After 250 hours of game play, it's time for a review of FM15. I've been playing these games for a long time (since CM96-97 since you asked), and honestly, I think this one is the best yet. There were some early problems with the match engine, and the Inverted Wing Back role is still broken (he stays wide like a normal Wing Back), but the vast majority of the most glaring issues (high scoring games, regular goalkeeping errors, etc) have been fixed in SI's patches and in good time as well.
I thought the motion capture animations in the match engine would be a bit of a gimmick, but that has turned out to be a welcome addition to the game on an aesthetic level. It's by no means hyper-realistic to the point where you'd be unsure whether you're watching a match on TV or in FM, but it's a big step up from the hand drawn players of FM14. The realism (or lack of) isn't a deal breaker for me, all I want to see is a realistic simulation of a football match and in FM15, that's what we have for the most part.
If you watch the matches on 'Comprehensive' highlights or higher, then you can easily see your tactical decisions playing out in front of you as the game ebbs and flows, and for that, if nothing else, FM15 is the best edition of the Football Manager series so far. Setting up a tactic is fairly simple, although not fool proof, but like any simulation, it's easy to get in to, and difficult to master. One thing I have noticed though, having spent a lot of time talking to other players and reading some of the reviews here on Steam, is that this is not a game for players who want to just pick a match day squad and have a hands-off approach to management. You will succeed at FM if you make sensible tactical choices, always be mindful of balance in your roles/duties and don't use the same approach for every match you play. Every match will play out differently.
the most common complaints I've seen from others are regarding injuries and 'dominating' the game yet losing in the dying moments of the match.
For injuries, I don't have these problems as I make sure my players are fully fit. Use pre-season wisely, allow your players to ease into it after coming back from holiday, then train hard and play lots of friendlies. Once the season begins, lower the intensity of training and give them all individual set ups. It takes a while, but if you do this, your players will be much less prone to injury and will develop faster as well. There will be injuries of course, but I don't have anywhere near the issues others are having, and most of my injury problems are in-game due to my aggressive high pressing style.
On the domination side of things, I will say that more shots and possession does not mean dominance. Choose your battles wisely. If you're the bigger team, you can expect your opponent to sit back and hit you on the counter. Counter this yourself by playing patiently and forcing mistakes, your creative players will take care of the rest. I'm not an FM expert, but if you take these simple words of advice, then you will see for yourself how quickly things will turn around for your team.
The only thing I can't comment on yet is the AI's squad development in the long term as I haven't gone far enough into the game yet. In past FM's, this has been a problem, but I can already see less instances of the AI spending millions on a player only to let him rot in their reserve team.
As SI say themselves, "it'll never be perfect, it'll never be finished", so as long as you go into the game with that mindset, you'll get the most out of it.
I highly rcommend this game for anyone who watches football analytically or who thinks they could do a better job than their favourite team's manager.