It’s that time of year again when Football (Soccer) fans get to live out their management dreams with Football Manager 2024. While the core Football Manager experience remains familiar, this year’s entry adds improved tools and new play methods. You’ll understand what I mean in this Football Manager 2024 review.
Game Name: Football Manager 2024 Platform(s): PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Apple Arcade, PC (Reviewed) Publisher(s): Sega
Developer(s): Sports Interactive
Release Date: 6th November 2023
It’s true in many ways – If you’ve played a Football Manager game in the last few years, you’ll know most of what you’re doing in Football Manager 2024. This isn’t a bad thing, and there’s something to be said about a franchise that sticks to the fundamentals and manages to be good while constantly evolving, and Football Manager is one of those games. It’s been a fantastic sports management sim for many years now, with this latest entry being no different. With that in mind, this review will focus on what is new and improved, so if I forget to mention something, it’s safe to assume that it hasn’t changed from previous games.
Let’s talk bout those changes, which become apparent when you set up your first save. All the game modes from last year are still available, but you now have three different ways to play the game: Original, Real-World, and Your World. Original mode, which is the same way we’ve all been playing for years, so if you want an experience you are used to, this is the mode for you. Real-World mode is for players who want an added layer of realism, and transfers will happen on the date they happened in real life! So, if your club didn’t sign their star player until later in the season, that player won’t be with your team immediately at the start of a save the same way he would in Original mode. This mode will be most interesting later in the real-life season as more real-world transfers happen. The final new way to play, and my favourite during the review period, is Your World mode. Here, you have the opportunity to rewrite some recent history; that’s because you can start earlier in the summer transfer window with no real-world transfer taking place at all. For example, suppose you wished that Tottenham had kept Harry Kane this year. In Your World, you can make that a reality.
I tested all three of these modes during my time with the game, playing as different teams, but the one I kept returning to was my Chelsea Your World save. I just loved that I could rewrite the recent transfer business of Chelsea. It gave my save a unique feeling, which isn’t usually present in a Football Manager game. I felt like I had the power to live my management dreams as I wanted to.
Of course, the ways to play aren’t the only changes. The transfer system has been overhauled to more closely resemble real life, with greater importance on interacting with player agents to get deals done. When trying to sell players, you also have more options; you can offer them out via the transfer room, similar to the old Offer to Club function in past games. If you struggle to move a player this way, you can ask the agent to try and generate interest from other clubs. Or, if that doesn’t work, you can enlist the help of an intermediary for a percentage of any transfer fee received. These changes give you more control than ever over transfer; just be careful how you use them, as you don’t want to upset players who refuse to leave the club.
Another change this year is an overhauled and improved set piece system, which allows you to set up how your team will take corners more effortless than ever. When you first enter the set piece menu, you’ll be greeted with questions about what you want to do, such as in-swinging or out-swinging corners, zonal or man marking, and more or fewer players in the box. For players with less experience, highlighting each option before you select it will show you a helpful pros & cons list. With most things in Football Manager, you can always leave this to your staff, especially if you hire a set pieces coach.
Something else you’ll notice is new player roles allowing you to try different tactics that weren’t previously available in the game. If you want inverted full-backs that tuck in as central defenders when required to form a back three, you can do that now. With these new roles come more challenges, as anything you can do, the AI can do. Thanks to an improved match engine, players on either team do everything far more effectively this year. When watching the matches, you will notice a higher sense of positional awareness, with players being where they realistically should be within your tactic at the appropriate times.
Ultimately, this leads to players carrying out their roles more realistically than before. That’s not to say there aren’t issues with the match engine; we will surely find some as we play hundreds more matches, but I’ve yet to notice any real problems for now. Although I have encountered one bug outside of matches, the game will often show players in the completely wrong position when searching for players to buy for my team. I hope this is fixed for day one or shortly after. It’s not game-breaking, but it has been mildly frustrating.
These changes build on the already fantastic platform that Football Manager has had for years in meaningful ways. Sure, most of the gameplay will feel the same as the last entry, but you can only do so much with menu-based simulation games. That said, Football Manager 2024 provides more ways to experience your management dreams, giving you more control and options to make your teams the best they can be. Football Manager 2024 is a must-play for long-time fans and the best Football Manager entry yet. That is until next year’s Football Manager title gets released.
Review Disclosure Statement: A copy of Football Manager 2024 was provided for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy.
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Football Manager 2024 Review - Live Your Management Dreams
Football Manager 2024 doesn’t change much from last year’s game, but the changes it does make can greatly impact how you choose to play. Ultimately, it gives you the tools to live out your fantasy more than ever, making it a must-play for series fans.
New Exciting Ways To Play
Set Pieces Overhauled
Match Engine Better Than Ever
New Tactical Options
Same Moment to Moment Feel We’ve Had For Years
Football Manager 2024 Review - Live Your Management Dreams