Sports Interactive have mastered the art of creating the most complex and addictive football management simulations. This is something the developer has been working on for years, and with every entry, Football manager constantly improving its timeless foundations. And while there are some installments once every few years that make huge, game-changing upgrades, Football manager The usual modus operandi is to refine, not revolutionize, introducing lots of smart, iterative improvements into each new entry to deliver an experience that overall feels significantly improved.
This is largely what Sports Interactive accomplishes with Football Manager 2022. The latest entry in the long-running series brings a few headlining changes that stand out, but overall what really shines is how it makes small, focused improvements to all facets of the l experience to refine and improve it. that much further.
Take the matches, for example, and the tactics you use and change on the fly during a match. Football Manager 2022 features a brand new match engine, which is one of the changes mentioned above, and with 3D player models now correctly allowed to move on a 3D plane, movements are much smoother and more realistic. Don’t get me wrong, this still looks a lot like a rough representation of what actually needs to happen on the pitch during a match, but from smoother pivots to less jarring acceleration to curved runs, the player’s movement feels a lot smoother, which, in turn, means the matches are a lot more fun to watch.
“Football Manager 2022 makes a few signature changes that stand out, but overall what really shines is how it makes small, targeted improvements to all facets of the experience to refine it and improve it even more. “
Of course, you’re not just going to stare blankly at your screen while your players are on the pitch. Responding to situations as they develop during a match and changing tactics on the fly to gain the advantage over your opponent has always been at the heart of Football manager, and in FM 2022, this activity is even more engaging. This is done in several ways, the main one being a complete overhaul of the baling system. Rather than sticking to binary picks and stat comparisons that defined whether or not your team was pressing and squeezing well in matches in previous years, by Football Manager 2022, lobbying against teams is a much more nuanced process.
From the placements of your players to the unique strengths and weaknesses of opposing players to determining where you’re willing to leave holes when trying to get the ball back and more, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. mind because you decide your urgent tactics. It is, in fact, something that you are encouraged to keep playing as the game progresses, because whether it is because one of your full-backs is lacking in stamina or because the team opponent has changed formation, the instructions you have given your pressing team will need to be constantly monitored and updated.
Another great addition in Football Manager 2022 is the Data Hub. A deluge of stats, charts, graphs and heat maps and what you have is what you expect from every Football manager gameplay, and delving into those details as you refine your team’s tactics or training or target areas for improvement plays a huge part in the experience. FM 2022 centralizes it all in a single hub, which is overflowing with a ridiculous amount of data to analyze. Diving into the Data Hub, breaking down your team’s performance and progress in different ways, and reviewing everything is something that will appeal to anyone who sees themselves as a tactical genius while wondering why their team manager can’t. do the simpler things right.
“Diving into the Data Hub, breaking down your team’s performance and progress in different ways, and reviewing everything is something that will appeal to anyone who sees themselves as a tactical genius while wondering why their team manager can’t not do the simplest things well. “
Best of all, the changes you make based on your findings in the Data Hub make it seem like they’re having a tangible impact. For example, if you find out that the reason your building game is so hectic is that your ball retention is poor and you keep losing possession in midfield, put a strong, winning defensive midfielder in the middle. of the park could give way. positive results. It’s an empowering feeling, knowing that if you’re not doing well, you can jump head first into this overflowing data pool to identify your weak spots, then make changes to your goals to improve yourself in it. domain.
Transfers have also seen notable improvements. Where it was relatively easy in previous games to make cheese transfers with smart budget adjustments, quick player sales, and transfer fee structures that are chock-full of potential add-ons to trick clubs into believing they are paid large sums of money, things are much more reasonable in Football Manager 2022.
Your budget, to begin with, seems much more limited and places much greater restrictions on your activity in the transfer market. Selling unwanted players to make a quick buck is not so easy anymore, because if you are trying to sell an aging player, or someone who hasn’t played a lot recently, or someone who is in bad shape , you will have a hard time attracting many offers, and the ones you receive will not be enticing in any way. Finally, interactions with agents have also improved, because instead of just being there to get details on what a player’s club might be looking for in terms of transfer fees, now after been in contact with an agent, the game requires you to either declare a potential interest in that player or let the agent know that you are not interested. Both of these actions, as you can imagine, require you to act in a certain way in the transfer market.
Football Manager 2022 is unsurprisingly excellent.“
It is of course still possible to improve Football Manager 2022. One of the franchise’s most frustrating and enduring issues is with media and player interactions, and those systems are essentially unchanged in this year’s games. They always seem a bit too haphazard, still have very little impact, and, again, get very repetitive very quickly. Repetition is an issue that arises in other minor ways as well, such as with constant emails from your hiring staff or load reports very rarely having anything new or interesting to say. Meanwhile, like its predecessors, Football Manager 2022 also struggles with loading issues, and jumping from one day to the next (or even from one event to another in a single day) often seems unnecessarily longer than necessary because of the loading. This isn’t a new issue for the series, of course, but it’s an issue that will hopefully be addressed in the not-so-distant future.
All is said and done however, Football Manager 2022 is unsurprisingly excellent. Annual deductibles that consistently make significant improvements every year are a rarity these days, but FM is a gem that continues to shine brighter. With significant changes both big and small, the latest entry in Sports Interactive’s beloved series delivers – once again – its richest, nuanced, and dangerously addictive iteration yet.
This game has been tested on PC.