Football Manager 2022 | Review: On the bench: we start again!

We are again at that time of year, when the benches start to overheat more than a hair straightener, the rankings languish and some coaches are wondering (like poor Castori on the shores of the splendid Gulf of Salerno) if they will come to eat panettone. .

Football Manager 2022

Platform:
PC, SWITCH, XONE, XSX
Type:
managerial
Exit date:
November 9, 2021
Developer:
Sports Interactive
Distributor:
SEGA

Yes, dear virtual coaches of Italy, we are again in the period of the year in which it is published Football Manager, arrived at the edition 2022, and we, punctual as a bill to pay, could only put our social life in the drawer for a few weeks to give you our opinion on the work of Miles Jacobson and his team.

Don’t ask us who will win the championship, but otherwise we’re here to provide you with all the answers you need – just keep reading.

Data Center and surroundings

If, at the news of the sudden and untimely death depl poor Maxim Tsigalko, the 37-year-old Belarusian national team, you shed a tear even thinking about how many golden balls you had made him win at the beginning of the millennium and with how many championships he had repaid you, then you are sick of Football Manager like us.

You’ve been following him since he was still called Championship Manager and the visual representation of the matches was just a mirage, replaced by colored dots and goal animations that would have caused epileptic episodes even in completely healthy people. Time passes, and today we are talking about the Data Center, a market suited to the coffers of languishing clubs and “defending defenders”.

Deciding on the form is the first step to glory … or ruin

The managerial Sports Interactive has come a long way, one of the few products with an annual frequency that always strive to propose something new, succeeding a few years more (like last) and a few less (like this one).

The big news of this edition, despite being clearly a transitional one, in the middle of the three-year period that will end in 2023, is given precisely by Data Center debut.

This tool tries to reduce the infinite variables of the most beautiful game in the world to numbers, making life easier for millions of virtual coaches through graphs relating to the offensive production of the team, to the performance of individuals, to the amount of shots that hit the mirror. and so on, up to the staff’s tips on the men to deploy and on those to change training regimen.

If, on the one hand, the Data Center dramatically increases the possibilities and statistics for the most attentive coaches, on the other hand the continuous suggestions on possible changes of form and men that the software suggests have had mixed results, in our case: especially during the first part of the season, or in the case of multiple signings during the last market session, relying on ever-changing modules can have deleterious effects on the players’ familiarity with the way the team is on the pitch.

The use of the data, then, must take place according to the rules of common sense and always mediating with the level of experience of the players of our team; nevertheless, the integration in a single menu of many items that were previously dispersed among dozens of pages, including drop-down menus and submenus accessible only in certain circumstances, is a godsend, and greatly facilitates the life of the players, especially to those less accustomed to the overwhelming amount of things to keep track of in the Sports Interactive product.

We do not doubt that, as the Data Center has been refined in the next two or three editions, the smaller royal clubs, with less availability of specialized personnel, will use it as a model for their meetings and the daily management of team and individual performances, precisely as has been the case with the game database for years.

News with the dropper

Always attentive to the developments of the game of football, the specialists of Sports Interactive then added new hybrid roles: the third defense, or one of the two lateral ones that tightens in the center to cover the advance of the opposite full-back, a concept of football very dear to Pirlo, Guardiola and Gasperini, opens up to new tactical solutions, allowing you to defend with four and set a three, just as done by an ever-increasing number of teams over the last two years.

It is precisely small things like this that delight fans, perhaps pushing them to turn a blind eye to other aspects of production that still have ample room for improvement.

It’s easy to say 3-4-3 …
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One of these, for example, the incidence and frequency of accidents remains (both muscular and traumatic), which still seemed a bit too high to us, although not at the worrying levels of a few editions ago: building large squads remains a must, provided you know how to manage the stomach ache of certain players and, above all , of their ineffable prosecutors.

Miles Jacobson’s guys then decided to incorporate in the weekly meetings with the staff part of the messages that previously flooded the inbox, interrupting the flow of days all too often.

At each meeting, you can focus on training, staff, development and even the market, although the latter loses its importance away from the dedicated windows, or postpone suggestions and invitations to act from your collaborators to the following week.

Valuable, but still marginal, the addition of a hub dedicated to the last day of each transfer market session: the idea, expanded compared to the recent past, allows you to keep under control the late offers, the players offered by their agents or other clubs and adds a little spice to the last hours of the market, in a way not too dissimilar to what happened last summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Juventus for Manchester United a few hours before the final gong.

Penalty kick with the new graphics engine
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The fluctuations seem in line with the last, meager transfer market sessions, partly due to the rampant interest in young people, partly due to the scarce resources available to the teams due to the Covid-19 pandemic (which then, at well look, they are two sides of the same coin).

As always, but this is a historical problem of the series that we will probably never see fully resolved, the English formations enjoy special attention: with the same economic conditions, the zero parameter will almost always choose the nation of the Three Lions, and, in the case of particularly long careers, the best talents will blossom in England, with obvious repercussions on the palmares of the main continental tournaments.

Finally, we report the addition, in the main menu, of a mysterious one at the moment “Versus” option, regarding which the development team has announced news in the course of the coming year: we are curious and confident to see what it is.

the inbox will always overflow with new emails from many places
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Steps forward in the right direction

Despite in the presentation phase of the edition 2022 of his creation Sports Interactive has emphasized a lot the changes made to the game engine (completely new, according to them), we must point out how the improvements, while present, are much less impactful than one might have been led to believe: some animations are smoother, others have been created from scratch, and the flow of actions and highlights appears more natural, but there are still situations bordering on ridicule and errors too obvious to be realistic.

That said, the steps forward are continuous over time and embrace different areas, from the pressing of the players to the game on the flanks, still leaving ample room for improvement both in the animations and in the decisions of the goalkeepers as well as in the effectiveness of some maneuvers, from the massive use. of attacking midfielders with the wings that return with the foot reversed.

Among the positive aspects, we point out that the presence of the new graphics engine does not impact in any way either on the size of the game file, or on the specifications necessary to enjoy it (you will continue to play it quietly on your ten-year-old I3) nor, much less , on overall loading times, with an overall streamlining of the game which, from year to year, seems to continue to bear fruit.

Putting balls in the center is often a winning tactic
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Inclusion in the never too praised Game Pass Microsoft can be a push to try Football Manager 2022 also for the extremists of FIFA or for all those who, frightened by the amount of data and statistics, have always kept away from them, even though they love the game of football.

And also, not too unexpectedly, for the Juventus fans, who will be able to remedy the absence of the official licenses of their team by downloading one of the modification files of the very active community of the game (for now only in the PC version, however), easily available in network with a few clicks.

This discourse, however, extends to our entire analysis: the format of the reviews, which has been debated a lot lately, forces us to give an opinion now, a few days after the official launch, but between now and the end of the transfer market. repair, resulting in a patch, Football Manager 2022 it will change skin as it does every year, thanks to the tireless work of both the development team and the modders.

If you want to take it home Football Manager 2022 in physical format, you can find it on Amazon.

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