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(Full) Back To Basics: Football Manager 2013

Football Manager has become a sprawling and oft inelegant mass of statistics and screens, which is one of the reasons I love it so, but there are many people who don’t want to decide whether to wear a tracksuit or shirt and tie before every match*, or to spend time (allegedly) teaching their dog to embezzle funds*. Those people say things like, “I still keep Champ Manager 1846 installed on every PC I own because back then all you had to do was pick the handsomest team and you’d win every time”. The modern game has excessive detail and options, they say, and Sports Interactive have listened. FM 2013 will have a streamlined Classic Mode.

A press conference revealed details of the game, which will be released in November. I’m not convinced it was a real press conference because if it was I would surely have been invited, waving my credentials and shouting things like: “Is Football Manager 2013 in crisis before its season has even begun and will the game occasionally generate random news stories/prose-poems about Mario Balotelli that resemble the laudanum-induced fever dreams of a Coleridgean brain-stem?” Never mind. Here’s the video.

Steam-centric network play should make multiplayer easier to set up for those not allergic to Steam and there’ll be plenty of minor changes as always, but Classic Mode is the big talking point and Miles Jacobson, SI’s managing director, explained its inclusion to The Guardian:

“We were having a big meeting with everyone on the FM team just after the release of FM 2011 and I asked how many were playing the game at home. Pretty much all of the younger guys put their hands up, but very few of the older ones – the ones with kids – did. So we decided there and then to make FMC a mode in the PC game, rather than a separate release.”

If the mode can capture the simplicity of the older desktop and current handheld versions of the game without sacrificing the quality of simulation that the PC version has built up over the years, it could be a fine thing indeed. I’d quite like the option of enabling and disabling specific features rather than having two distinct modes, but that might actually be possible with the addition of further roles within a club, including Directors of Football who will take away responsibility for and control of contract negotiations. Then they’ll probably take away your responsibility for buying and selling players, speaking to the press, and turning up at the training ground and stadium, at which point you realise you are probably no longer the most important chap around and are most likely doomed to a future of meaningless punditry.

*not yet an actual option

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Adam Smith

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