Football Manager 2016 (PC) Review

By Michael Whittaker 05.09.2016

Review for Football Manager 2016 on PC

Football Manager - more than almost any other game - has the ability to transform days into night, and day again, in the blink of an eye. Common it was, to spend hours trying to secure the services of the star player you deemed to be the missing jigsaw in an otherwise potential title winning team. Neither had a game infuriated so many, so often, especially when watching as your team goes down to a last gasp goal against a Newcastle team fighting relegation, despite the obvious gulf between them and the star studded assembled team this reviewer put together. For those eager to jump in ahead of the new season's release, prepare to have your blood boiled once more as Football Manager 2016 enters the fray once more, in a somewhat revamped package, which just might lure back many of its lapse fan base.

It's no secret that in recent years, as Football Manager has evolved into the manager sim of unparalleled depth, its fans have been split into two camps: those who revel in the ever expanding tool set, and those who find the endless options far too bloated. Sports Interactive had looked to keep the latter camp happy with the inclusion of Classic Mode, providing a stripped down version of the game, more akin to how Football Manager was during the peak of its popularity. Said mode appears in 2016 under the new tittle: Football Manager Touch.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2016 on PC

Just as important as the inclusion of Touch, is the job Sports Interactive has done in cutting of some of the fat from the main game. Certainly, the UI can still be daunting to newcomers, but much of the frustrations of having options hidden away in folders, within folders, has been rearranged into a much cleaner, easier system to navigate. However, good as these refinements may be, players still have a lot on their hands to get to grips with. No longer does a manager's responsibility end with transfers, match, and team tactics. Everything has been bolstered, so that the manager must plan such things as training and scouting. Luckily, the player can choose to hand over the reins to his assistant at any time and alleviate the workload. This is a smart play by Sports interactive, as it provides a friendlier option for those used to the simplicity of Touch, to gradually get to grips with the expansiveness of Football Manager 2016's tool set.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2016 on PC

It's fair to say that most players will single out the transfers as one of the core highlights of the franchise. In FM2016, it's just as fun and addictive, whilst also having been bolstered. Managers will now have to engage with a player's agent, who will mirror their real life counterparts and demand every underserved penny of their cut in any deal done. Aside from weekly wages, you will also have to negotiate such factors as appearance bonuses, as well as fees for being an unused sub. Of course, the minutiae of such matters must be given special attention as the budget only stretches so far, and going all-in for a single player will have a knock on effect in regards to dealings with other players and what sort of contracts can be offered to them.

Many of these inclusions are incremental improvements over past iterations; there are, however, more substantial inclusions, making their debuts in FM2016. First of these is the Prozone tool, which displays an abundant amount of stats during loading screens. In fact, this feature can be of great use, when dissecting the finer details of a player's performance. A player's shot accuracy, distance run and other on pitch behaviourisms are liberally presented in bitesize form, allowing the manager greater insight into his team performance.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2016 on PC

Less successful, is the new avatar you can create to place on the side-lines, giving the team a good lambasting at your request. It's a shame that in a game where the detail implemented is so evident, the same can't be said for this feature. The presentation is not great and the avatar never looks very detailed at all, which definitely stands out when the overall package of FM2016 is so polished. It is an interesting idea, which definitely has potential and hopefully will be tweaked in the upcoming 2017 to include far more customisation than its current state offers. Similarly, the 3D engine is still available, but it, too, could have done with further visual overhauls, but this is a small sticking point, and one that shouldn't really affect enjoyment of the title overall.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2016 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Overall, Football Manager 2016 is definitely an improvement over last year's submission. It does a nice job of catering to those who want a faster-paced experience, whilst offering those who want to micro-manage every possible aspect of the game, a perfect sandbox with which to scratch that itch. Moreover, Sports Interactive has seemingly brought both experiences closer together, allowing an easier path for those playing Touch to promote themselves to the full experience at their leisure. The overall detail is astonishing and it will take far longer to get through a season. Gone are the days off finishing off a league in a night, but the satisfaction of reaching the summit of a league table after the arduous road preceding it, is that much greater. Aside from a couple of slight blemishes, with an under polished avatar system and a few presentation issues, Football Manager 2016 is without doubt a great accomplishment, which deserves anyone's attention. Just don't be surprised to watch your social life get relegated…

Developer

Sports Interactive

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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