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FIFA Manager 11 Gamescom 2010 Preview

Returning for its 10th year, the numerical naming of FIFA Manager 11 is always going to be one step ahead, but last year we thought the franchise struggled to provide pulling power season after season. This year the game again boasts several new features, hundreds of minor improvements and, most important of all, a special focus on improving the key constituents that make a football management game successful. But FIFA Manager has always taken gameplay further than just managing the players, including just about every aspect of club management, overseeing finer details such as catering, match day programmes and club facilities.

FIFA Manager 11

It has now been recognised that this level of detail can be too much for a manager who just wants to manage their team. Hence the new "Just Football" mode, which disables the club management portion of the game and allows the manager to simply focus on developing and utilising their team. The line-up and tactics component of FIFA Manager 11 has been redeveloped for a more in-depth but effective level of formation fine-tuning. The manager will be able to define individual player roles better and for the lesser experienced manager there is now a four step tactics wizard to help make creating tactics more accessible.

FIFA Manager 11

In-game players also receive their piece of welcome treatment with a new rating system which should make the players slightly more diverse and make it easier to see how well they would perform in each position. FIFA Manager 11 should contain around 40,000 players with over 13,000 original pictures for each of its players and teams. FIFA Manager can boast an official license set but the player count is less than that of its rivals. A new more challenging morale system will add to the competition between players, though hopefully this won't prove to be a worryingly stressful new aspect for a manager to contend with.

FIFA Manager 11

Speaking of players though, the transfer market, and indeed the summer signing season in particular, has always been one the favourite parts of manager's season. FIFA Manager 11 looks to capitalise on this aspect of the game with more realistic AI club and player attitudes. The media will continue to be an innermost part of the buying and selling of players and the manager will be able to use this to their advantage if they play their cards right.

FIFA Manager 11

The remaining talking points of FIFA Manager 11 are a separate World Cup mode should a manager wish to try their hand at taking their team to global victory in the space of a couple of hours, though it should be noted this mode was later included in its predecessor. The developers have again listened to the community and will include a number of requests, including local derbies, more last gasp signings during transfer market windows and youth player contract negotiations. The separate and completely free online mode will return to FIFA Manager 11 with refinements and new features such as a new action-card system to give the manager a more immediate influence during a match.

FIFA Manager 11 (online mode)

As always it is impossible for any preview to accurately state how well the game will unfold over several seasons. The menus and match engine look the business but it's what's under the bonnet that really counts and only time will tell if FIFA Manager 11 can pass the test this time around. Several features last year were weak but the new pure football mode sounds promising and will should provide a more accessible route for managers to become successful, allowing them to pick up extra responsibilities later-on if they so wish. FIFA Manger 11 is due for a PC release later this Autumn.

More screenshots of FIFA Manager 11 can be found in our gallery, here.

FIFA Manager 11

POBmaestro | 29th August, 2010

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