Football Manager is a series that puts the beautiful game of football in a whole new perspective. Compared to other football games where players focus more on what is happening on the field, Football Manager lets players concentrate more on the goings on within the sidelines, and you will be involved in the happenings pre and post match like never before. In this game, you perform as a manager than an actual player or team, which is the basis of all the games under the Football Manager series.
In Football Manager 13, realism with regards to management of your team takes on a whole new level as you are provided with much more options to customize and improve on your team. Of course, the influx of other statistics to mind and handle are a given due to these enhancements, and while those who are not quite adept at multitasking may find this to be difficult and daunting, this gives Football Manager 13 a deeper sense of authenticity, as these facts are the ones that managers, or their assistants, look at in order to be able to tweak their respective rosters.
All this, along with the many functions within the game, are laid out in a much tidier interface as compared to previous games. Football Manager 13 now features pop-ups and menus not seen in previous installments, allowing you to be able to easily access whatever it is that you want to see. Twitter-like news feeds are also seen throughout the game, either during match days or within your own personal dashboard. This means that you will not be left out as to what’s happening within the league, and you will no longer be required to check out updates on your own.
To minimize complexity within the game, Football Manager 13 allows you to delegate certain tasks to your assistants, letting you do select tasks by yourself. Of course, this also means that you have no solid control as to what exactly your support staff would be doing for your team, and you can still opt to take over these tasks from the automatic settings should you feel that you are able to do a better job at it. There are both new and old tasks within the game, ranging from being able to hire specialist coaches for your players, letting your staff go through improved training, as well as having your players and staff address questions in conferences. Of course, the option for making deals for players and negotiating contracts sits at the very core of Football Manager 13.
The actual Match mode has also been greatly improved, allowing you to see games in a 3D style environment. This mode also allows you to call out plays and make substitutions as you see fit, making you feel like you are right there in the sidelines managing and supporting your team as they compete in the field. This makes Football Manager 13 a full and great experience for those who would like to manage and develop their own fantasy team.
For those who might find Football Manager 13 to be a bit too complicated, this version of the game also features Classic mode, which is the “fat free” version of the game. Features are stripped to the core, requiring players to handle and manage as little variables as possible. Under Classic mode, players can finish an entire season within a few hours to a couple of days, depending on how fast they are able to make decisions and on how in depth they make certain adjustments to their team, which is a big plus for those who would like to see the results of their labors fast.
Football Manager 13’s Classic mode also features certain challenges, where players must be able to perform certain challenges at different points of the season. These include bringing a team in danger of relegation to safety, or handling a team of young players and leading them towards to championship. Different challenges require different strategies, which would both interest and challenge players as they mix and match plans and variables in order to succeed. Players will also be able to access online leaderboards and they can also battle other players using their customized teams for some intense online competition.
With Football Manager 13, players can choose either mode depending on their fancy. With Classic mode, they can finish seasons with no fuss and within a short amount of time, while playing the full version of the game allows you to see first hand the minute details that real football coaches have to deal with and consider when trying to develop their respective teams to their full potential. It’s a choice between a time consumption and authenticity, and this is a choice that players would have to make themselves. Still, it is without doubt that players would be able to enjoy either mode regardless of their choice simply due to the numerous enhancements that were made for this simulation game.
If you want realism and authenticity in your association football games, then nothing comes close to Football Manager 13. While it does not require dept fingers and quick reflexes as much as other games such as FIFA or PES, Football Manager 13 is very much able to capture the essence of football, and with hundreds of thousands of players to choose from, Football Manager 13 is building up to be a pretty challenging game indeed. With this game, you are required to look at all aspects of your team and use your strengths and weaknesses to your advantage in order to reach championship glory. Playing this game will make you feel like a real life manager, with the fate of your entire team in your hands. How you would be managing your roster will be entirely up to you, as you build them across several seasons to become a veritable threat to all opponents, players, coaches, and fellow managers alike.
Tested on PC. Final Score: 9/10
Football Manager 13 is available for both the Windows PC and Apple OS X platforms. It was developed by Sports Interactive, published by Sega, and is scheduled for a November 2, 2012 release. It will be available as both a physical copy, as well as a digital download.