Football Manager 2014 (FM14) is the latest story-driven action-oriented isometic-RPG with third-person shooter elements from the most acclaimed (and long lasting) franchise since the Jurassic Era developed by Bioware and published by Activison Blizzard.
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing chavs and neds (if yar a scootash fanny) gathering in masses as if is a sabbath since the fifth coming of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ, in what can be described as the coliseum games from the medieval times. Or for something more up-to-date for hip kids nowadays: the Hunger Games™. In a nutshell, watching two soccer teams of eleven Neanderthal men fighting for a round ball. I still do not understand the incentive behind it even to this day, but who am I to judge? I am not a philosoph.
To be frank, FM14 literally grabs you by the crotch right from the start. Just the moment you start a New Game, you can upload your own face into the game for that intimate immersion. You can now easily upload your Snapchat or Instagram pics from last night as your avatar. In my case, I uploaded my pic of my hairy ♥♥♥♥♥♥ as my avatar and named myself “Mr. Perturbed Masturbator”. That is role-playing at its finest.
As a manager, you have to manage your squad of eleven best players and other redundant ones no one ever heard of in seasonal matches in a league of extraordinary gentlemen founded by Alan Moore. In fact, ‘players’ is only a term coined by Bioware to be politically correct by modern standard, where in fact they are actually slaves working for you. FM14 allows you to buy or even sell these slaves for profit which for any exploiter or patronist is a dream come true. It is the only game and one of the few sports in the world where slavery is still legal in 2014, and no wonder the franchise sells so well every year. God bless ‘murica. (Disclaimer: sadly, the game forces you to pay them a wage, but I always set it at £0.05/h as punishment for breathing my oxygen. Thankfully, they never seem to ask for food, so I never give them any anyway)
The gameplay is so meticulously streamlined that anyone can pick it up and play it without any hassle from reading guides and tutorials – even a kid. See, that is why it is rated as PEGI +3.The gameplay boils down to staring blankly at numbers and figures on screen that make no sense (trust me, I am a Statistician) and spamming the ‘Continue’ button, which activates this unique time travel mechanism (Doctor Who theme tune plays in the background) which sends you in time by 24 hours at most. This is the first game to feature a time travel concept. And of course, you can also travel back in time using "Load Save" (this time 'Ghostbusters' plays as theme tune) in case you lose a match, so you can always go back and do it as many times as you want until you win. In my game, I'm in year 2241 and have not lost a match ever since thanks to my time travel capabilities. It is kind of like Doctor Who, because I feel like a time lord. But less bent.
The story is by far the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The character development is stunning. Here is one of my case studies. You buy this Jew slave, plays well the first few months (Get it in, son!), so you decide to have a private chat with him. You tell him that is he is the best player the club has ever had and in return he blantely tells you that you offended him and requests to leave the club. And such plot twists are freqeunt and yet so unpredictable, it is satisfying at the very least. Better character development and story than Bungie’s Destiny, I must admit. Furthermore, this year's FM finally allows you to reenact historical events from soccer history, such as when Alex Ferguson threw his shoe onto David Beckham's head in the changing room. I personally love simulating that with my squad at half-time to show them who the boss is. I have a wardrobe full of shoes waiting to be thrown at them. Each hit gives me +5 exp, so I always wait for my Prestige level.
Running on the latest licensed CryEngine, the Match Engine has never been so realistic. The careful detail and good use of the DirectX 12 on the slaves’ models is outstanding -- you will never see such perfectly round and anti-aliased circles running around on the screen in your life as if they were lice lurking around. Everything visually is almost like you cannot distinguish between real life and a game. It is quite graphically demanding though, so I advice you to tape three Nvidia Titan cards around to maintain a consistent 60fps. And I ♥♥♥♥ you not that the pitch's grass is in this game is green!
The soundtrack is another high point, boasting with high profile artists like the current X-Factor winner who is secretly your next door neighbour who you want to get laid, One Demention (newly formed band after 1D split up), Skrillex and many others. For old timers, it also features music from Black Sabbath's 'Back in Black' album and their US hit single, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. DMX is my personal favourite from the soundtrack because it brings the hardcore black person inside me at night.
Ultimately, one of the high points of the game is seeing your team score that magical goal. To describe the experience, it is similar to pulling your pants down and simply jacking off. Let me warn you, your palm will undoubtedly be red and your right bicep harder than your exam on trigonometry.
Regardless, there are so many features in this year’s FM that even I do not even know if there are in the game after all. Bioware claim in their YouTube videos that they add about 1000 new features every year, but I can only see about three noticeable ones. But I trust Bioware, especially after the record breaking BAFTA award-winning ‘Best Ending to a Video Game’ in Mass Erect 3.
But FM14 does lack in some aspects after all. For starters, the lack of female support characters is disappointing. This is rather plain sexist and the game does need to promote equality between genders. But as Ubisoft pointed out in their recent Assassin’s Creed: Unity (cannot spell it without the ♥♥♥) controversy, it is very challenging and not cost effective to program and implement realistic boob physics. After all, a female’s body is a very complex matter which shy men do not want to tackle (Ha, get it? Because soccer). On a similar note, being a Bioware game, the omission of diverse LGBT characters is shocking. No hardcore Bioware fan buys their games for the story and gameplay, but for the LGBT romances. However, I do think that out of the twenty or so slaves under my command, I am highly confident that more than a half of them are homosexual, which is nothing wrong in a game featuring male characters. If in doubt, the game does allow you to ask your Assistant Manager.
Since FM began in 1914, just after the First World War started and still during the glory days of the Jurassic era, you would expect that after 100 years they would implement features where you, as the manager, would be able to do something with your own salary by now - like spending it all on crazy night outs with your mates. What am I supposed to do with my ten gazillion Zimbabwe dollars per week? For the next FM iteration, I would like to be able to spend my highly grossed salary on a gigantic mansion, sporty cars made in China and, lastly but no least, screw my wife on a daily basis after breakfast and dinner to get my confidence up after my team loses a match. Funnily enough, the positions I try on her are a good way to practice my positions I employ for my squad before each match at training – which is something FM14 does allow you to do flawlessly.
Another complaint is Messi. He wins every single seasonal award and never wants to retire even when he is 80-year old. What the hell?
Lastly, I think the franchise should be renamed Soccer Manager so 'muricans can understand what this is.
In conclusion, FM14 is alright.