You don't need to be a student of football to recognise that not every manager is the same. Some like to throw an arm around a player, some draw lines on the pitch and tell players where to stand, and others tuck into an egg butty while the coaching staff handle training. Whatever your style, Football Manager 2015 accommodated you. At the start of the season, you use 'manager points' to spread your focus across coaching, scouting, youth development, man management, or a little of everything. What type of manager are you?
FM15 also recognised the differences in player personalities, and it was important to pay attention to this when considering how to motivate them. Some players do need the arm round the shoulder, but others need a kick up the proverbial.
This season also saw significant changes to the user interface (with the return of the left-hand nav bar), a new Scouting Centre integrating all areas of player recruitment, and more advances in the matchday experience, with over 2,000 new motion-captured animations among many other improvements. Classic Mode also received a round of updates, allowing you to skip your first preseason to get straight into the action, delve a little deeper in some areas, and access new unlockables.
- Be Your Own Manager - Define your manager as never before, using the new manager points system to shift your focus into areas that suit your style, impacting the kind of info and support you receive throughout the game
- Player Personalities - Pay attention to new personality information to keep your players happy and motivated. Confidence player down on his luck? Ripping him a new one may not be the best strategy...
- User Interface Overhaul - A new left-hand nav bar helped organise information more intuitively, getting you to the things you need faster than ever
- Matchday Experience - Over 2,000 new motion-captured animations, new lighting, improved player models and physics, improved AI, touchline team talks and more.
- Classic Mode Changes - The popular Classic mode returns with more freedom when selecting nations, leagues and players, skippable preseason (in your first season), more player training options and board requests, plus more unlockables, like 'Dodgy lasagne', 'Unsuspend player' and 'Lifetime player'
What they said
"Everything that makes the Football Manager series so damned addictive remains completely intact and has been expanded upon in FM2015, but intelligent changes made to navigation and the way data is displayed makes for a much friendlier experience and speeds up seasons considerably. The improved attention to detail on match-day, plus the new in-game team talk options, make me feel more invested, more like a manager instructing my team from the sidelines than ever before. Not bad for a game composed almost entirely of menus, really."
"Football Manager is about progress, not revolution, which is arguably what its audience wants, and exactly what this year's game provides. Sports Interactive has crafted a game as predictably exhaustive as Andre Villas-Boas's gameplan, but as brutally effective as one masterminded by Mourinho. Football Manager has long since attained cult status and this release serves only to further stimulate that dedicated subculture."
"FM15’s changes tend to contribute to gentle improvement rather than startling disruption, but should do enough to tempt you into starting that managerial journey all over again."
As smart devices grew in power, so Football Manager Handheld 2015 rose like a very tall striker at the back post to meet them. This year's unstoppable downward header of technical advancement was a brand new match engine, the most realistic 2D Match Engine we've ever put together - an ideal way to survey the action on that beautiful new iPad or massive Android tablet you bought "for the kids to use in the car".
FM15 Handheld also introduced a new Scouting Agency that kept you up to date on the current and future potential of the top 50 players in the world. Elsewhere, new World Rankings for international teams and national leagues would evolve over time based on performances in continental competitions.
My Club also returned, allowing you to assign Player Roles to each squad member, and if you happened to be enjoying the work of a real-life player in your regular FM Handheld save-game, you could now import them to My Club. Then you could watch them strike up a promising partnership with Gary from accounts, or your second aunt twice removed, or whoever else you had been inspired to include in your custom line-up.
Managers keen to get ahead quickly could also now purchase an in-game editor that allowed you to alter game data directly, giving yourself more cash or improving a player's stats.
The emergence of more powerful tablet devices a few years back presented us with an exciting opportunity. While Football Manager Handheld 2015 was a universally playable title suitable for phones and everything else, the additional power available in high-end devices was ideal for something rather more expansive. Say hello to Football Manager Classic 2015.
Based on the popular Classic mode introduced to great acclaim in FM13, FMC15 was a standalone tablet title offering a simplified (but still detailed) version of Football Manager for the home computer. You chose a club in one of 117 leagues from 51 nations around the world and primarily focused on tactics and transfers. You could delve into other aspects like scouting, media and finances, but mostly this was delegated.
Heftier tablet tech also allowed us to introduce the 3D Match Engine on smart devices for the first time, offering a wide variety of camera angles accompanied by an optional stream of in-game stats, reports, advice from the Assistant Manager and score updates. With a unique touchscreen-optimised interface, this really was like playing the computer version on the go.