Yesterday we brought you news that an announcement was imminent for Football Manager 2016. Well, that announcement has been and gone and it is a doozy!
The Football Manager series is well-known for the massive amounts of changes it makes each year in the attempt to improve the experience for its dedicated fan base. These changes and amendments often number in to the thousands. FM16 looks set to follow the same trend this year, starting with its entire squad of games getting a shake up along with some fantastic new features.
2016 will see the release of three unique Football Manager experiences. Two we’re familiar with, and the last a brand new star in an already talented line-up. Along with the classic Football Manager experience and Football Manager Mobile (formerly Handheld), we will be getting Football Manager Touch.
FM Touch will be a sort of hybrid between the full game and the mobile version and will be playable on high-end Android and iOS devices. The best part? Saves will be cross compatible between FM16 & FM Touch so that one more game syndrome when you’ve brought Woking to the Champions League Final can continue on the work commute after the late night slog on your laptop! Plus, buy FM16 and you get FM Touch as part of the package, but it will be available separately if you just want a higher end mobile managerial experience!
The next in a very long list of new features is the Fantasy Draft game mode. To be honest, this might well be our favourite feature coming up in 2016.
The premise is simple. You and your friends agree on a budget, then go head to head in an NFL style draft scenario to build up your squads. At the end of that, up to 32 unique teams can take part in head-to-head competition against each other online. We can see this becoming endless fun as a multiplayer experience; whereby creating your own squad while contending for the best names in football within a budget will really separate the men from the boys!
Of course, there will be vital updates to many other aspects of the game engine. Tactically, statistically and across all other areas of Football Manager there will be tweaks and changes that will enhance the enjoyment of the game for all. Statistics & Performance Analysis engine Prozone will be incorporated into Football Manager in order to give a greater insight into the statistical side of your game. As for the match engine and the tactical game. Improved AI along with over 2000 new 3D animations will hopefully prevent those odd occasions where your keeper has a mare and ends up making a wildly stupid error (it’s happened us all *cries*). As for the tactics, a more hands on set piece control will allow you to get one up on the opposition in deadball situations. Have the next David Beckham or Roberto Carlos in your squad? Now will be the time to make him a lethal weapon.
The overall managerial experience will also be set to make a few steps forwards with the transfer and contract engine getting an overhaul and the media interaction getting an upgrade. Many players were not fans of how on occasions you could offer substantial money for a transfer target, only to be asked for a multiple of that amount, then the same player departing to another club for less money. With improvements set to come to both the transfer system and contract system hopefully this will mean an end to some outlandish scenarios that often happened.
In terms of the media, when in press conferences, questions and answers will become much more varied, relevant and contextualised. There will also be enhanced interaction with your Board of Directors but no doubt it will still take a few trophies and a healthy bank balance before they approve that stadium expansion you have been angling for! Yes, we all know Shrewsbury cannot do in the Premier League without those extra seats, but this is what happens when you spend all your money on a 32 year old Balotelli.
The next two features are more along the lines of the fun and slightly gimmicky, but nonetheless great additions. Firstly, you will be able to customise your own manager who will be front and centre on the touchlines. Something included as fans have been requesting it as a feature for quite some time. It will be fantastic to see this put into play and watch a Football Manager model of yourself make the calls from the sidelines… or sit in the stands after you’ve had a go at the ref!
If you’re still not satisfied with that level of customisation, then you’ll enjoy the Create A Club mode coming to Football Manager 16. This does exactly what it says on the tin. You create your own club from the bottom up including team name, nickname, colours etc. and stick it in the game world in place of an existing team. Not fond of Man United, Chelsea or Liverpool? Get rid of ’em and take their place! Alternatively you can take your own club from the doldrums of league football right to the pinnacle that is the Champions League final. The potential for a wickedly unique save in this mode is endless.
Overall, this has been a solid day one release of features for the most immersive and addictive football management simulator on the planet. Plenty to look forward to and get excited for with the release date of 13th of November set for Football Manager 2016. Releases of Football Manager Touch & Football Manager Mobile will follow shortly after however no release dates are confirmed yet.
If that’s still not enough for you, pre-order the game now and not only is FM Touch included as part of the full game package, you’ll also get access to the Beta for the game 2-3 weeks before the full release and a free digital copy of An Alternative Reality, A documentary about Football Manager!