Review – Football Manager 2017

The full release of Football Manager 2017 is soon to be upon us and it looks set to be the franchise’s most authentic game yet.

*Note: This review is based on the Beta (early access) version of Football Manager 2017.

From its inclusion of Brexit and how the United Kingdom leaving the European Union will affect transfers to the addition of sports scientists and data analysts, Football Manager 17’s realism continues to the follow the trend of its predecessors.

“The authenticity of Football Manager 2017 gives it potential to be one of the sports video games of the year”

There has been an emphasis on areas such as coaching, training and scouting in the more recent versions, unlike in previous games.

And this has been made more apparent on Football Manager 2017 with the option to hire sports scientists and data analysts being just one of many new yet simple aspects added to the game in order to make it seem that more realistic.

The authenticity of Football Manager 2017 gives it potential to be one of the sports video games of the year, but the vast improvements and range of new features added to Sports Interactive’s latest product must also be highlighted.

Match engine

Since its introduction in Football Manager 2009, the 3D match engine has become arguably the most popular feature of the series.

It is an upgrade on the outdated 2D match engine that Football Manager was once renowned for and, more often than not, has improved game by game both in terms of visuals and performance.

©Eurogamer and ©Sports Interactive

This year, the most significant change to the 3D match engine is the way in which players carry out their actions.

Passing, movement and shooting have all been revised, giving users a much better experience when watching their teams take to the field.

On top of the modification to players and their actions in the 3D match engine, the improvement to pitch and stadium graphics should also be noted.

Pre and post-match analysis

Having introduced leading sports statistics provider, Prozone, into Football Manager 2016 to give players an efficient tool for assessing matches, ’17 has continued that theme with its new pre and post-match analysis.

Statistics such as possession, shots on target, pass combinations, key passes and mistakes, in addition to heat maps, have all been included to help players to gain a better understanding of how their own/opponent’s team operate from game-to-game.

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Post-match analysis of a Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal.

While Football Manager 2017’s pre and post-match analysis may not be as advanced as Football Manager 2016’s Prozone, it makes good reading for those who wish to make improvements to their team on the basis of statistics without having to spend a significant amount of time using something as complex as Prozone.

Social feed

Another new feature added this year is the introduction of an in-game social feed, and the decision to implement this is a good one.

The social feed on Football Manager 2017 is, in essence, the game’s own version of Twitter.

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Football Manager 2017’s new social feed section.

Whether it is a transfer rumour from a journalist or a knee-jerk reaction from a fan, players have now been given a new modern method to receive information and in-game views.

It can become tedious and may sometimes make you cringe, but overall the social feed is another element that has really helped Football Manager 2017 mirror this current generation of football.


Signing players is one of the things people enjoy most about Football Manager as they look to build and craft their perfect team, and this year some changes have been made in that department.

In some cases, simply throwing money at transfer targets will not be enough.

Players (not all) now want other assurances, ranging from the promise of more attacking signings to the guarantee of being played in their favourite position, before entering contract negotiations.

Although many believe money is often the sole drive for a footballer when deciding which team to sign for, Football Manager 2017 has done well to highlight that other factors can be as influential, especially in a division such as the Premier League where most teams can offer a very good financial package anyway.

As a whole, Football Manager 2017 has not been overhauled in the manner that Football Manager 2016 was when it succeeded Football Manager 2015.

However, the new and simple features that have been added to this year’s game, in addition to the tweaks and improvements made, makes Football Manager 2017 arguably the strongest of its series.

Featured image: ©Football Manager