Either way, the action can be watched from a variety of vantage points, from the main stand to behind the corner flag, or even an overhead Sensible Soccer view. And when in full-screen TV mode, a variety of so-called widgets can be displayed, showing player ratings and so on, although it gets a bit cluttered with more than two or three open at once. While it’s tempting to think that with all the attention on the 3D engine the rest of the game has been neglected, as ever the tireless drones at Sports Interactive have been ceaselessly building upon perfection, with such evolutions as increased Assistant Manager feedback, more media involvement, and an overhauled transfer system.
And as ever, it’s the same life-sapping experience it has always been. As the nights draw in and clinical depression due to a lack of socialisation rears its ugly head, it’s reassuring to know that there’s a place you can go where your actions mean something and people know your name, even if it is just some pretend footballers with the wrong coloured hair.
Even without the 3D engine, Football Manager 2009 is still fully deserving of its classic rating, providing a staggeringly comprehensive simulation of the complex world of management. We predict a few patches before the match engine is fully functioning, but even in its current state, it tangibly enhances the experience.
Nov 19, 2008