With FM22 about to drop, the fans of the series who haven’t played the beta wonder if they should end their long saves in the previous versions and grab the latest release.
So, we’ve asked some of the most famous Football Manager content creators about their experience with the beta, and unlike in some of the previous years, this release seems to be more than just an update to FM21.
That doesn’t mean that everything’s perfect yet.
Nevertheless, Football Manager 2022 is touted as becoming the most popular edition ever after Sports Interactive (SI) and Sega have managed to introduce a host of impressive new features.
Anyways, let’s get down to business.
What the hardcore fans like about FM22
Espen from @Passion4FM is one of the several long-serving virtual managers who appreciate the simulation more than anything and highlighted this edition’s upgrade on the AI managers’ complex reactions.
@Passion4FM: “For Football Manager 2022, one of the biggest positive improvements is the changes to the match animations and pressing. The match engine in FM22 looks so slick! It’s a real enjoyment to watch the match unfolds and try to overwin the AI manager in tense tactical battles.
“How the AI manager reacts to your tactical plans and modifications you do throughout the match creates an environment that makes you better feel like a real manager on the sideline. For this reason, I believe FM22 might become one of the best games in the entire series.
Kieran from @DemandMoreFM, one of the most influential Scottish FM streamers, highlighted what seems to be a unanimously appreciated feature from this year’s release.
@DemandMoreFM: “A pro of FM22 is definitely the Data Hub, it’s easy to get lost in! However, it’s great for seeing how your tactics and team is doing. All the data presented is a simple way makes it easier to see what areas you could improve.”
If Len from @FMInside – who’ve been around for about 17 years – is thrilled with new additions to the game, then this release is definitely a winner.
@FMInside: “If we look at FM22 I like the addition of the Data Hub. Ok, data isn’t a new feature at all but they managed to put all the important statistics in one area. For those who aren’t great analysts themselves, they have made it a lot easier to understand all the different statistics and how these could benefit their own team.
“Another feature I like – but haven’t experienced yet – is the dynamic youth ratings. Finally, after years of hoping and asking they have finally put that into the game. I’m yet to experience how this works but the thought of a small nation being built into a worldwide superpower is something I’m dying to try after the full release.
“Feature-wise I’m yet to be disappointed by Football Manager 2022. The new additions all seem to work pretty well as you would expect and the Beta doesn’t seem too ‘buggy’. Overall, it will be a game that will take away hours and hours of my life!”
The lads from @5StarPod have praised the realistic new transfer features that were introduced in FM22.
Dave: “For me, how the whole transfer structure has evolved and improved, in terms of negotiations, and in particular the transfer windows, I say it is a positive for the game in terms of realism, but for me, as a manager, it was a bit of a nightmare. It’s like in real life: 9 times out of 10 clubs don’t want to sell players. So, they’re not even going to engage with you in negotiations, or if they are they’re going to charge you an absolute fortune for anyone.”
Matt: “I absolutely loved the new deadline-day feature. As somebody who has literally pressed ‘Decline’ in the past couple of versions – usually because you’d have all the transfers wrapped up by then. But this time we ended up under pressure on deadline day, and I was counting down these hours; the whole thing was chaotic, which is great. I was waiting for a transfer confirmation, the fee was agreed, and the chief took like three days to sign the contract, and it came down to the last couple of hours. It’s a great feature, as it brings a whole extra level lo transfers, and speaking to agents, all that kind of stuff.”
The group seemed delighted with the new match-engine and the improved 3D animations, especially how the wingers go wide and either cross or pass to a full back who will cross, instead of the old way it used to be in FM where you’d mostly have them cut inside.
Joe: “I love the animations in this new match-day experience. You’d get a winger who obviously runs to the byline, and then he’ll actually turn around and pass the ball who will then cross the ball in. Also, the animation of the goalline clearances is one of my favourite things; I’ve seen chest control, I’ve seen nutmegs, it’s just been beautiful.”
Veteran ‘strikerless‘ manager Guido Merry was also content with how the new game turned out after playing the beta.
@MerryGuido: “FM22, a tough one to call so far. There are definitely things I love about the game so far. The match engine, while it has its flaws, is fluid and fun to play. We’ll wait for the final release patches to see if it stays this way, but so far it’s been fun.
“Another nice addition to the series is the new Deadline Day experience. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it easier to score deadline day bargains or to sell some deadwood on the final day of the market. Wheeling and dealing at its finest.
“Dynamic youth ratings are a big step forward, especially for those that prefer long-term saves. It should make those types of saves a lot more interesting, especially if you go Club & Country.
“The final pro, in my opinion at least, is the speed at which the game runs, saves and loads. FM21 was faster than its predecessors and I feel FM22 is even faster. That’s great news.”
Okay, let’s see the cons of FM22.
What the lads dislike about FM22
The chaps 5 Star Potential had some good laughs while discussing the generated looks of the newgens in FM22.
Dave: “There’s very little I disliked about the game to be fair but how the newgens or the newgens staff members look… I’m not sure how they’ve gone very downhill on how they look. You’d expect them to improve year after year, but this for me has probably been the worst that they’ve ever been, especially since they changed to this sort of newgen style.”
The VAR still needs some work, as all offside decisions being reviewed by VAR always end up disallowing the goals, which isn’t realistic, but Doop is stressed with how slow the whole process is.
DOOP: “No skip VAR button. In my eyes, it seems so simple. How hard is that going to be? Seriously. Honestly, I think they have improved the VAR, obviously seeing the goal allowed, the reff doesn’t go to the screen that often, but when he still does it’s still annoying. Just let me have a ‘Skip VAR’ button, that’s all I want.”
Joe is annoyed about the time you have to lose due to the lack of a no-brainer button missing from the training inbox.
Joe: “When you get your training inbox review, and you get like three players who’ve trained well, there’s a button next to the highest one that says ‘Praise Player’, and equally the same with ‘Criticise Player’ but then, if there’s anybody else underneath it, you have to click through, like four different clicks to praise or warn them for their training. Just add the buttons there so you can do it faster. Why reference them if you can’t interact with them quickly? It’s the whole thing with how many clicks you have to do things.”
Guido Merry and Len were mostly bothered by the annoying UI.
@MerryGuido: “Like with FM21, I am not keen on the User Interface. It just doesn’t feel right. I am especially unhappy with the pre-match screen where the line-up sort of curves around the text box. That is hideous.
“SI have also included more press conference options. Great. I generally delegate that responsibility to my assistant because of the repetitive nature of these press conferences. I’d have preferred more attention towards international management or the addition of more roles besides the wide centre-back.”
@FMInside: “User Interface. The biggest con for me is the UI of the modern Football Manager. I’m not talking about the colours, but really the user experience in the game. There are too many items to click on, too much information being put in one single screen and in some areas the logic seems to be missing. There are screens where you have to move from left to right, then back to the top, back again to the bottom and finally back to right to confirm a single action.
“The one that annoys me the most is the new Team Talk screen which was introduced in FM21. Your players are now positioned ‘around’ you as if you are in a dressing room and you are in the centre addressing them. For me that is the worst possible way of displaying the team talk ever. The old way – with a simple list – it was much easier to spot the reactions of your players.”
Finally, Kieran and Espen were disappointed with the lack of updates on setpieces.
@DemandMoreFM: “A con of FM22 is the set pieces are generally the same as previous games, which means if you had some good routines before, they will likely still be good this time round.”
@Passion4FM: “The only major con I can think of is that further abilities to set-up different corner tactics is not considered. One area of improvement in regard to set-pieces and attacking corners is more varied movements and runs – being able to have player’s crossing paths and run in different / opposite directions of each other.
“On the topic of set-pieces, I would like to see further abilities to analyse how effective the set-pieces are, with danger and weak zones highlighted as well as being able to get recommendations from the coaching staff about what may or may not work with the set-piece routines you create.”
More than just a game
Football Manager is more than just a game. SI have a network of over 1,300 scouts to ensure the accuracy of the game’s database, so it is no surprise that clubs have been using Football Manager as a real-life scouting tool for quite a few years now.
The world’s leading football management simulation title has a beautiful community. Scottish content creator and Twitch streamer Kieran, known as @DemandMoreFM, is one example.
You can quickly tell that he’s totally in love with the game by looking at how he talks about it.
“The pro of playing Football Manager, despite the series being the best value game in relation to playtime, is how much it improves your real-life football knowledge. Through playing the game you will come across many different players that you have never heard of, you build more knowledge of what players are coming up and could potentially be the next big thing.
“I remember finding a young Marcus Rashford in a previous FM before he broke onto the scene. Back then his natural position was Attacking Midfielder and not Striker! When he did burst into the United side, there’s nothing like that feeling that you knew about him before the world did!
“Trying to find a con about the game I love is extremely difficult, with the only real one I can think of is the lack of sleep it will give you: this could be the classic ‘just one more game’ before bed, only to decide then to embark on trying out a new tactic and can’t possibly leave that experiment for a thing called sleep!”
The same can be said for Len from @FMInside, who is at least as excited as Kieran about the release of a new Football Manager edition.
“A new Football Manager edition… That’s maybe the biggest pro of every Football Manager. It doesn’t matter to me – as a long time fan of the game – if the new features aren’t spectacular.
“The release of a new Football Manager is always exciting. Each year when they release the first information on the new game, I get excited and that has been the same for years now.
“We all know that in recent years the game hasn’t seen great new features or major new additions being added. But we have to realise that Football Manager was and is already a very good and in-depth game.”
Football Manager 2022 will be released on Tuesday, 9 November 2021. Both FM22 and FM22 Xbox Edition will be available with Xbox Game Pass on Day One.