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Regular Fixture: Football Manager 2011

It’s been RPS’ best-ever day for pictures of football games on the front-page! Nonetheless, you may have observed subtle clues over the years that this website’s staff are just a little bit shy of football nous. Subtle, subtle clues. This does not mean we sneer at those who do have said nous, or indeed at games based upon it. No! We revere them as much as we do all other games. Just slightly confusedly so.

Take Football Manager, for instance, the two thousand and eleventh installment of which was confirmed today.
FM is a proud and thoughtful Important Man Simulator series, sadly robbed of its original Championship Manager moniker during an acrimonious break-up with Eidos in 2003, but one that has remained one of the UK’s best-selling games. Famously, it’s resisted creating a match engine which looks like actual football for years, to the point that it made headlines when moving dots were introduced a few years back. All that’s changed with the 2009 version, and it’s something they’re continuing to push. The emphasis remains on accuracy and match relevance rather than showing-off – but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a little gloss. The newly-confirmed FM 2011 has emotions and everything….

Here’s Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson, who is a nice man I once went t-shirt shopping with in LA, talking about what’s new in the upcoming FM2011 and, most importantly, demonstrating the latest version of that match engine.

Also, watch his t-shirt. Or, more accurately, t-shirts… How many do you count?

Sounds like some substantial changes, and an altogether modern-looking game in both visuals and interface. Here’s some of those same points, but rendered in the curious medium old people call “text.”

FM2011 will feature more new features than ever before, including real-time contract negotiation, a revamped training system and a number of match engine improvements, Football Manager 2011 will once again raise the bar for football management games.

Football Manager 2011 is the latest iteration of the award-winning Football Manager series. Selling in excess of 6 Million copies worldwide, Football Manager has been topping the UK PC charts for the last five years.

Football Manager 2011 will be more polished than ever this year, and Sports Interactive will again set a new standard for the genre by adding a host of new features. For the first time ever, aspiring managers can now negotiate contracts with players in real time. And by working with a multitude of real-life football agents, Sports Interactive gained an insight as to how these negotiations can be made as realistic as possible in-game. Prepare to meet different types of agents in your contract talks; each with their own personality so will therefore need a different approach.

“At Sports Interactive, we always strive to give the end-user the best experience possible,” said Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive. “The training system for example has always been the best we thought it could be, until now. We’ve found a way to make it even better!”

With the implementation of the most intuitive training system in the series history, there is a new “match preparation” area of training so that managers can give their team specific areas to focus on in the lead up to a match. There are also more basic training schedules for players, and 14 different individual skill areas that you can focus your players
on.

Interaction with players, staff and the board have gone to a whole new level, with a host of new boardroom and backroom requests, a new player interaction module that allows the manager to have private conversations with players, as well as public conversations regarding players at other clubs.

Two years after the launch of the 3D Match Engine, players will see a number of improvements implemented for this year’s release. With over 100 new animations added, as well as more player emotions, new player models, new stadiums, pitch textures, improved lighting, floodlit night matches, more goal celebrations and lots of other extras which improve what was already the best match simulation on the market.

The other new features announced today include a revamped media module, which will keep the managers better up to date with events going on in their football world, as well as being more customisable than ever before, and the most requested feature that the Sports Interactive community have asked for in the last few years, dynamic league reputation, which makes for an even more realistic model of the footballing world.

Further new features will be announced via Twitter (@si_games), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/officialfootballmanager), a series of blogs and the popular Football Manager Podcast in the months leading up to the game’s release. With more new features than anyone could ever fit in a press release, Football Manager will retain its position as the most realistic, most played, annually best selling, and highest reviewed football management simulation in the world.

Football Manager Handheld 2011 will also be available for release this year on PSP, including improvements in the tactics screen, a completely new skin, the updated database and improved match graphics.

For further information please go to www.sigames.com or www.footballmanager.com.

Any FM / CM fans in the crowd? Make yourselves known! What do you most relish about this newest incarnation?

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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