Game Review: Football Manager 2012 – Say Goodbye To Everyone And Everything You Hold Near And Dear

Chris Wright

25th, October 2011


By Nathan Hildred

In the past few years, the long-running Football Manager series has been more revolutionary than evolutionary. We’ve seen the advent of the 3D match engine, touchline shouts and Match Analysis that would make even the blokes over at Opta sweat.

For the 2012 instalment, SI Games have decided to tread a different path in their pursuit of simulated management perfection. There’s no real ground breaking feature that screams at you from the display box. Worried? You shouldn’t be. In the absence of a ‘star attraction’ of sorts, Miles Jacobsen and his men have added some five-star sheen to what could well be the best Football Manager yet.

Not that you won’t notice the improvements. They’re there, and they’re very welcome ones. Perhaps the headline act of FM 2012 is the ability to add and remove leagues throughout your game. Previously, this was only an option before your managerial career had truly begun – this year, you can come and go as you please, making some Sven Goran Eriksson-esque globe-hopping tantalisingly possible.

While this may not exactly scream ‘buy me’ to Football Manager newbies, FM veterans will revel in such a feature.

Football Manager 2012 screenshot

But those new to the series won’t be left behind. For the first time ever, Football Manager 2012 includes a ‘tutorial’ system. While it won’t hold your hand up the Wembley steps, it’ll certainly help wannabe Wengers take those first baby steps into the game, helpfully highlighting key icons and actions you’ll be needing along the way.

The oft-maligned match engine has also been given a lick of paint, with players given new animations, a raft of new stadiums added into the game, and more realistic weather and crowds. Whilst playing a Europa League game away in Turkey, for example, flares were actually set off in the stands mid-way through the game. For a game that’s more about percentages than pixels, it’s another pleasing addition.

Football Manager 2012 match engine preview

As with real life, though, the key to Football Manager 2012’s success lies in its’ tactics and interactivity. Championed recently for including the ability for managers to talk to their players, SI have introduced a ‘tone’ system this year, meaning you can select exactly how you want to deliver that rollicking before a local derby, from a Fergie-style hairdryer to some laid-back Mourinho confidence. Every action has a reaction, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get the best out of your squad.

Mario Balotelli, beware.

And for the anoraks, team reports are better than ever, with more detailed analysis on a player’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to pinpoint what’s going wrong or right and why. In the past, this was sometimes a shot in the dark. Not anymore. You can prepare up to three different tactical formations too, allowing you to easily switch things up on the fly mid-match.

So once again, it’s time to dust off the natty suit with the elbow pads (or the Lonsdale tracksuit, if you’re that way inclined), practice your best rebuttals to use when the press get on your back and get ready to punch the air when Stern John leads you to Blue Square Premier glory.

Football Manager widows won’t like it, but FM 2012 is yet another touch of managerial class. Bring on the all nighters…

Visit the official Football Manager 2012 website here

Posted in Featured, Games, Opinion

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  1. Papi says:

    Must. Get.

  2. tom says:

    racked up 408 hours on 2011, 400 odd on 2010, an 500 odd on 2009 in the past three years. christ i love these games!

  3. Saladinho says:

    Ah yes, my social life takes a halt once more! Best game ever

  4. C says:

    I’ve already said goodbye to everyone. Got 55 hours played since release.

  5. Chris says:

    I need that

  6. Montesquieu says:

    I’ve had every version from Championship Manager to the most recent. The changes which have been made to gameplay have been revolutionary with each copy, but the difference between 2006 and 2011 are almost night and day.

    This version will be exciting. Will have to buy it on steam when I’m not at work.

    Anyway, with this post I retire the Montesquieu monicker. Since asshats seem to want to steal the name and use it in whichever way possible.

  7. tony says:

    Does the game have the option to go from the high life of winning the European Cup with Liverpool to going back to being serving tapas at a bar?

  8. Hirsty says:

    Managed to ween myself of this drug and have been clean and sober for over a year now. I think this will push me back off the wagon though…

  9. Rory says:

    Being playing Champo and then FM for years the author of the article and the poster Montesquieu are talking mince if they think changes to this game have been revolutionary. This series is notorious for releasing minor updates to the game each year (such as this new one) the actual core game gets overhauled every 3-4 years and even then not much changes. Love the game, but some people on here are talking out their crevices. Truth is there isnt much reason to get this if you have last years other than updated teams, but you can get that from fans websites for the older games.

  10. Piesfanfromgermany says:

    And again it is available in every country but Germany.

    I miss my old pal Maxim Tsigalko.

  11. […] Game Review: Football Manager 2012 – Say Goodbye To Everyone And Everything You Hold Near And … […]

  12. Dragan says:

    Any one have a comparison as to wether this i better than fifa manager ?
    trying to decide what to go for…

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