manager computer game series is about to be released. Due out on November 7th the game boasts loads of new exciting new features. FM fans everywhere are now counting down the days to release. Here are just some of the things to look forward to in the new game.

User Interface

One of the most immediately noticeable features of the interface is the menu bar has moved from the top off the screen to the left hand side. Some might call this going backwards as this featured in FM some years ago. However the whole menu bar has been changed to be far simpler and easier to navigate. There are less drop down boxes and it’s now far easier to go from one squad to another or straight from tactics to training thanks to the removal of small and inconvenient buttons for larger ones. Overall the interface seems neater and more logical in terms of the sections you most often visit when playing the game.

Tactical or Tracksuit Manager

A completely unprecedented feature that has been made a big point of in the adverts. For the first time you can change your attributes and manager type. You can be a tactical manager that relies more on the mental aspect of the game. You therefore would have better attributes in things such as adaptability, man management and level of discipline. Alternatively you can be one of the club’s coaches as well as manager and be a tracksuit manager. The advantages of this are that you can help increase the physical side of a player’s game. The choice of what type of manager you want to be is made at the beginning of the game when you set up your manager profile. Other manager profile additions include additional languages and the possibility to have additional favourite clubs. A lot of fans have been asking for these features for a long time and it’s clear that Sports Interactive have listened and are now trying to create a more in-depth and personalised game.

Match Engine

Since FM 2009 a three-dimensional match engine has been in the game. The advancement of the match engine has been huge. From a simple bar of text, to moving circles and now 3D players, the match engine has become an increasingly more important feature for fans. Supposed advancements in the match engine in previous years haven’t been much to shout about. However this time around there may actually be a noticeable difference. This is due to the use of motion capture technology for the first time ever in a FM game. The advantages of motion capture are that more precise and realistic movements can be captured. Also the quantity of actions is greater because they are far quicker to generate. Along with more detailed stadiums, players, pitches, lighting and ball physics, FM 2015 aims to take the match engine to a whole new level.

Tactics and Player Roles

Tactics are arguably the most important part of any FM game. It therefore makes sense to have as much freedom as possible to make your team play the way you want. In FM 2015 even more default formations have been added giving you even more ways to make your players perform on the pitch. You can also create your own formations, as per usual, meaning there are literally thousands of ways to get your team playing. However this time round computer controlled managers will also make much more use of tactics and will be far more creative and innovative. This aims to give the game more depth and make the tactical battles against managers more competitive. There have also been four new player roles added to FM 2015. In recent FM’s player roles such as the False 9 and the Regista have greatly improved tactic creativity options. These four new roles promise to do much the same. Firstly the Roaming Playmaker role will be available for defensive and central midfielders. It combines the roles of Deep Lying and Advanced Playmaker and is for players who often move around the pitch with very high intensity. Wingers also have a new player role known as the Raumdeuter which acts as a poacher role, like the one strikers can use, but from a wide position. Players assigned this role will often try to move into space from out wide to receive the ball closer to the opposition box. The third new role is for players who play in a wingback position. It’s called the Inverted Wingback and as odd as it may sound it is said to be modelled on South American wingbacks. Instead of moving up and down the sideline like a traditional wingback, Inverted Wingback will move in towards the middle of the pitch between the defence and the midfield. In short the player will move left and right and not up and down. The final new player role is the Wide Playmaker which is available to wide players and wingers. The role encourages wingers to cut inside rather than run to the byline. This would often be used when you want to create more chances from the centre of the pitch. The new player roles and computer manager tactics are sure to add an even more in-depth and subversive edge to an already engulfing experience.

Scouting

In the real world of football management scouting couldn’t be more vital when it comes to deciding which players to sign and what squad to build. To reflect this Sports Interactive have made the scouting section far better and have altered how players are scouted to make it more realistic and engaging. You can now actively press a button that will search for a replacement or backup for a particular position where you know your best player is leaving or about to retire. This reflects what many FM players have been doing in their heads for years but with having this actively in the game will make the whole process much easier. One of the best changes to the scouting system is that now when scouting a player for the first time attributes won’t appear as blank when little is known about him. Instead a range will be presented to you and as you scout the player more the range will narrow and give a precise reading of the player’s quality. Also the star ratings of player will also be ranged. Another thing is that when a scout makes an assessment of a player he will list the pros and cons of why you should or shouldn’t sign the player. These range from weakest and strongest attributes, wage demands, dressing room presence and personality. Along with a whole host of other aspects. The scouting system is set to be the main place to recruit new talent in FM 2015 and by the looks of things it will be far easier to do so.

Player and Press Interaction

Far more player interaction possibilities have been created for FM 15. A new range of issues are available for players to confront you with, often regarding their personal happiness and place in the squad relating to your actions. You really will have an effect on your team’s happiness when you make choices so that will be something to keep in mind when making signings. You can also ask players to do more things such as actively seek a move away from the club if they are unhappy. The objective of additions like this is to create the sense of a far more organic relationship between players and manager. Also you can now talk to a group of specific players at once about an issue away from the rest of the squad. This is different to a team meeting but it will also have an effect on dressing room harmony and player happiness. Not all players will react the same way and some players may automatically side with team mates they have strong relationships with. This makes dealing with issues that relate to several players quicker but also makes the team seem like an entity that can react within itself away from the management. Press conferences have been a great part of FM in recent years but there have been calls for more questions and answers as after a while interactions become a but stale. With different questions and intentions depending on the type of media outlet questioning you, broadsheet or tabloid newspapers for example, you can expect different themes to interviews and questions and different approaches from interviewers. A brand new introduction in FM 15 is tunnel and training ground interviews where you may be asked questions by a reporter. These types of interviews will be more common approaching and around big matches in your season which really help build an atmosphere and sense of excitement coming up to the game. Overall the new press and player interactions will aim to make the way you interact and present yourself more detailed and variable than ever.

Finance

It may be one of the less interesting sides to the game but it is still vitally important in keeping the board happy and your job as manager. With fully updated financial fair play regulations implemented the feeling of financial realism will be at a level like never before. It will also be made more clear what the club’s financial expectations are and keeping to these will be vital in keeping your job. Also in general the financial aspect of the game is far more in-depth and detailed giving you more of an impression of how and what the club is earning and how this affects the board’s level of happiness with you as manager.

Manager Profile

Along with the tactical/tracksuit manager option your history as manager throughout your career will be recorded in a far more detailed way and will be far more relevant when talking to the media and going to job interviews for new clubs. The point of this is to make you feel like your actions at any time in the present could have an impact in the future.

Job Interviews

Job interviews are a relatively new feature in FM having made their début in FM 14. They allowed for greater understanding of what a club was looking for and whether your manager would be suitable for the role. In FM 15 more discussion topics have been added to the game to allow for interviews to be more in-depth and more varied. Things like playing experience, employment history and generally how your career has panned out will be vitally important in interviews.

Training

To go along with the new player roles, training a player to a certain position or style of play can be more directly specified if you want to have a player who is an expert in his position and role. Or you could train them more generally if you want them to be more versatile. Also when managing a semi-pro team training schedules will be more flexible and realistic. Three new coaching styles have been added. Technical, tactical and mental. These will change how your coaches interact with your players and how your players then advance as individuals in training.

Movember

Sports Interactive have been known for raising money for charities throughout the years through their games. With the like of War Child and the Kick It Out anti racism in football campaign featuring constantly for many years. A new charity has joined this year. Movember is a well-known charity that raises money for battling prostate cancer and testicular cancer, along with other health problems. Men are sponsored to grow moustaches in the month of November and the money is then given to charity. In the game some players might grow moustaches during November. The idea is seen as both a bit of fun for the game developers and a way of raising money for a worthwhile charity.

To conclude, the new FM this year will aim to do what they all have done. Be more than the last version. Be more interactive, more subversive, more in-depth. Just all round bigger, louder, faster, stronger, better than the rest. It’s similar to the same rhetoric every year but this time I think they really might be on to something. Specifically the advancements in manager profile and type, which I have been wanting for years, is a huge step forward. Also the new match engine developments and general detail of the game while seeming to become more intuitive and easy to navigate. Of course I haven’t actually played the game yet and I’m sure that not everything be perfect. There can always be faults found in everything. However I for one am very excited for the new Football Manger game. I think this will be a good year for FM and eagerly await the release date of November 7th.

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