The football season doesn’t really start until November. Or, at least, that is the case for those of us who are addicted to the Sports Interactive and SEGA saga. Football Manager 2022 arrives with a proposal more polished than ever on the pitch, but which shows a lack of freshness in the offices. Will your news be enough to justify the purchase this year?
Football Manager 2022 is like beating current Barsa 1-2 at the Camp Nou: okay, yes, but the result could have been better if more effort had been put into it. And with that I do not mean that we are facing a bad game, do not get me wrong. Sports Interactive has focused this year on thoroughly polishing the main innovations of recent years, which implies that we are facing the deepest Football Manager experience and refined of all … But also before a conservative delivery even by the standards of one of the most conservative annual sagas in the business. If it hadn’t already been announced that Sports Interactive is working on its most ambitious venture in recent years – bringing women’s football into the game in the near future – I would be surprised at the lack of news this year. But, I repeat, Football Manager 2022 is a competent delivery. Like Real Madrid last year: there was not much brilliance in his game, but there he was, in the semifinals of the Champions League.
Well, it’s worth the bland rally to make the partridge dizzy, it’s time to be vertical and get into the matter. The main novelty of Football Manager 2022, we could say that the only remarkable one as such, is the data center. Some of you may have wondered in the latest installments – myself included – if it was really worth spending the team’s budget hiring data analysts, performance analysts, hiring analysts, etc … Technical positions that until now had a very limited utility and punctual. With the new data center, all are unified and expanded analysis functions available in Football Manager, allowing you to obtain advanced metrics of the game of your team and of the rivals, of the performance of the players, of strengths and weaknesses, or of the theoretical performance that you should have based on your game. The better the level of your analysts, the more accurate the reports will be and you will also have more metrics and analysis options available.
The result? I believe that play moneyball it’s the quickest way to turn the beautiful game into a bore, no matter how successful Liverpool have been. Spending hours and hours reviewing complex graphics, data and statistics to optimize your game instead of stepping on the grass. So I am not going to fool you: I have not taken real advantage of the data center because I have not been prompted to use it in the least. But for every coach who denies modern metrics, there is a Marcelo Bielsa who spends more than 300 hours analyzing each rival.
What I mean is that the data center has not contributed anything to me, personally, and as the “big” novelty of this installment I know that it will leave many other players cold. But at the same time, there will be as many Football Manager coaches who really enjoy everything that this novelty offers and the way in which it expands their immersion in the game, offering analysis and identical metrics to real equipment to prepare your squad. That this novelty is a dish to your liking is up to everyone, but it is necessary to positively value that the playable options are expanded for those who want to take advantage of them.
If the data center and analytics options are the big news in Football Manager 2022, what are we left with? Well, even at the risk of sounding more typical than a “football is like that”, I will say that the real novelty and the one that you are going to notice the most is that match engine has been improved. The ‘match engine’, the way in which the game calculates each action that occurs on the field to simulate a real match.
Yes, every year the same is said and yes, in some installments the change has not been for the better. But, in this case, there is a real progression with respect to what I commented in the analysis of Football Manager 2021. The decision-making of the players is more realistic and each player is more aware of their speed and their fatigue at the same time. time to run so pressure and unchecks they are more natural. In fact, you will see more cuts, interceptions and blocks that are left half, that cause an unexpected bounce or that are late and only partially deflect the ball. And the “melés” in the small area when there is a rebound in a corner are as chaotic as in any weekend game.
The real novelty and the one that you are going to notice the most is that the match engine has been improvedIn the same way, the fatigue it has a greater weight in the performance of the player than before. Having an exhausted player on the pitch was never recommended, but here you will notice before how his performance begins to decline: he does not reach the pressure, his passes and shots are imprecise, etc. All of this is accompanied by new animations and movements that make the game more natural in general. Something as small as players stepping on the ball and dragging it, turning while covering it with their body, and pivoting on their supporting leg. At a visual level it is a trivial detail, but at a playable level it implies, again, that players act more realistically and they have a wider range of options with the ball, built into the motor. All these small improvements, together, mean that every time you have to refine more to find a winning tactic that makes the most of your players. Especially when it comes to pressure, the gaps between the lines and transitional football, given those tweaks in inertia and sprints that I mentioned earlier.
Beyond these aspects, the rest of the news in Football Manager 2022 are the typical general and quality of life improvements: new answers to the players and in the press conferences, adjustments in the transfer logic … the technical section remains as always, don’t expect visual changes Notable when witnessing the games in 3D, although this is something that will not affect the veterans of the saga in the least. After all, nobody plays Football Manager for the graphics. If I were to summarize my analysis of Football Manager 2022, I would describe the game as that veteran team that keeps winning trophies even without signing. The lack of new players detracts from the excitement of the season, but they are not a less dominant team for that. Is it worth buying if you come from Football Manager 2021? That is in the hands of each one.