Sufficient improvement?

The great dilemma of the year is again before us. New year, new Football Manager, the classic question: are the new additions and improvements enough to justify the purchase of this year's version or would it be better to continue with your previous save until further notice? Last year's FM started off conceding goals from the dressing room due to a weak changelist but finally managed to turn the game around due to the many substantial improvements to the match engine. FM 2022 is called upon to do something similar in that there are even fewer new features, but Sports Interactive promises a completely new animation system that enhances the realism of the match engine more than ever before. So let's see, is the improvement significant enough to overshadow the lack of other features?

The league begins, the fans... are usually absent in greek football matches.

Before discussing the match engine, the only new features worth mentioning in the rest of the game are just two: the addition of the Data Hub, a special page where you can see a collection of various stats of your team along with some analysis of their importance, and the new design of staff meetings that practically collects some messages sent to you by staff on an interactive screen so that they are concentrated and don't clog up your inbox. Data Hub stats are sometimes interesting, especially when you're trying to find an explanation as to why your team has gone downhill. Of course don't expect ready-made solutions, the final decisions always belong to you.

Data Hub analysis can help you identify gaps and weaknesses in your team so you can fix them through tactics or... the transfer market.

With all the preparation completed and just before the first match, my anticipation was high due to the promise of a completely new animation system. If you've been reading the annual reviews I've been writing over the last few years then you probably remember that my perennial complaint has been focused precisely on the issues of animation, ball physics and generally realistic player movement on the field. So when the first match started and I saw the first few seconds of football action, I'll make no secret of the fact that I was disappointed. The improvement in animation is visible, but my first impression was that the degree of improvement was not what I expected based on the developers' focus on the new system.

The promise of improved animation has come true, but the change is not impressive at first glance.

By playing consecutive games, both the points that have improved and those that still need work became more obvious. The players' contact with the ball, the way they change direction and dribble, aerial duels and defensive interventions are all areas where the new animation system achieves noticeable improvement over last year's version. On the other hand, the acceleration of the players, the gravity of the ball in some cases and especially the reactions of the goalkeepers have inherited a lot of the issues of previous years. I believe this is the reason why the upgraded animation system ultimately fails to fully reform the match engine: the remnants of the past spoil the generally improved image and do not allow the player to be fully absorbed in the match, reminding him that he is watching a simulation and not real football.

Many player animations have been improved, but goalkeepers still have abnormal reactions and reflexes as they often dive in the direction the ball will go before the player even makes contact with it.

As for the artificial intelligence of the match engine and the way players react to your instructions, in general the high level of last year's version has been maintained and the obvious problems are few in the launch version with which the review was done. The most common issue I noticed has to do with the behaviour of wingers and especially inside forwards: wingers sometimes opt for a pass further back rather than some obvious action towards the area, while inside forwards generally tend to play more as wingers rather than cut inside to pass or shoot with their good foot. Otherwise, you can play the football you want and see it implemented with a fair amount of fidelity on the pitch.

The player AI of the match engine continues from the good level of last year's version.

I don't have much more to add about Football Manager 2022 because the lack of major new features and the gradual but not rapid improvement of certain elements of the game helps to come to a clear conclusion relatively easily. This year's version represents noticeable but not decisive progress and its purchase will neither disappoint nor excite. If the animation system upgrade was truly universal then the score would be significantly higher, but even so the existing improvements add up to help increase the realism of the match engine. There's certainly no debate about whether Football Manager 2022 is worth the money, that's self-evident for a game that offers thousands of hours of gameplay, but you won't be missing out majorly if you continue with FM 2021.

Thanks to Zegetron for providing the review code.

RATING - 80%


Football Manager 2022 is another step forward but the small number of improvements doesn't make it a completely essential purchase.

Αλέξανδρος Γκέκας

A dedicated PC gamer, Alexandros plays everything depending on the mood of the moment, but shows a preference for turn-based strategy, RPGs and considers UFO: Enemy Unknown as the best game of all time. Otherwise, he tries to hide his turtle-like reflexes by avoiding competitive multiplayer because, as he says, "it doesn't suit him" and is looking for ways to get the "Church of Gaben" recognized as an official religion in his country.


  1. Μία ελπίδα είχαμε να δούμε άσπρη μέρα με τον Παναθηναϊκό και ο Ναύαρχος επέλεξε να προπονήσει την ΑΕΚ.

  2. [QUOTE=”Sephir, post: 585283, member: 102595″]
    Μία ελπίδα είχαμε να δούμε άσπρη μέρα με τον Παναθηναϊκό και ο Ναύαρχος επέλεξε να προπονήσει την ΑΕΚ.

    Θα σε καλύψω, ο Παναθηναϊκός πηγαίνει τρένο στο save μου:

    [ATTACH type=”full”]2696[/ATTACH]

  3. Notice: Function WP_Object_Cache::add was called incorrectly. Cache key must not be an empty string. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 6.1.0.) in /home/admin/web/ on line 6031
    class="comment byuser comment-author-104373 even thread-even depth-1 has-avatar">

    ο παλασιος 8 γκολ στην 17η αγωνιστικη? [ATTACH type=”full”]2697[/ATTACH]

    και κατι ισως μικρο, αλλά ενοχλητικο για μενα. αυτη η γελοιοτητα με τα σηματα των ομαδων, πότε θα σταματησει?
    εννοω εχουν τα δικαιωματα του ελληνικου πρωταθληματος, και βλεπω το ονομα ΑΕΚ. ηταν τοσο δυσκολο να υπαρχουν και τα σηματα των ομαδων? ιμχο, βοηθαει πολυ στο ιμέρσο.
    οκ, ξερω, γι αυτο εχουμε τους μοντερς. σε 3 μερες, θα ειναι ολα διαθεσιμα. ε και? τοση τεμπελια στην s.i. ?? το σημα δεν ειναι κατι που αλλαζει καθε χρονο, θα ειχαν ετοιμα τα ασετς για ολες τις εκδοσεις. μου κανει εντυπωση, γι αυτο το αναφερω.

  4. Ποιος φούρνος γκρεμίστηκε; Τουλάχιστον τελείωσε το γήπεδο της ΑΕΚ; 😛

    Χωρίς να το έχω πιάσει αλλά με όσα έχω δει και διαβάσει δεν πείστηκα να ότι δώσω τόσα λεφτά για φέτος. Ευτυχώς που υπάρχει και στο game pass για την καυλαντα και μετά πίσω στο fm20.

    Με τέτοια βαθμολογία και απωθείς τον κόσμο από το να σταξει. Αυτό θα πει marketing!

  5. Καλημερα. Συμφωνω με το review. Τιποτα το ιδιαιτερο φετος . Ουτε για 20 ευρω κατα την ταπεινη αποψη μου. Ισως φταιει και το μονοευρω του pass.

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