Previews Publisher Sega Europe Ltd. is therefore labelling Football Manager 2014 as ‘the most feature-packed and technically advanced release in the series’ history’.

Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by Editor


Football Manager 2014 preview

If you’ve been following the Football Manager Twitter feed you’ll have seen developers Sports Interactive tweeting from its 1,000-strong list of updates for the 2014 release.

Amongst those tweets have been new feature reveals including supporter-owned clubs refusing to sell to greedy business types, press questions regarding the chairperson’s future, the ability to request fixture rearrangements when a huge number of players are on international duty, and more.

But is such an enormous depth of realism, which has helped Football Manager become a national obsession according to The Guardian, enough to attract already devoted fans to the latest release?

Miles Jacobson admitted on stage during February’s Futureproof Summit in Liverpool after all that scores of people, according to Steam data, are still addicted to and continue to play 2011 and 2012 versions of the game despite 2013 being on the market.

That’s no bad thing at all (Cartridge still dips into Football Manager 2012 to take charge of Manchester United and fine Rio Ferdinand indefinitely) but Sports Interactive’s biggest competitor is itself and its previous high standards.

Publisher Sega Europe Ltd. is therefore labelling 2014 as ‘the most feature-packed and technically advanced release in the series’ history’.

Amongst the game’s advances is the ability to play 2014 on Linux and the introduction of a cloud save feature, meaning prospective managers can continue their career from any computer in the world – something Cartridge is particularly pleased with.

Photos, logos and other custom in-game content can be created and shared with friends easier than before thanks to Steam Workshop tools, making 2014 an impressive social footballing experience.

To balance out the realism Sports Interactive has enhanced Football Manager Classic mode, which now lets managers choose more than three playable nations and introduces a transfer deadline day to fast play mode with other enhancements.

But the real meat of 2014 lies in its improved 3D match engine, tactical overhauls, life-like transfer and contract realism, interactions with the board, players, and staff, a clearer news system and much more besides.

Enhanced AI and player animations are instantly noticeable during a match as are individual character and kit models. Players will also react accordingly to specific incidents (booting the ref up the arse, perhaps?) while matches are fast, fluid and engaging.

Player roles are better defined in a tactical sense with players able to fill multiple positions during a match if ordered to do so. Rival managers will also learn over time and adapt their tactics thanks to 2014’s impressive AI.

For the manager that likes to keep their eye on the reserves and beyond coaches will give better briefings of how players throughout all tiers of the club are performing. Key first-team players can bollock truculent squad members whilst interaction with the board is more in-depth than ever before.

Transfers are promised to be more realistic thanks to real world clauses being added to contracts. A new ‘live’ transfer system is also available for those fed up with the old turn-based way of negotiating with other clubs.

There’s much, much more to talk about but we’d like to catch up on our sleep before we inevitably play it and get sucked back into a sixth-form mode of playing Football Manager all day in our pants watching Holly and Phil.

Add an attractive new skin and layout to all the game’s new features and Football Manager 2014 looks set to build on its previous successes, turning the British population into slavering, drooling, gibbering wrecks whose girlfriends walk out on them and take them to court for full control of the car/kids.

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About the Author

is editor of Cartridge and a director of Liverpool-based content marketing firm Digital Ink Media. John's personal portfolio includes contributions to Future, Dennis, Imagine, Trinity Mirror and many other publishing houses.

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