Football Manager 2015 once again puts you at the helm of a soccer team, giving you the much sought-after title of Coach. As the coach, you'll get to manage all the technical aspects of the team including tactics, player acquisitions, and transfers.
Significant improvements have been made to the 2015 version, especially when it comes to managing your club's finances. Classic mode has also been improved, along with the Scouting center for discovering new talents.
In FM 2015, you can customize your manager's appearance, while your relationship with the directors, social media and the press has become even more intense. The game offers a more compact interface, an improved graphics engine, and sophisticated artificial intelligence.
Several leagues and three different game modes
Coaching a football team isn't easy. It takes charisma, courage, technical expertise, and tactical preparation. If you combine that with managing finances, player acquisitions and transfers, as well as your relationships with the directors and the media, the job becomes even more difficult.
In Football Manager 2015, you become the main architect behind the success (or failure) of your team. Create a manager profile, adjust your personal characteristics, (you can choose to focus more on tactics or team motivation), and jump into the competition.
Select a team to take charge of, set your objectives with the directors, and build up a reputation based on your victories. Success increases your stature and can lead to offers from more prestigious teams, including national teams.
Football Manager 2015 includes all the world's most prestigious leagues: The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1, just to name a few. Remember though, that the more leagues you're active in, the longer the loading times will be.
In terms of gameplay, Football Manager 2015 offers three different game modes: Career, Challenge and Classic. In Classic mode, you're able to play a season in just a few hours, which is significantly quicker (but has more limitations) than the career mode. In this version, however, Classic mode also offers some of the best features in terms of interaction, particularly with the ability to train players and make multiple requests to the directors, among other things.
The new Scouting center is where you'll find the best up-and-coming talent to coax to your team. You'll be able to define specific search criteria, like looking for players that can be immediately added to the first team, promising young players to add to the youth team, or the ideal replacement for a specific player.
As a good coach, you should then establish a training plan for your team, and if necessary, implement specific training programs for each player.
FM 2015 has an enormous database comprised of players and teams, a whole section dedicated to the acquisition and transfer of footballers, and intense acquisition/transfer negotiations with plenty of conditions and contract clauses.
Financial management takes on an increasingly important role. In the Finances section, you'll need to pay attention to the economic development of the club and respect the financial fair play rules.
More interactive than ever
The interface has been redesigned to make it more user-friendly. On the left, you now have a navigation bar allowing you to easily access all the game's main options. The interface as a whole is extremely simple and intuitive to use.
When it comes to the actual matches, you'll be able to prepare for games from a technical point of view by applying the tactics and game strategy best suited to your opponent. During the game, you can change the way you play, motivate your team, and give personalized instructions to each player. In addition, you have plenty of statistics to help give you ideas, as well as the opinions of your assistant coach, who is always ready to give you technical and tactical advice.
The artificial intelligence has also made huge leaps: opponents are able to figure out your style of play and implement counter measures based on the evolution of the game. Just like in a game of chess, you have to be clever and figure out the tactical moves that can help you win the game.
Off the pitch, you have to take care of all types of relations with the press, the directors, and the players while taking into account the fact that any one of your statements can alter the balance of your relationships, both inside and outside the club.
In FM 2015, players stay true to themselves when it comes to their behavior, so it's not uncommon to find some of the more turbulent players making "dangerous" statements and destabilizing the team or threatening you with ultimatums. Your ability to manage situations of conflict can have positive consequences (or not) on the morale of different players, as well as the team.
The media also plays a more important role in the game. In particular, in this version, you're able to give exclusive interviews directly before and after the game.
Improved graphics but still not perfect
The new graphics engine provides clearer 3D models and improved lighting effects. More thought has also gone into the crowd, as well as the details on the pitch. The player animations - more than 2,000 - and the physics of the ball are particularly more convincing. Of course, it's still a long way from being perfect, but the leap forward, compared to FM 201,4 is quite evident. The sound effects of the crowd during the game add great atmosphere too.
One of the best soccer management games
Football Manager 2015 is the most advanced managerial soccer game. The management aspect borders on perfection, the sidebar navigation greatly improves the usability of the interface, and the depth of play and interaction is some of the best we've seen.
Improvements to the graphics engine (although in my opinion, there's still room for improvement), and the AI of your opponents gives the game that little bit extra. The improved AI also provides a certain level of difficulty for fans of the genre. Are you ready to become the world's most-quoted manager?