Much like the beautiful game itself, watching the competing duo of Football Manager and Championship Manager is absolute entertainment. Even better, it means management fans will always have the best of all worlds with both trying to outdo each other, and for 2010 it looks like Football Manager is lifting the cup. The good news is Steam is offering a bargain transfer free with 50% off its usual retail price for Football Manager until 8th March, that’s £14.99, at least a clear pound less than most other retailers.
Overhearing a conversation between Football Manager players is an exercise in blurring reality. Excited ramblings about some talented young Icelandic lad they’ve just spotted, sends your mind wandering to recall as to whether you’ve missed a recent holiday or not. But with even an average player putting in 240 hours of playing time, which is an entire 10 full days of your life, we’d argue management games like this are role-playing games. Just like WoW you disappear into your own fantasy league running every aspect of your own club.
This latest incarnation of Football Manager sees the Champ Man rival picking up its game. A host of visual changes have washed over not only the interface but the matches themselves. Partly to help newcomers ease into things but also because it needed it. The same goes for its new media page that delivers all the news of this fantasy world to your screen and an improved tactics editor that should help beginners wade through this complex area.
Ultimately the 3D matches needn’t be a visual treat for the game to succeed but the additional polish that’s been applied to the 2010 edition, such as a hundred new player animations, helps a lot. If you didn’t pick up Football Manager 2009 and have avoided Champ Man 2010, then this time-sink is waiting to suck you in.