Football Manager IS Championship Manager. Championship Manager IS NOT Championship Manager. Does everybody understand that yet? Sports Interactive (the developers) work for Sega now, but Eidos still has the rights to the CM brand. A rose by any other name… don’t bet on it.
The 2006 edition of Football Manager looks particularly hot too, with more new features and upgrades than you can throw a forest worth of sticks at. For a start there’s half time team-talks, touchline commands, in-depth injury analysis, one-on-one player interaction, direct board level contact, a revised tactics panel, referee profiles, at-a-glance player guides with the option of graphical bars replacing figures, “Quick Flick” screen shortcut buttons, fair play European places and on demand instant replays.
That’s not all either. Player stats now have height and weight added for the first time (Rooney stat here should be an interesting one), a snapshot page which displays budget, fixtures and key stats on a single screen, new tactics panel which also works off a single screen, opportunity to offer promising “grey players” contracts to bring them fully into the game and live match formation panel. Training has been given the once over as well, with a fresh model that allows for more customisation and greater feedback on its effects.
Advanced player positions now compliments the basic version so you can judge exactly how well players will perform in unfamiliar roles and uncover their preferred moves, enabling you to build tactics to suit your stars. An expanded media section means there’ll be more hype, praise and criticism of yourself and your team through the press. Match graphics have got a fresh lick of paint too, while online play has been optimised to take advantage of faster connections, while loading times are down and save game file sizes have been reduced.
Needless to say, the database is bigger than ever too with over 270,000 players, managers and staff, in excess of 5,000 teams in 50 countries and a greater variety in match commentary.
A Football Manager 2006 PC demo is out today (grab it here) with the full version just three weeks away. Xbox 360 and (tantalisingly) PSP versions will debut next year.
Still thinking of buying “Championship Manager”…?