Sports Interactive yesterday unveiled and announced Football Manager, the next yearly installment of their hugely successful franchise. Initially to be launched on PC, Mac and PSP, Studio Director Miles Jacobson was on YouTube to give us a quick rundown of a few new features and tweaks we con come to expect from the game, all of which you can read or watch after the jump.
First off is the addition of agents to the game. Agents have been present in the shadows in the game before but this year they will take a more prominent role in transfer negotiations and contract talks, both of which have been revamped to resemble proper negotiations in a meeting or over the phone, rather than make a bid and wait for a reply as it has been. The agents will all have their own distinct way of dealing with the players they manage, with some dealing fair, and others looking to get their clients higher salaries in return for heftier commission (lining their own pockets in the process). There are also a number of new contract clauses as well, such as pay bonuses after meeting a goal quota, release clauses if a bigger team makes an offer and more that are to be announced at a later date.
Training has been redesigned as well, and is more simple and intuitive for new players to find a regime that suits their style of play. A number of presets will come loaded with the game to ease new players into the training aspect and helps set up their own routines. Training also now helps the squad blend in better together better than before, particularly if you make a number of new signings within a short stretch of time.
Interaction with the people around you has also been given an overhaul, with more choices and a better “dialog” feel to talking to your players, your board, and other rival managers.
The News and Inbox screens are now back to being on the one screen, but with content automatically filtered into 2 sub-frames so it’s still easy to tell what’s directly addressed to you and other stuff you may be interested in but isn’t directly relevant to you or your team, such as another team in your league making a signing, transfer rumours and so on. Pre-match previews in the news also get a slight re-tooling with better analysis into possible outcomes and league positions based on the result shown before the game – really important towards the end of the season whether you’re pushing for the title, or fighting to avoid relegation.
The 3D match engine has been improved as well, with animation movements and the stadium appearances approved, with new animations for players’ reactions to match events, like harsh referee decisions, goals and near misses.
Finally, the game adds a dynamic league reputation system. What this means is that the better that teams from a nation do in continental competitions, the higher regard the league will be seen by players, and you can attract better talent to your club there. Take for example my own native Irish league. Certainly not the most glamorous league in Europe, but the better that teams from the Irish leagues do in European competition, the standards of the league will gradually increase, and signing better players will be easier as it’s not seen as a step down to them any more.