Football Manager 2014 (PC)

Use the knowledge at your disposal to create your football dream team

Sega Football Manager 2014
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Polished and up to date management simulator
  • Menus and screens are easy to navigate

Cons

  • Still very much a niche title
  • Could be a bit more accessible to new players

Bottom Line

Football Manager 2014 doesn't do anything new to attract a broader audience, but armchair team managers are bound to enjoy it.

Would you buy this?

There are countless games dedicated to playing the sport of football (soccer, not hand-egg). However, they are mostly designed to let you live out the fantasy of being a player on the field. Sega’s Football Manager, on the other hand, allows you to live out the fantasy of controlling a team from the sideline, and it’s been doing that for almost a decade. Here’s what we think of the latest version.

Backroom dealings

Sega has been releasing yearly instalments of Football Manager since 2005, reflecting the changes in the sport’s landscape and adding improvements along the way. For football fans, the annual series acts as an outlet for creativity when it comes to running and managing a team.

On the surface, it’s basically fantasy football, where you have seemingly endless amounts of statistics and information at your disposal to put together teams and strategies. In Football Manager 2014, you will spend more time looking at screens of information rather than watching the actual game unfold on the pitch.

You play as a new manager coming in to a football club, and you have access to several domestic leagues, such as Europe, America and Asia. This Football Manager mode is for the football purists who are looking for a simulation of the management experience. The options you have in this mode extend from the crucial, such as contract negotiations, to trivial, such as dealing with the media before and after matches.

Fortunately, there is a Classic mode aimed at beginners, which comes with a more streamlined experience that takes care of a lot of the background activities, and allows you focus on forming strategies for upcoming matches.

Information at your fingertips, plus better graphics

When it comes to annual updates to a gaming franchise, the question is: what has changed compared to past editions? Sega has made sure that all of the statistics in Football Manager 2014 are up to date, and that they are all easy to keep track of via their menus.

Additionally, Football Manager 2014 comes with a polygon-based engine for playing out the matches, so both the stadium and the players look good in the highlights reel, which shows key moments from the match. The graphics are still not comparable to a game such as FIFA 14, but it’s a step in the right direction for the series.

With all of the options and information available during a campaign, it’s quite easy to get immersed in the management experience and spend hours pouring over statistics and watching how your decisions play out in matches. Additionally, the more informed and invested you are in football, the more you will enjoy Football Manager 14.

If you want to experience the thrill of a soccer match, then FIFA 14 by Electronics Arts is the way to go. However, if you want to manage your own football team, potentially better than any real life manager, then Football Manager 2014 provides you with that ability.

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