Rising from the ashes, Championship Manager 2010 manages a wink, a nod and a smile in the direction of its competition. Is CM 2010 a glorious Phoenix, or a clumsy Dodo?
Chamiponship Manager 2010 is published by Eidos and is available now on the PC.
A football management game relies on two main things. The database, containing all of the details needed for a realistic game, and the match engine. Everything else in the game is an added extra, the bling added to a functional outfit. Fortunately, this time around, CM2010 is not only wearing an ensemble that would make Trinny and Susannah blush with pride, but there is enough bling to make Mr.T jealous. This year, the football management genre is no longer a one horse race.
The database is good this time around, with a subscription based service available that will offer up-to-date information on player transfers, results and league standings from a whole host of different competitions and countries. This will allow the player to stay current with the actual events in the world of football.
The match engine is a vast improvement in glorious 3D. Featuring more than 500 individual player animations, going pitchside is a pleasure in this game. Being able to watch your team in such detail brings a new level of realism to the game. Watching the players as they react to their successes, and failures, adds a new depth to the game. Whilst still not perfect, this is perhaps the best match engine to be seen so far.
Other great features include the new scouting system and the set-piece editor. The new scouting network involves sharing out your budget amongst different areas of the map and then waiting to receive reports back from your scouts. The the player will have to choose to either sign an up and coming player with the limited information available from the scouts report, or maybe to investigate further. This makes it all the more satisfying when a real superstar is stumbled upon.
The set-piece editor allows the player to create their own custom free kick and corner scenarios, from the players positions and the kicking of the ball, right through to the finishing move. These set-pieces can then be tested within the match engine.
The game has made great improvements over the last incarnation, and can finally provide some competition for the other big football management game. As with all games of this genre, it can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. However, CM2010 puts on a welcoming smile, with an easy to navigate interface, wonderful presentation and some great tutorials for beginners. The attention to detail can be experienced throughout the game.
A must buy for fans of the genre and a great place to start for newcomers.