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Skip Navigation LinksPlayHard > In English > FIFA Manager 10 Review for PC

Название: FIFA Manager 10
Разработчик: Bright Future
Зарубежный издатель: EA Sports
Издатель в России: Electronic Arts
Официальный сайт игры: перейти
Системные требования:
P3-1.3, 1 GB RAM, 64 MB 3D Card
P4-2.4, 2 GB RAM, 128 MB 3D Card
MultiPlayer: Hot-Seat (4), Internet (8)
Жанр: Sport, Manager
Игра вышла: 28.10.2009
Рейтинг: 7.8

Making first steps Online

   EA Sports has developed a multi-year friendship with football managers, in which the most remarkable feature is the continuity of various projects in relation to each other. Thus, FIFA Soccer Manager (1997) was the first move of the line-up, produced by EA Sports, where in addition to the usual responsibilities of the manager, you could even develop the stadiums. The four parts of The FA Premier League Manager (1998-2002) drowned in the abundance of flaws, one of which was connected with the very long-term recovery of a footballer after an injury. Later on the old problems were returning demanding some new solutions.

   In 1993 under the auspices of Ascaron the team of designers from Germany led by Gerald Köhler created the concept named Anstoss (or "On the Ball" - for the English-speaking audience), which quickly became a bestseller in its territory, but in no hurry to leave its borders. In much respect, then there was laid the foundation of how a German football management game should look like, when financial issues are no less important than training, matches and championships. In time the authors allowed themselves the boldest ever experiments like the kidnapping of players by some aliens or doping usage, what was unlikely to be warmly received by other European players who prefer realistic virtual football.

   EA made a very successful move when it brought in a team of developers from Ascaron, what in turn allowed to produce Fussball Manager 2002 for the German audience. At the same time Ascaron didn't have an official FIFA license, while the potential of the Anstoss series without its talented masterminds was gradually fading out until 2006, when Anstoss 2007 was released. In 2009 Ascaron went bankrupt.

   During 2002-2004 three episodes of the Total Club Manager line-up appeared. In the early 2006 the new studio named Bright Future was formed to gather a very experienced team to develop the successor of Total Club Manager - the FIFA Manager series posessing all the necessary official football world licenses. The FIFA Manager games are very popular in Germany and many other European countries with everyone who prefers the diversity of intriguing options available. Even here in Russia there are many fan-sites created for the concept.

   The FIFA Manager episodes are known under different names in Europe. For example, in Spain it is the same Total Club Manager, which in the future will also compete with the national PC Fútbol series going to be resurrected again sometime in 2010-2011. In Germany fans enjoy the brand named Fussball Manager, customers from France know FIFA Manager as LFP Manager. The series has also obtained its strong position in Switzerland, though in England the competition with another famous line-up is rather stiff.

   Since 2005 we are closely following the products released by Bright Future. We do enjoy staying in contact with the development team studying the aspects of the creative process and understanding that is actual not that easy to make a football manager game as it may seem to some people. Although we have not yet met Gerald Köhler (Managing Director of Bright Future and the Lead Designer of the FIFA Manager series) in person, we did visit a presentation of FIFA Manager 10 in Moscow last year and really had a great time discussing the game with Adrian Wahl, Bright Future's PR-manager and the Lead Database Coordinator of the series. We got very confident in the fact that the development team consists of experienced and creative employees which are the big football fans as well having their own vision of a great football manager game. 

   Let's not forget that Bright Future also created versions of the UEFA Euro 2008 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles, while in 2009 the developers made an Ultimate Team mode for FIFA 09 (2008) for the same platforms.

   The studio continues to develop its unique series, and FIFA Manager 10 is the latest addition here released in the end of 2009 and trying to make one more important step towards even higher quality of a football management game. By the way the project was nominated for a "BAFTA 2010 Award", where at the annual "British Academy Video Games Awards" faced such rivals in the Strategy category as Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising, Empire: Total War and Football Manager 2010. We wish Bright Future to win this prestigious award in the coming years!

Through thorns to perfection

   Bright Future is known by its great attention to the wishes of fans and comments coming from the critical reviews. The regular updates and improvements are coming at least during 5 months after the date of release. Fortunately, this time in Russia FIFA Manager 10 went on sale almost at the same time with the other countries, though the game lacked Russian language, but for an experienced gamer it wouldn't be a problem at all, if not a positive point remembering some not so good translations often made here.

   As with FIFA Manager 09, the episode for the new season has already got a set of patches, the fourth appeared in March with the third cumulative update released earlier in 2010. We highly recommend you to Download (681 Mb) and install the newest update available, since it will not only actualize the database statistics with the recent football world's events of 2009, but also can add dozens of photos, featuring your favorite players, clubs and cities, as well as many improvements to the project itself. Thus, there are less handballs in 3D matches now, "Ups & Downs" section was made more difficult, and a pack of nice options was added to enhance multiplayer experience.

   The main game mode in FIFA Manager 10 as usually offers to start a career manager by choosing one of the proposed contracts, taking into account your preferences. In addition, it will be possible later to manage the national team or disable such a possibility. You can also establish your own club or become an agent of a particular player while maintaining team's manager responsibilities. The controls over an individual player on the field were slightly improved, and now your character really won't run anywhere, unless you order him to do it.
For the first time the idea to manage and control a player on the field was implemented in Anstoss 3 (2000) and later on in PC Fútbol series, while in certain years Total Club Manager included such an option through loading it in the FIFA, which is a football simulation game. Now FIFA series includes the career mode, but, of course, the database there is a no quality match for the extensiveness of the one featured in FIFA Manager 10

   The main innovation in FIFA Manager 10 is in the new Multiplayer mode designed for up to 8 players competing over the Internet in one party. EA servers will let you pick your team from a list featuring around 40 first divisions of various countries. Due to the fact that all the Online football matches in the game are presented in the Text mode, one gaming season will take nearly 3-4 hours of your free time. All the trophies you earned, while being a successful manager will be added to your personal profile page, where you can also pick your avatar. The rankings tables will show the best online managers.

   During our test sessions We have been able to meet a lot of players from Germany and Spain, where the series is very popular. The developers are constantly thinking about bringing online as much users as possible. Bright Future even organized a tournament, where anyone could compete with the team members, in particular, with Gerald Köhler himself. The standard option for the 4-players Hot-Seat sharing one PC is still available. 

   The DRM-protection system presented in FIFA Manager keeps getting better. To install the game you will need to connect to the Internet and to provide the correct serial number to the official authentication server. Subsequently, the network connection is required only for installing patches or Online play. One copy of the game can be installed on 5 different computers with the ability to release the license back before removing of the application from your PC.

Now with Manager's shouts

   The Database of FIFA Manager 10 includes 3,900 clubs and 37,000 players, 9,000 of whom have their own profile photos. Several hundred of the best players in the world even got themselves cool full-sized pictures.
Among the updates in the leagues we could count the following: in CONMEBOL Leagues List - Copa Credife Serie B, Liga de Futbol Profesional Boliviano, Primera B Division de Chile, in the UEFA Leagues List -  Carling Premiership, English Blue Square North and Blue Square South, FAI First Division, French Championnat National, Liga Vitalis, Series C1 and C2 of Italy, Scottish Third Division, TBI A Football Group and Welsh Premier League. 

   In 2009, EA managed to secure the rights for using the authentic badges, t-shirts, the names of clubs, and the names of footballers playing in the teams of the Russian Premier League for the FIFA and FIFA Manager games. Russian Premier League has become the 24th in the list of licensed leagues in FIFA Manager 10. Photos of our famous football players look great, but, alas, the similarity of the 3D-models with the original prototypes could still be improved greatly.

   Previously, the addition of Russians was the prerogative of the domestic game's modders, but now they have to find something new to do. A full-scale editor is here to create a custom variation of the in-game database by changing many various parameters. New modules are included to check the integrity of information and will help you to avoid about 20 most common types of logical errors, for example, footballers' skills controversies.

   For those, who plan to spend more time on modding the game, it is worth to note the changes in how the game files are packed and stored in the folders now. Currently you can modify up to 40 aspects of the game, but to ensure the proper stability of the applicaiton modding capabilities might seem narrowed to experienced gamers in comparison to some previous years.

   In the construction area you'll be again working with a variation of a limited city-building simulation, where you canplace office blocks, training fields, recreational areas along with the variety of expensive improvements delivering you some new options, for example, to be able to attract better employees or impress the invited players during the negotiations. Some staff members are now allowed to switch to some new duties in case of suitable specialists shortage.

   The development of stadium complexes was significantly transformed. In FIFA Manager 10 to all the familiar settings the "undo last action" command was added. With a few mouse clicks you can arrange all the necessary updates. If you are a begginner, try out the easy version of the stadium arenas editor. There are also some new options offered for upgrading infrastracture: stands selling hot meals and distributing printed media, VIP areas customization, locker rooms improvements, and transportation choices to help spectators to arrive to your matches. Of course, all the expansions are rather costly, but still you will get a nice positive effect from the fans and the players in your team as well as from increasing your ticket sales revenue. However, to impress the Board you will need something else, for example, a victory in a home match.

   To view matches you can go with the 3 modes: 3D, Text and Videotext. There are 5 thousand possible events that can take place on the field, and you will get to know them by reading comments. New videos and ways for the sports fans to express their support are a nice addition. In 3D-mode you will also find some new camera angles on the pitch and a figure of a manager is presented for the first time. That's why before starting your game you can customize the looks of your character.

   70 animations are available for your manager, and now you can give instructions to your players on the fly directly from the coaching bench. You can use more than a dozen of options, but too agressive behaviour can result in the removing your manager from the field till the end of the match. When enabling a pause in a 3D-match, you get some timeand functions to study your players and opponents. There is a chance that you can get interested in your rival's goalkeeper if you like his play. So afterwards you can contact his owners and initiate the negotiations to attract him to your team.

All for the Fans

  FIFA Manager 10 includes more than 400 minor changes, which were added according to the fans' wishes. We welcome the Automatic substitutions back. It will work in the Text mode, and you can use certain criterias to instruct the AI, in which cases new players should be brough to the field, when the placed conditions are met. 

   Tactical options were improved. We especially enjoyed seeing injured or disqualified players in a team right at our first day serving as a new manager. It is important to deal with the bad results of your predecessor. If you don't like a Personal Life feature, just turn it off right from the beginning, but don't miss it then, since you won't be able to get it back in this particular game. If you want even more freedom, try starting without any staff members and negotiate with all the new employees yourself.

   The negative effects from too extensive sports camps training were strengthened. There are also more options for negotiating a contract, while it has become easier to attract better staff. "Ups & Downs" Feature now more realistically reflect the development of players, allowing newbies to improve faster than the "stars" are able to. AI Clubs were often offering us new players and begged our mail box to sell them someone from our team. Line-up section now features players' pictures, and you will find here some templates you can use to save your preferences.

   Training tasks are distributed among different footballers' groups, what we found to be very convenient. You can also easily transfer any player to reserves and back for a selected time period. That's worth trying to nationalize a dual-citizenship player for your national team, though there would be a chance to fail the negotiations. Even more we enjoyed looking at the referees' bacgrounds before starting the match. If you are facing a weak referee, you can try to play more aggressively, but don't even think about such a policy, if you see a clue about the strict punishment for your team's harsh actions on the field.

   The in-game interface has changed considerably. For some time we even had to get used to not too noticeable headlines in the information windows, where some essential links to new screens and options are stored. The developers kept their promise and implemented support for extremely high screen resolutions - up to 1920x1200 inclusive, what will please those who use big TVs instead of standard computer monitors. Play area can now be scrolled in four directions, where you will find your maanager's working area with several useful functions. It is up to you to configure up to 30 shortcuts to the most frequently used screens.

   The interior can be decorated with various souvenirs, items and objects. There are more than 50 of such things, which will be gradually opening up during your career's progression. If you like your virtual wife, you can even place a wedding ring on your work table. The new Manager's Diary will collect the information about the past meetings, obtained Cups and visited arenas. A good complement to that is a Personal notebook, where you can write anything you like to leave yourself reminders of current important activities and future plans.

   Just like in one of the latest Football Manager episodes, FIFA Manager 10 is already featuring a new integrated help system for new players. Besides the usual abundance of tips on the screen, explaining, what you can do next, from time to time you will see a colorful icon in some of the windows by clicking on which, you will get to more detailed information on the subject with the hyperlinks you are able to use.

   Internal website has become more visually appealing with a more logical order of entires. In the past sometimes you could read amusing, but pretty much useless to your play topics, and now everything is presented in a more serious and useful context. All the news are divided into national and international categories. An additional information section will be provided to those, who established a new club. There's also a digest with statistics summary covering the best teams of your country.

   In the terms of graphics you will see some new animation based on the things we could see implemented in FIFA 09 (2008). We would love to see a new engine for the FIFA Manager series instead of the old one, and hopefully in can happen in the upcoming years. You won't have enough time to see all the available 3D-matches, but it is a lot of fun to use the prediction tool trying to simulate some real future tournaments. You can still see "5:7" in a match result's window, but even in reality there is a a portion of luck influencing the team's performance.

   We got a feeling that some parts of the FIFA Manager 09 soundtrack came back in the new episode, but we still like the in-game music. It provides everything needed to relax while playing and does a great job fighting the silence alongside the sound effects presented.


   FIFA Manager 10 seems to us being a largely polished version of FIFA Manager 09 getting many more cool options and convenince. The new Online mode will finally let you compete with your human rivals, though it would be good, if you could speak English or German, since you'd find people to play with much faster then.

   Colorful interface and the huge amount of various opportunities in FIFA Manager 10 will easily help you to be distracted from the football management duties for some time. For example, you can attend financial issues or improve your character's personal life. Until last year the Personal Life feature was heavily criticized by the hardcore sports fans, but now with a single click your manager will never have to worry about growing up children, playing golf, learning to run a yacht, and thinking about how not to invest anything into something connected with Greece. Bright Future made a right move providing all the necessary choices here, which could satisfy everyone.

   For those who enjoy the Personal Life Feature, we just also want to prohibit any virtual wife buying luxury apartments, horses and grand pianos via taking loans immediately placed on a husband's account. It is not easy to earn enough to pay everything out later to be able to return to the positive money balance. When this wish comes true, nothing will overshadow our joy of an another victory of the Russian national team headed by Arshavin over Slovenia with a "3:0" result, even if we have to face the fact that now such a pleasant for Russians event can happen only in FIFA Manager 10.

   Now we highly recommend all the fans of the series to share their ideas and wishes for the upcoming FIFA Manager 11 with the developers using the special Forum section of the official game's website. If you want your voice to be heard, don't miss such a perfect opportunity!

PlayHard Score: 78

P.S. We would like to thank Adrian Wahl at Bright Future and Adrian Curry at EA UK for providing us with the Review build of FIFA Manager 10.

18.02.2010 13:50, Unicorn


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Интервью: FIFA Manager 10. Интервью с Адрианом Валем, Bright Future
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