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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 2009
I've been a massive fan of the series since I received the first game as an unexpected Christmas stocking filler in 2005. That said, I've been on a break from Football Manager since the 2008 release; the game was too easy and really didn't feel any different to the three releases that had come before it.

As a result, I didn't play FM 2009 and I think that's why I've been so blown away by 2010. I didn't have to suffer the glitchy, under-developed 3D match engine or go through the nightmare that is registering the game through Steam. All of which meant that by the time I'd installed FM 2010, I was looking at a game that HAD to be great; anything less, and SI's reputation would have taken a massive beating.

The first thing you notice is the game's layout. Some people have said that the new system of tabs is nothing more than a gimmick; in fact, it is the single most fantastic thing SI have done with the game since its launch. Getting around the game is so easy and intuitive now, and the endless (and frustrating) clicking and right-clicking through options is pretty much a thing of the past. The game feels so much less cluttered, information is clearly laid out and the game's immense depth is nowhere near as daunting as it was before.

The essence of the game has hardly changed since 2005, so there's little point going into minute detail about it. The two things that really have changed for the better, though, are the tactical system and the game's match engine. For me, creating tactics has always been the game's biggest weakness; sliding bars and ticking boxes is all well and good, but it's just not realistic. Managers don't slide bars or tick boxes, they assign roles and bark out instructions. Finally, 2010 allows you to do both of those things.

Instead of changing endless settings in the hope that your technically-gifted central midfielder might start dictating games and spraying passes all over the field, all you have to do now is right-click on him and give him that role. Every player can be assigned a specific role: ball-winning midfielder, anchor man, target man, poacher, deep-lying playmaker, even sweeper keeper - they've really covered it all. People with slide-bar obsessions can still go into the advanced options and tinker with the settings, but personally I find the new system much more realistic (not to mention time-saving).

The whole matchday experience is more absorbing than it's ever been. There's a real sense of build up and involvement that's never been there in previous releases - which is great, because it's the build up to a match that football fans often enjoy the most. I was a bit worried about the 3D match engine, having read some rather damning reviews of FM 2009. However, I absolutely love it; for the first time ever, I really you can really feel (and see) the fruit of your tactics and 'behind the scenes' work. In previous games, you would change around the formation and slide a few bars around, but you never really got the impression that it made any difference - frankly, you it felt like you had little influence over your team's destiny.

Now, though, you are able to bark out orders while the match it in progress (for example: pump ball into box, push higher up, exploit the flanks, shoot on sight, etc.) and switch between playing playing styles at will. There's a small pause between choosing your order and the game continuing, but it's much more fluid than it used to be. You can really see when your tactical gambles work or backfire; throwing on a 6ft8 target man when you're 1-0 down in the last 5 minutes and seeing him wreak havoc in the box is a really rewarding experience. Equally, putting a 35 year old centre back in your team for the benefit of his 'experience' - and then watching him get torn to pieces by a lightning-fast striker - can be a bitter pill to swallow. But that's what makes the game so great; it feels like real football.

I won't lie, the game is incredibly hard - but personally I see that as a good thing. I managed Portsmouth, and the game is so detailed that if you choose a team like Pompey, you get everything that goes with it. So, in my case: a squad of average players, rock-bottom morale, £0.00 transfer budget, a takeover saga and a transfer embargo to go with it. Just as in real life, I had to scour the FM world for free transfers and loan deals, then grit my teeth and try to get the team playing well. I lost nearly every game before Christmas, and again as in real life, the media and fans start to turn against you and call for your head. I finished 16th in the league in my first season, which was a hugely satisfying feat, especially when it gets to the close-season, the money starts to come in and you can start rebuilding your squad.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the game is fun; there are moments of joy, but this is definitely outweighed by crushing disappointment (throwing away a 2-0 lead against Burnley to lose 2-3, or seeing your star striker break his leg and miss the whole season, for example) But then again, that's testament to the game's realism; the life of a football fan - especially one who supports a struggling team - is rarely a non-stop thrill ride, and if I was winning every game in FM 10-0 then frankly, I would be bored after 5 minutes. So if you're a casual (dare I say fair-weather) football fan, I'd say this game is almost certainly not for you. If, however, you're a genuine fanatic and want a game to match your obsession - Football Manager 2010 is the most detailed and rewarding game you will ever play.
66 comments| 158 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 October 2009
I'm not going to compare this to the latest CM offering, mainly because I haven't played the latest CM offering.

I've been playing the demo for a while now, but have started a new game having got the complete article this morning, I'm finding it hard to pick out any major criticisms, but my bones of contention are as follows:

1- The game skins it comes with, the light skin doesn't appeal to me, the dark skin is absolutely terrible. Of course that will change as people far more talented than me design new ones and stick them up for download in the usual places.

2- New navigation system. I still can't quite get to grips with it, however this will probably also change with time as I get used to it. I do miss my little side bar menu though.

3- Data editor. Not as user friendly as it could be, and having seen the demo I thought it would be possible to build your own standalone leagues. This doesn't appear to be the case, which is a dissapointment. Whilst I'm something of a purist, it would be nice to be able to build a superleague without having to worry about what obviously become meaningless European competition, but. . .

My accolades are as follows:

1- Data editor. Being a fan of a Ryman 1 South team, it is fantastic to be able to add the leagues into the game and manage my team properly, rather than bumping them up into the conference. Excellent.

2- 3D match display. This seems to run much smoother than in FM09, is more detailed (the stadia for example) and looks a lot better. Of course it doesn't look like FIFA, but then I wouldn't expect it to, it does the job a whole lot better than the previous incarnation.

3- Press conferences. They don't seem to be quite so repetitive.

4- Team talks. They seem to be tailored to the situation in hand, pre-season friendlies are an obvious example, and seem to be more subtle.

I've managed to install (off CD) without any issues this morning, even accounting for the slight delay in downloading the inevitable release day patch, certainly none of the disastrous faffing around with Steam last year.

Delighted to have this new version and look forward to losing track of time, family, friends, jobs, fitness, etc, as I let this slowly take over my life.
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on 22 February 2010
Having played this seriers from CM2 onwards in to FM07, FM09 and now the latest incarnation I have to say that things have just got better and better. I know I'm experienced on these games now as when I first started by beloved Southampton were a Prem team and now sit in League One. This makes things more interesting now with promotion, ply offs, relegation plus JPT all on offer. I don't use the 3D engine due to an aged PC but this does not detract from the finest version of this classic game. the detail is unerring and once again it is easy to get mixed up between real world footy and FM events. The added details of loan fees and more adaptable tactics and team/players shouts from the bench add the matchday experience. This is a truly absorbing game which has never failed to satisfy in my option especially if you wait for the 2nd edition of a new version to make sure the initial bugs are ironed out.
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on 16 March 2014
It's football manager, the same trusty format since it's inception decades ago.
This season's update squads.

This was the last instalment of the game you can install before installing the awful 'STEAM' software became mandatory.
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on 7 November 2009
The first thing about this game is that it has gone through a massive UI overhaul compared to previous versions. At first it will put you off slightly but you get used to it within a short period of time.

Like previous versions the players stats are pretty much spot on bar a few, and the amount of PA -10 youth this year has been cut down significantly, which is a good thing.

The animations within the 3D gameplay have been improved significantly and is now enjoyable to watch. Tactics have gone through an overhaul as well, and it is now much easier to make game winning tactics. A new feature is touchline tactics, where in 3D mode you can shout instructions to your team as a whole, for example "Pump the ball into the box" these do actually make a difference depending on the situation you're in.

Another new feature is 'backstaff meetings' where the staff with give you updates on the team and improvements that they think you should take on board. You go through the list either refusing of accepting their recommendations, I must warn you though not all the recommendations are good. I accepted advise to make torres play down the left more and it has ruined him a bit, and he refuses to change back to his old ways, so watch out!

The top clubs will have a lot more cash to spend around especially from the second season onwards. On my Liverpool game the board randomly gave me 100million to spend mid season with another 120million at the end of the season. So top teams will have no restrictions on whatever player they want to buy.

Again licensing is limited and you will have to go to any of the various websites to download the logo packs etc.

The game is much quicker and responsive than 09, and generally runs better.

Definetly worth a buy if you have none of the previous versions and I believe there is enough updates to warrant purchasing, even if you have 09. Although I am only giving it 4 stars mainly because it is just more of the same, but what can you expect from a manager game with not much availability for innovating.
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on 1 November 2009
Please be aware that despite Mr Idris C Wilson's comment, installing with Steam is NOT mandatory. I installed from DVD.
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on 4 February 2010
As usual Sports Interactive have created a great game. It's time consuming and addictive :) However after the disaster of last years buggy, under-tested release you would think that they would have learnt from their lessons and properly tested the game for bugs (FM2009 was unplayable without the patch due to a major injury bug that would injure 90% of your squad). Yet you'd be wrong. FM 2010, though less buggy then its predecessor, is still littered with bugs that spoil the game play. I brought the game back in November and played it happily for months ignoring the more minor bugs before I came to my first major one. I was offered the England manager job and every time I went to accept it they would just offer it to me again as though I had never accepted it. In short I couldnt become manager because the game wouldnt realise I'd accepted the offer. I googled this problem and apparently its very common. So I downloaded patch 10.1.0 (why cant they give them easier names like say patch 1?) which promised to fix this problem and it went away... to be replaced by loads more. Now with the patch my assistant manager feedback (a previously very useful tool) is completely messed up. When I look at the team report it says that Diaby is by far the weakest player in my team and that I should replace him (it even suggests players from other clubs) yet I know this isnt the case and sure enough when I click on Diaby's training report from the same assistant I am told he is a "quality player". This sometimes happens with other players as well which renders the assistant feedback and even scout reports pretty useless becuase I can't trust them :) I would download the third and current patch for the game, patch 10.2.1 but I am reliably informed this patch makes your game even buggier (ratings go down, strikers repeatably miss 1 on 1's and how low strike rates etc). So Im not sure what to do. Carry on playing with a buggy game or wait for the next patch by which time fm2011 might be out. It seems to me that SI are so desperate to get the yearly release out that they don't test it properly which really isnt fair on their loyal and frustraited fanbase.
My other gripe with the game is its many inaccuracies. In the game the FIFA World Player of the Year award is wrongly named and are at least two other awards. David Beckham's contract details do not match up with real life and some of the club histories are slightly inaccurate.
Dont get me wrong it is a very good game but it could be perfect if they'd just spent a bit more time testing it.
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on 5 October 2009
After last year's diabolical, catastrophic, bottom spankingly bad FM release amateur/wannabe Managers all over the world must have been holding their breaths for this one. Did Sega and SI games listen to the thousands of people posting tirades of abuse towards them over the forums? - And rightly so. The once treasured franchise created by the SI team was under threat of becoming a joke following the 09 release and seasoned gamers and subscribers were threatening to quit the series all together.

So the big question is DID THEY LISTEN? And the answer has to be....

YES.

This is without doubt the best of the CM/FM editions I have ever played.

I'm not going to go into massive details, I will leave others to do that but one of the first things that put a smile on my face was the fact that it gives you the option to Install straight from the DVD by-passing the dreaded unworkable, soul destroying thing that is STEAM. Fantastic!

The new layout and skin is wonderful, clean, smooth and even though we have lost the side menu it's very easy to get used to and is thoroughly enjoyable. The new backroom staff interaction is a great addition and the 3d match engine seems to have improved a lot. It runs smoother and we have the addition of stadia giving an overall better affect. Media questions/interaction seems to have more depth but I still think there is a little room for improvement. Anyway, as I said I'm not going into a great deal of depth just take my word that IMO we can put the terrible episode of last year's version behind us and I'm please to say that SI really do listen to what the masses are saying. Of course, they have to.

I'm only giving 4 stars because there is always room for improvement and this game will continue to improve but this is all in all the kind of response I was hoping for.

A gigantic swing back to form!
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on 4 December 2009
I have been a very loyal customer of SI and the Champ/Football Manager games.

My Love affair started back in 96, when I Bought Cm2 96/97 - after reading the manual in the car on the way home from pc world I knew this would be good. OMG I still remember the 1st time i saw it load up. I had this Lovely warm feeling of excitement.

Unfortunately the game ruined my education, I didn't have time for homework and I would play the game in secret till 2/3 in the morning, so I was useless the next day at school. Like the millions of boys all around the country I WAS HOOKED!

You pick a team, look at the transfer market, tick on interested players. Put an offer in and within 2 clicks you're offering the player a contract and another 2 clicks and he is in your team ready to play. You could play a season in an evening (if you were hardcore enough)

What I'm trying to say, the game was simple yet extremely addictive and fun.

CM2 97/98- was even more popular (maybe because you didn't need the disc once installed), it had an updated database, and playable multi leagues - but it was a little bit slower (still good though)

The next was the CM3 series - new user interface and menu system, More Leagues, and the major new addition was the ability to play multiplayer games via network (amazing times). - A little slower, but still great fun and addictive

CM4 is when it really started to go wrong for me, 2D Engine, more tactics, Training and messing about.
Though still a good Game, It was Slower then ever before.

Football Manager up next - well we all know, Job Centre, Mind games, more tactics, deeper engine, SLOWER AGAIN!

Basically what I'm getting at is that over the years, Computers have gotten Quicker ALOT Quicker. But due to all the extra crap and features Champs has got Slower and Slower and harder and more boring.

I maybe in the minority, I may not be - But for me a Computer game is all about FUN and it staying interesting.
The best games in time do exactly those things. Mario kart SNES had a limited amount of tracks and modes, but because it was fun people still play it today (me included) Call of Duty is now the biggest selling game EVER. Why? Because online its never dull and stays fun.

So although FM10 has got more features then ever, 3d match engine, you can talk to the media, you can do wonders with the training, you can scout the world, you can do halftime team talks........ but it's lost its Fun factor, and the amount of time it takes to get through a pre season is a joke.

If you want my advice, you should get cm0102 and download the NEW DATABASE update - that game is 10times the game this is.
Because all I want to do, is load up, sign 10 forwards, pick a winning formation and get promotion.

So please Sports interactive, just make a simple game for us simple people who just want to have fun and pretend we know how to manage a football club
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on 8 February 2016
I used to play the series when I was younger a d decided to give it a try again and recapture those glory years. I like to start at the bottom and try to work my way up the divisions whilst improving the facilities as well as the squad (have Yong's somewhere for a nice trophy cabinet to go right?). You are able UK throw yourself in at the deep end and take over Utd, City, Arsenal, LFC, Chelsea or any other club that takes your interest.

The game has progressed so that there is more involvement needed with the press etc and that you can have a greater handle imbue training etc. A good update since the last time I played.
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