Football Manager Newcastle United 2013 Review
This year’s iteration of Football Manager brings with it the arsenal of new and improved features that have made it the undisputed leader in the football management simulation market.
For the first time, it also features a brand new game mode, specifically designed to try and bring back some of the veterans of the game who may have moved on to other things over the years (like for example, real life).
Alongside this all-new ‘Classic Mode’ (more on this later) and the usual tweaks and improvements to the match engine and interface that we’ve come to expect, FM13 brings with it some interesting new features and challenges, each adding new levels of depth, complexity and realism to its immersive world of 21st century fantasy football.
The Director of Football
Perhaps the most high profile of these is the arrival of the Director of Football, a role often surrounded by controversy and failure (Dennis Wise, anyone?). Football Manager takes a slightly different spin on this, allowing you to appoint and fire your own Director of Football, and choose the extent of his responsibilities within the club, like for example negotiating transfers on your behalf or helping you to get rid of unwanted players and youth players in need of playing time in the form of loans.
Another interesting major feature is the concept of Board Promises. When you first sign for a club, the Chairman or Owner will set out certain expectations, upon which you will be judged during your tenure.
In my case as Newcastle United’s brand new manager (replacing a swiftly and ruthlessly dispatched Alan Pardew), I was informed by Mr Ashley that I would be expected to, “sign young players for the first team”, and, “play attacking football”, – both in keeping with Newcastle United’s tradition as well as recent policy.
A couple of signings later (with the help of Chief Scout Graham Carr) Mr Ashley informed me of his delight at the arrival of a couple of promising Spanish U21 internationals. This brings a great new dynamic to the game, with your in-game reputation and playing style having a severe impact on your employability by specific clubs – you’re more likely to see Kevin Keegan at West Ham than you are Sam Allardyce at Swansea, for example.
Perhaps the single biggest new feature of the game is the arrival of the all-new Classic Mode. In a clear attempt to try and entice back some of the older players who’re just too busy for the highly detailed and complex world of the main simulation mode, FMC is a stripped-down, scaled back version of FM13 designed for a “quick game” or a casual stint without the commitment of a proper simulation game.
To achieve this, the team have taken out things like pre-match talks, they’ve simplified the media interviews side of things and generally made everything quicker, easier and less time-consuming, particularly between matches
The matches themselves however still have the full-featured 3D match engine, and although it’s no FIFA in terms of graphics or physics, still looks a whole lifetime better than the trusty old days of watching scrolling text, waiting for that last minute equaliser from Darren Peacock to flash.
FM13 has been kind to NUFC, and some of the star players in the squad are pretty special – Cisse’s finishing is a perfect 20/20, Ben Arfa is a lethal and speedy dribbler, Tiote is a tank, and Cabaye is possibly one of the best creative midfielders in Europe. Shola Ameobi however hasn’t been so lucky. Make of that what you will…
For the love of the game…
Overall, this is easily the best game SI Games have ever released: you can continue to love it as the undisputed champion of sports management simulation games, or you could perhaps start to fall back in love with that old and trusted friend – even though life may have got in the way somewhere along the road.
You won’t be disappointed.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]