The colder temperatures and darker nights of wintertime always encourage us to spend more time indoors, meaning many people turn to the internet for entertainment. Whether it’s online quizzes, bitcoin slots, or football simulation games you favor the most, you’re sure to find whatever tickles your fancy online. In fact, aficionados of that last pastime will have cause to rejoice recently, since the most recent incarnation of the hugely popular Football Manager series was released in December. With record numbers turning to the game over the last 12 months, expectations are high for the new version. But what’s different about FM this time around?
Whether it’s giving team talks to your troops or taking aside a particular individual for praise or criticism, player interaction has been vastly improved in FM 2021. The inclusion of body language not only allows you to use gestures to make your points more passionately but also affords you the ability to read the room and see how your words are affecting your charges. That can be especially useful in high-pressure situations, such as penalty shootouts.
The matchday experience has been tweaked to deliver a more realistic representation and a more intuitive user interface, as well. From the main screen, you can quickly alter tactics, make subs and give individual instructions to any of your players, all without navigating away from the action. The visuals have also been greatly enhanced; the use of shadows, pitchside furniture, and more accurate player representations make FM 2021 the most impressive matchday vehicle to date.
Perhaps one of the most talked-about new features of FM 2021 is the long-awaited inclusion of expected goals or xG. This metric has become increasingly popular in footballing circles for several years now and has finally been incorporated into the FM package. By checking your xG at half-time and full-time, you’ll be able to see whether your team is creating enough chances to win the game – or whether substandard finishing in front of goal is costing you points.
End of season
There’s nothing more satisfying than getting to the end of a long and hard (but ultimately successful) season and looking back over your achievements. With that in mind, the FM boffins have introduced a new “full season review” feature, in which you can look back at the peaks and troughs of the campaign, as well as check out your best starting XI and revisit previous transfer activity to see if your business dealings were stars or flops. Meanwhile, those lucky enough to win a trophy can witness the award ceremony in all its glory.
Aside from the gameplay, one crucial technical detail about FM 2021 is that it will be available to play on the Xbox for the first time since 2007. Of course, it’s also available in its standard desktop version, as well as in Android and iPhone formats and on Nintendo. With greater freedom to play across an unprecedented number of platforms, there’s no excuse for missing out.