Championship Manager 2008 - exclusive preview

The match engine has been improved and now features 3D icons instead of static Subbuteo-style players. Although there's no detail or animation as such, the icons do fall over, dive for appropriate headers and even lie down when injured. It's basic enough to run on low-spec machines, but looks nice and clean too. And with the camera pulled out, your imagination fills in the gaps and makes you feel like you're watching a football match. It's a decent feature.

The game now simulates other leagues so if you're scouting for a player from Barcelona, for example, you can now use ProZone to watch how they've been playing in recent games, as opposed to simply hearing they're available for transfer and looking at their current stats. The aim has been to create a full football world, rather than a simulation of a bit of it.

Above: You might need a large monitor to play the game at its best. There's a lot to look at

The new Championship Manager is also being touted as the fastest management simulation around and we can see why. CM2008 can take around six hours to complete a season. Of course, if you want to get really technical, you can use ProZone for hours, but it's up to the player how deep they want to get. To aid this further, there are three levels of ProZone depth, accommodating both novices and hardcore fans alike.

It's got a few niggles at the moment, such as tricky slider bars and although the interface is better, the number of icons on the screen can be a tad bewildering, and a little exploration might be necessary to begin with to see exactly what does what. Also, we were viewing the game on a HUGE monitor, to the point where we wonder how much detail would fit on a lower-resolution set-up.

But minor quibbles aside, this is indeed looking like a very solid and exciting management sim and we wish we could have taken a copy home to try out. After all, with Mourinho gone, Chelsea could do with a manager of our calibre.

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.