Football Manager 2021 Review – Tactical Victory

Welcome to Football Manager 2021 Dugout (Photo: Sega)

GameCentral reviewed the new Football Manager game and found that this year was, after all, a good year for football.

Despite the challenge of keeping each year’s release fresh and engaging, Football Manager series developer Sports Interactive has to face the pandemic this year prior to the release of Football Manager 2021. did.

Studios have always relied on some of the staff working remotely, which is necessary given the size and range of games that require accurate data on clubs, leagues and players around the world, but to develop. You will never experience a difficult situation. game.

It was a challenge Sports Interactive developers have taken that step, with Football Manager 2021 being released a bit later than 2019, but making life in dugout more interactive, immersive and loyal. Brings many improvements.

Unlike Football Manager 2020, which led to the introduction of development center features, Football Manager 2021 focuses on accessibility and quality of life adjustments to help manage football clubs, rather than expensive ticketing features. I will.

The question is whether this will change the strategy and approach of the game, or primarily to improve the user experience. The answer is both bits.

For those who recorded more than 100 hours of recent versions of Football Manager, most of what they actually did beyond the first few hours was just a habit and might have felt like they were experiencing movement. Maybe.

This is what many football managers 2021 are trying to overhaul.

In terms of team talk and player interaction, game veterans can always quickly motivate their teams, whether they’ve trained well or said they can “make a difference” before the match. I found a known, trial-and-error formula. ..

Miles Jacobson, director of Sports Interactive, has already explained how a wealth of new body language options can change the way you interact with your team, but is it enough to completely change your approach?

Football Manager 21 Player Interactions During Goal Drought

One of many new interaction options that can help strikers rediscover their forms (credit: Sega)

After a big play of Football Manager 2021, the answer is … almost. We told our assistant managers to do almost nothing to give us as much chance as possible to bring new life to our salvation in the turmoil of press conferences and team talks.After all, a press conference For a long time it was our special complaint.

However, once you understand what works, the “encouragement” screams seem to do what you “more demanded” in your previous football manager. It could be automated again, leaving some people unwilling to completely immerse themselves in saves to get it back. Go back to the muscle memory approach to morale-boosting strategies.

For those who really take the time to dig deeper into each player’s reaction, it would be great if they could fold their arms around their favorites and build their confidence. I don’t know what percentage of the football manager’s user base is so fine-grained.

But that’s part of the challenges Sports Interactive faces each year. As Jacobson said, this is a series that needs to appeal to new players, mid-core (people who play 100-200 hours), and hardcore who spend much longer in the game.

New players will be overwhelmed at first, but induction and tooltips do a great job of guiding the group with everything they can use as the first football manager. The mid-core may also show features that you didn’t notice at first. For example, the option to ask the agent about player availability is new and well hidden, indicating that there is something at every level.

That said, this is the first football manager for quite some time, with no real headline new features. Some might argue that the recruitment meeting is considered one before the transfer period, but I didn’t feel that this was a new feature and an alternative approach to the existing process. To be honest, it took us only a few transfer windows to skip the meeting and continue scouting as usual, but of course some people like the novelty of the recruitment meeting.

It’s difficult to blend properly into all demographics, but overall, the majority of fans are convinced they’ll leave time with Football Manager 2021 feeling fresh enough to justify their purchase. doing.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Football Manager is the match engine. It is constantly adjusted throughout the life cycle of the game and has always been one of the biggest topics of discussion.

The match engine for Football Manager 2021 has undergone major changes this year. This is what Sports Interactive wants to point out. In addition to updates such as player animations and general liquidity of the match, decision making was said to be one of the important differences you will notice.

Perhaps this focus stems from the constant debate about the source of Football Manager 2020 goals. It has become a game that takes advantage of long throws, set pieces and mistakes, and the highlights and matchday experience has become fairly mediocre. The time you really got into saving.

Then sitting and observing the football manager 2021 match must be considered a victory.

At its core, Football Manager is a statistician’s dream. Everything from scratch is built on numbers. Everything you see on the pitch is the result of hundreds of interactions between those numbers and the player’s decisions.

These are “slices” and occur every 1/4 second, just as Sports Interactive calls them. The difference this year is that players can change their decisions in the middle of the slice, depending on the circumstances. This is an important change and should help promote the realism of both attacker and defender matches.

Football managers haven’t stood out in their aesthetics, and while 3D engines can look attractive but outdated, what really came to the fore in Football Manager 2021 is animation.

From small touches and off-the-ball movements in tight spaces to a variety of finishes that have been significantly improved as the striker employs, Football Manager feels like a much more realistic soccer simulation. Goalkeeper animations still need work, but the overall feedback provided by match engine animations is far more satisfying.

It is the total versatility that gives the football manager 2021 such a refreshing feel. It may turn out that more than 100 hours preserve old habits and make decisions automatically, but the new layout of press conferences and team talks is very attractive and of response and body language action. I found the array interesting.

If I had to make a prediction, I think the press conference would end prematurely and “send an assistant” would be the de facto choice for football manager 2021 players, but the developers once again recognized the outdated features and that. Was reactivated. However, some support this change and add another substantial immersive feeling to preservation.

What we feel universally loved is the enhanced matchday experience. From the look to the set of stats that accompany each match’s presentation, we’ve tied the screen flow together to make the match day much more exciting.

Post-match analysis screen of Football Manager 21

Matchday presentations are deeper and more hierarchical than ever before (Photo: Sega)

Pre-match tactical briefings have been incorporated into Game Day’s screenflow, laid out to expand and learn key statistics, social media reactions harmonize well, league tables and all other on-site equipment. Configure-Comprehensive presentation.

Aside from the match engine, this is the most striking change in Football Manager 2021 and a change that makes the game feel more faithful to real life. From pre-match to post-match, you are always involved and will give you everything you need to get the most out of your 90 minutes. The layout also makes sense. Dugouts, information tablets (including xG stats debuting this year), and start XI are pinned to an easily accessible panel. Anyone who rewrote the user interface here did a great job. I hope this will be the future format of the series.

And it goes without saying about the actual presentation of the highlights. The crowd feels more lively, the VAR decisions are more faithful to the actual action, and the goal alert actually captures the moment rather than the flashing “goal” bar we’re used to.

Matchday looks more lively than ever (credit: Sega)

If you’re following a football manager’s review, you know that the bar has been set high in the last few years. The restructuring of core gameplay capabilities has made a big leap every year, and looking at the Football Manager 2021 lineup, I was wondering if I could hit the same code this year.

There’s a clear warning that 2020 is a hellish year to coordinate the development of such layered games, but even if you’re not obsessed with changing interactions or press conferences, Football Manager 2021 is good enough. I’m sure there are a few small new features. To make your experience a little more enjoyable.

It’s important to note that while many of these features aren’t immediately apparent, you’re looking for core elements of the removed series, such as the percentage of goodness of fit. Removing these numbers and replacing them with a system that points your thumb up or down is one of many under-radar changes made to make the job a bit more difficult and make the game a little more realistic. After all, even Pep Guardiola will have a hard time telling how good one of Manchester City players is at 0-100%.

Football Manager 2021 is a natural success and sports interactive is something to be proud of. There is no doubt that the series will continue to advance over the years, but this stands out as a big leap forward on the pitch. That alone can get you hooked for hours and make the difficult decision to buy an annual release a little easier.

Format: PC (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X / S
Price: £ 39.99

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sports Interactive
Release date: November 24, 2020 (Switch TBC)
Age rating: 3

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Football Manager 2021 review – a tactical triumph

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