If football is a game of two halves, football managing is a chaotic, multi-segmented mess. There's the dealing with spoilt millionaires half, the pretending to care about the board of directors half, the not admitting that thing you did to the press half. Somewhere, among all these many jobs, there's the actual bit of the game where football is played. And that is the subject of this first video of Football Manager 2014 in action.
The tumultuous intrigue of medieval Europe? The delicate diplomacy between hostile alien races? Pah! The offices, changing rooms and dugouts of a mid-table League Two team are where the real tactical geniuses are born. And that headless shouting man above can mean only one thing, Football Manager is back for a new season, offering an improved line-up of enhancements and features.
Pro-Evolution Soccer is a game about kicking a ball around, as this completely pointless E3 trailer confirms. The only thing I took away from it is that sometimes football stars wear garish shoes while absurdly bombastic music plays - but thankfully the accompanying press release had a little more information on hand. PES 2014 features an "all-new engine allowing for the most comprehensive advance for the Pro Evolution Soccer series since its inception," apparently. Konami then bamboozle us with acronyms.
Sure, you can roll your eyes at unfailing annualisation of sports games. But just look at real football - they make a new version of that every year too, and it hasn't changed for decades. Maybe they've spruced up the hair tech since the 80s, but other than that it's exactly the same game. So at least EA Sports are putting the effort in with some new features and upgrades for the now confirmed FIFA 14.
Those spoilsports at EA have released an update to the PC version of FIFA 13, which corrects a number of issues including online connectivity problems, "general stability during gameplay" - oh and that thing with the invisible ball. As Eurogamer point out, occasionally the ball would become invisible in the middle of a match, resulting in a sport that can only be referred to as 'Foot'. That's now been fixed, along with "rare cases of physics elasticity when two players collide". They must edit those bits out of Match of the Day.
This latest version of Pro Evolution Soccer feels oddly preordained. Where a match played on its great rival FIFA is at the whim of an object as bouncy and round as, well, a football, a match on PES 2013 feels like you’re performing actions set in the stars by footballing gods.
The problem with reviewing a game like FIFA 13 is that you end up writing notes like ‘the physicality is less predictable’ which, when you take a step away from the context of an iterative virtual sports title, make a kind of negative sense that could potentially be weaponised and deployed as part of a disruptive first strike invasion scenario.
600 million minutes of Fifa 13 have been played online since launch last week. Imagine what we could've achieved if we'd piled the collective effort of those 600 million minutes into one project. We could have amassed enough money to quash every superinjunction in the land, delivering a payload of footbally gossip to snigger at/moralise over for months, perhaps years. We could have surreptitiously replaced Spurs players with identical android versions one by one, renamed the club Robottenham Botspur and ruled the league as kings. We could have built a giant golden statue of Balotelli, mid-hulkout, squatting over the London Gherkin as though he's laid an enormous glass egg.
But NO. We decided to stay indoors and play a quality game instead.
“I’m pretty happy with the way it is at the moment,” says Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson of the latest edition of the world’s most popular footy management sim. After yesterday’s video announcement, we rang Miles for a chinwag about challenges, cheats and camera angles – and why this year’s edition promises to be the most accessible Football Manager in years.
It’s that time of year when the leaves turn brown, the air gets chilly, and the ass-shaped groove in
your favourite chair gets a little deeper. Yes, it’s almost Football Manager time – and, much like a
new boss cheerfully clutching a wad of petrodollars from an obscenely wealthy overseas backer, this
year’s edition arrives promising wholesale changes.
The January football transfer window has slammed shut with the roar of a billion bank notes changing hands, and the echoing wail of the odd player who gets loaned to Millwall when all they really want is to play for Manchester United. Football Manager players will have to wait a few more weeks for the official transfer patch to arrive and update their rosters, until then, FMScout have compiled a couple of useful unofficial updates from around the web.
On the surface it looks like not much has changed in the yearly updated world of Pro Evolution Soccer, but a lack of big new tournaments or flashy features masks the huge work that’s gone into improving the football itself.
After the rigmarole of picking a team (mostly unlicensed, so you get the real Manchester United, but Aston Villa are West Midlands Village) you’re on the pitch, ready to guide your team to victory.
There are two instances in which you’re likely to see a footballer somersault on the pitch. The first is if he’s scored a goal and communicates his joy through the medium of gymnastics, the second is if his legs have just been taken out by a defender and he communicates that he no longer has the ball through the medium of flying and screaming. Both instances are simulated spectacularly in FIFA 12.
For the first time in many seasons, this year’s edition of FIFA on PC is identical to its console cousins – the same engine, animations and online modes that console players have come to expect, as well as the new defensive controls and an ‘Impact Engine’ designed to render player collisions with devastating accuracy.
Football Manager 2012 has been released, and like every year, the same questions are being asked: Why does a game that looks like Microsoft Excel sell so well? Why would you want to manage footballers when they could be playing them? Why do so many people play it for hours on end?
Well I've played a lot of Football Manager over the years, so I'm going to try and explain why. It's because despite all the stats and number crunching, Football Manager is a game about stories. It's about the little narratives that emerge from every game. Like this one. The story of Shane Paul.
The FIFA 12 demo is out now. This year, they've added a smart new physics engine, the "Impact Engine", to better model player collisions. Think of GTA's hilarious ragdolls, but with more balls. This video, spotted via Reddit, suggests it might need a little bit of work.
What a finish.
Do you find yourself getting bored with the usual league systems present in Football Manager? Have you always wanted to see a British Superleague or have the chance to play in a league based on the USSR circa 1991? If you can say yes to any of those questions then this list is what you need. Inside you can find five of the best, or most bizarre, custom leagues ready for you to play right now.
Football Manager 2011 has plenty of custom leagues and new skins, but mods themselves are pretty scarce. Still, we've selected the top five Mods to customise and streamline your Football Manager 2011 experience. Click through for the mods, and details of how to download.
FIFA eh? It's a sore point for PC gaming football fans. Especially when they're told the PC version won't be as hot as the console counterparts. As Rich mentioned in his FIFA 11 review: "It's hard not to be jealous of FIFA 11's flashier console cousin."
But it's all change on the FIFA front. Eurogamer report that executive producer Kaz Makita has been bigging up our version of the ball-kicking sim, saying: "This is the moment all PC gamers have been waiting for, as they are finally going to fully experience the award-winning FIFA gameplay on their preferred platform." Contrary to popular belief we are getting the Player Impact Engine - that's the new tech that makes fatter players heavier and thinner players more flimsy.
Click through for the first PC screenshot and gameplay trailer.
Today is derby day. Former footballing champions PES are looking to recapture their glory days and overcome the nigh-on unstoppable force that is FIFA. The referee looks ready to blow his whistle, and there’s one question on everyone’s lips: could this be the year that PES takes the title?