is back, and it seems the limited success it?s seen in recent years has given the developers some extra time. So much so, in fact, that fans had to take a year out from their beloved spreadsheet football game while it was being revamped.
The usual aspects and features of a Football Management Sim are still here; there are a vast number of teams in varying footballing nations to choose from, with a hefty player database to boot. There?s also an updated yet instantly familiar UI. They?ve seemingly taken graphical inspiration from a combination of Sky Sports and Windows Vista, with its swooshing graphics and harsh-half-gradient menu bars. It?s not unsightly nor garish in the slightest ? but it?s certainly an acquired taste, one which has my tongue twisting ever so slightly in displeasure.
On with the game.
On selecting my team (Manchester United) and clicking through the usual news feed rigmarole of management initiation, I got straight on to mastermind a tactic that would take my squad of players to further glory. The Tactics page feels very comfortable and easy to navigate, and almost without really giving it any attention at first I noticed I had an option for a without ball tactic. Wibble/Wobble is back! This was scrapped a few years ago, and was considered an incredibly contentious decision (like there are any others in football, right?).There was an even split within the community of either approval or blasted developers into damnation. Personally, I?m glad to see it back, and those developers shall rue the day they took this away from me!
There are also a number of new player and team instructions, most of which I?d come to tinker with during the plight of my pre-season friendlies. My flawless tactic wasn?t working so well. During match analysis I started with the 3D engine. The fact that you can instantly switch from 3D to 2D top down is a nice touch. The reason I discovered this feature was because it took me all of five minutes to become tired of the 3D engine. It?s the exact same game of football played between 3 or 2D, only in the former you can see the more annoying parts of the football. For example, why do my right footed players insist on using their left feet all the time
Too many of my players begin to dribble, and then simply forget the ball. Defensive errors occur almost every time we?re either in possession, or on the back foot. The game just doesn?t flow well, and the 2D version does well to hide the horrible and persistent mistakes. Hopefully part of the problem here lies with the animation, so there may be scope to improve that before launch. I?ll stick to my 2D for now, though.
With the Community Shield fast approaching I decided to have another shot at my tactics, hoping to bring the best out of my key players.
Wayne Rooney was given more of a free role and, in an attempt to get him riled for the next game I urged him to be aggressive in his football; when tackling he should go in hard. This general fiery instruction was later edited to be specifically aimed at Frank Lampard. I also noticed you could encourage your players to go down in heap when touched, so I added that in for good measure.
Before the big game I hoped to get in a number of training runs and to practice the set pieces further. The lack of results so far highlighted to me that I did in fact need to bring in some new players after losing the likes of Tevez and Ronaldo (I?d have got more than 80 million for that splitter).
First up was scouting. Along with most features in CM2010
, the scouting page has a graphical interface that goes a long way to making the process seem a whole lot more interesting than staring at an endless stream of Hansens, Olsens and Andersons as I endeavour to find the next Solksjśr. Not only that, but it also works efficiently.
Accurate stats are not instantly visible, and if you find a target you?re interested in, more often than not you?ll want to scout further to see the true picture. I created my scouting network hoping to find a hidden gem, and the whole process wasn?t entirely tiresome, which is refreshing.