Sega announced that Football Manager 2017 has officially launched for PC, Mac and Linux. The new game features all new club management featuring more than 2,500 real clubs, all hailing from 50 different real life countries.
The game sports real life talent, stats, salaries, training, match simulations and trades. Developer Sports Interactive boasts that they have more than 600,000 personnel involved with the various leagues, from the players to the staff to the management and executives at the top of the board.
They cover all of the game’s most important features in Football Manager 2017 in the launch trailer below.
Despite being able to modify match plays, tactical team philosophies, as well as starting line-ups, a large majority of players are not fond of the newest game. Why? Because they say it’s a copycat clone of Football Manager 2016 with “not enough change”.
Tubey explains in a pre-release review that the players ice skate and the goalkeepers “kill all immersion” and that the game needs a complete overhaul from the ground up, writing…
“This is akin to using a spreadsheet that doesn’t work – throroughly unenjoyable. Football Manager lost the magic a long time ago, and this edition doesn’t bring it back. It needs a complete rework from the ground up at this point. “
Piggal goes a bit more in depth, explaining that all the tactics from last year’s outing work in the new game, and importing old strategies was enough to pick up victories…
“I’ve seen a lot of games that only change in form but not in content, but this game did not even change the form. I can literally import the tactic I used in fm 2016 to this game. It’s nothing more than a fm2016 with a data update. You can barely find improvements in the game.”
Piggal’s comments were echoed frequently by others who also played the game, with another player named tieio saying the same thing…
“Is it better than 2016? Not at all and I didn’t recommend 2016. In fact, I can import my old tactics and graphics. This literally means they changed next to nothing in regards to tactics and graphics. Nothing added in this year’s version justifies this as a new version, it is nothing more than a few small changes, a couple new screens and a database update. I have a 7 years’ study of the request threads they post on the SI forums and complied a list of the top 20 most requested things people wish to see. Guess how many of the top 5 requests they have accomplished in the past 7 years? Zero.”
Siemcarlo offers an extremely in-depth review after clocking in close to 75 hours into the game, as of the writing of this article. He breaks down why he stopped playing the series back in 2013, how the improvements on each game are miniscule or almost nonexistent, and how it’s more frustrating to play and try to enjoy than to just not play at all.
That isn’t the story for everybody. Some people do enjoy Football Simulator 2017, and have recommended it if you just want a spreadsheet style football manager that has plenty of depth.
The real story, however, is that following up on a lot of people calling Bethesda’s move to restrict early access to review copies “anti-consumer”, we see that the divergence between the player experience and the reviewer experience are vastly apparent with Football Simulator 2017.
On Metacritic the average user score is 2.7 out of 10. The average professional critic’s score is 80 out of 100.
Out of the 20 reviews, five of them are 70 or less, and only two of them were published before the game’s release. To their credit, The Guardian and PC Powerplay published their reviews on November 1st and November 2nd.
PC Powerplay wrote…
“FM 2017 is the best the series has been, and thus the best football management game around. But the improvements are too incremental and the new features too disposable to make this a value-for-money day one proposition.”
The Guardian scored the game a 60 out of 100, saying that while it adds some new things to the overall package, it’s not enough to say that they make for a meaningful purchase for anyone outside the core fandom…
“Despite all these changes being welcome though, they don’t feel like they add up to a drastic evolution. It does feel like the game is an improvement on last year’s version, but in the sense that a balancing patch might improve an FPS or a MOBA.”
But beyond The Guardian, everyone else’s reviews are 70 or above. Out of 20 reviews, 11 of them published ahead of the game’s release are all positive. That means that more than half of the reviews that were published in total that were ahead of the game’s release actually praised it for features and content that a majority of the player base disagreed with.
At this point, restricting early review access the way Bethesda has done would probably be a pro-consumer move considering that many large-scale review sites such as IGN, Eurogamer, and the ironically named Trusted Reviews all praised a game with serious issues. These issues were addressed by many players who pointed out that they were carried over from the previous year’s iteration.
On the lower end of the scale, some of the player complaints were addressed by sites like PC Invasion and Lazygamer, with their reviews going up the day of release. Only the Guardian and PC PowerPlay opted to warn people away from Football Manager 2017 ahead of release.
In this regards, people can continue to argue that pre-release review copies are pro-consumer, but based on repeated incidents where many pre-release reviews are little more than puff pieces and promotional advertorials, I don’t really see how there’s anything pro-consumer about it.
You can learn more about Football Manager 2017 by visiting the Steam page.