So has anything really changed in Football Manager? From an aesthetic point of view FM17 is a bit disappointing, nothing really has changed very much. We have new staff roles like the Sports Scientist, but have no clue on what value they add to the club. They have been added in what seems like an afterthought. Tactically, well the game has matured. The challenge that Sports Interactive have faced in the last few years has matching the 3D animation to the engine. In the last two iterations of the game, animations and the engine weren’t closely synched. So managers and to make assumptions on what was happening.
The challenge that SI has placed on themselves in the last few years is to make the 3D animation more realistic, by making the sprites reflect what was going on in the engine. That was the first apparent thing I noticed in this years edition.
No more easy crossing, that should be good news for everyone. That change is so obvious to people, but it does place a new burden on managers to get their transitions done right. Managers will need to put a great deal of thought into the right distribution of roles and duties so that they get their passing triangles to work.
The biggest change I noticed was the AI’s desire to win. In the past, you needed to prepare yourself for the eventual overload from the AI. Today, the AI is more likely to change shape and mentality to get a goal back and then sit back on standard/flexible. It change roles in a game as well. This maturity is really interesting and it makes it all the more fun to play.
So while the game may not appeal to me aesthetically, tactically its the best one yet.