Was avid poster on these forums in the CM01/02 days. But largely lost faith in this series last few years. FM15 being the last release I actually enjoyed playing for any considerable length of time. Bit of a purist. What historically made this game addictive for me was its simplicity albeit sitting behind this simplicity was layers and layers of detail giving it substance.
Swayed by the initial burst of positive comments on Steam following the beta release I pre-ordered and decided to give it a go.
Started with Man United. Plan to do a season with United and then a season with Cardiff City to give it some perspective. Will likely begin in non-league on full release.
I like the feel and flow of the game o far. Plenty of detail yet my screen doesn't feel clustered with info. Navigating between different modules is clean and smooth. Some panels do feel a bot cramped with info but overall very good.
Never been a huge fan of the player interaction and news conference features. Mainly because of the frequency of them, relevance etc. However this time round its looking good. Dynamics feature is well thought out. Im not getting a disgruntled player approach me every 5 mins. Im actually engaging with pre and post match press conferences as it just seems more relevant to the wider aspects of the game. Before it felt like an annoying side game with no real impact. Therefore Id end up leaving it all to my assistant.
Tactics feature is working well. Changes to tactics are actually noticeable on match day now. Before I felt as if the outcome was pre-determined regardless of the tactics I deployed. Tactics has always been my favourite feature of the game and I'm pleased to see development here. Can see how I can really mould a team to my tactical style on this version.
Training is great. I've not gone as far as creating my own schedules yet but have been tinkering with the pre-set schedules. Lots of potential here and most importantly I dont have that urge to just leave to my assistant and forget about it.
Concern would be injuries. Despite all positive comments on the training I seem to always have at least a few players out injured. Not long term but more frequent than IRL I feel.
ME seems ok. Players seem a lot more responsive to instructions. I'm seeing much less stupidity ie my player taking a throw in and throwing it directly to the feet of the opposition. But not ruled out entirely ie De Gea just rolling the ball straight to Eden Hazard.. AI teams have a noticeable style of play. Be interesting to see how AI adapts to my style over time. In previous versions it felt as if over night every team suddenly learnt how to play against me and I had to change tweak things. Would like to see individual managers/teams learn my strengths and weaknesses over time.
Crossing at the moment is a concern but this may be the tactic (4-2-3-1 GegenPress) I've deployed but 75% of my goals/attacks come from crosses from the wing backs. Very little is coming through the middle but then the teams playing against me are parking the bus at times so seems logical to go wide. I've got my AML and AMR as inside forwards encouraged to run at the defence which is opening up a lot of space for the overlap. But doesn't feel quite right. I need to play around with tactics less wing back focused to gage how big an issue this is.
My only major concern so far is have they made the game to easy?
I'm 18 PL games in with United. W16 D1 L1 F44 A8. The draw was 0-0 away at Spurs. The lose 3-1 away at Man City. In the CL I'm P6 W6 in the group stage with a group containing Bayern, Valencia, S Moscow.
Im dominating every match. De Gea is hardly getting a look in. Lukaku has 17 goals in 13 PL starts.
I've bought Suso and Pavon. Sold Fellani.
Team morale is excellent. Management support is very good and team cohesion is very good.
You could argue that this is realistic but then you look at United IRL.
Am I just a better manager than Jose? Or is this game to easy?
I plan on starting a new season with Cardiff now just to gage the difference.