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Home : Articles : FM 2012 (Columns) : FM 2012 Review Part 1

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FM 2012 Review Part 1
Introduction
By now, you have probably wondered why The Dugout hasnít released a preview of this yearís release of Football Manager. Quite frankly, you are absolutely right to wonder why there hasnít been a preview, but allow us to elaborate.

The underlying reason is simple, the restrictions we received as an affiliate of the SIAS (SI Games Affiliate Scheme) directly influence our freedom of talking about the game and its new features. We even signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for testing the game, which means we signed a legally binding document.

Since TheDugout doesnít break a promise, we never took any action on writing an article that would either restrict us or even accidentally tell you something we were not allowed and supposed to reveal.

But without further ado, we hereby present you with The Dugoutís review of the new incarnation of Football Manager, FM 2012.

In this review, we intend to walk you through most of the aspects of the game and give you our opinion on them. We understand that our opinion isnít necessarily the same as yours, we like to think our opinion is based on many years of experience in playing the FM-series, as well as a logical approach, so it should appeal to most gamers.

Starting the game
When starting the game, the first thing we noticed is a change in the menu structure decorating the startup screen, or should we say defacing the starting screen. Where have the lovely icons gone? Yeah, we realise itís all about functionality, the current menu is rather Spartan and not very easy on the eyes. Itís a minor detail though, so letís move along.

The Transfer Centre
One of the areas that got a big overhaul is the transfer system. No more pop-ups, FM12 offers all the relevant information in a single screen. The transfer centre shows the remaining transfer and wage budgets, all the deals you have completed so far as well all on-going negotiations. There is even a tab that allows you to view the clauses agreed on in transfers, for instance sell on clauses or monthly installments.

The Player Search filtering system has also been adapted. In the old system, you had to confirm changes made to the filter and the list reloaded. In the new system, any change you make instantly updates the list. For example, adding the position of defensive midfielder will instantly bring up everyone who your assistant manager hasnít filtered out yet that can play in that position. From that point onward, you can add filters as you like and the list will automatically adapt to the new conditions you have entered. Some people might not consider this a huge leap forward, but it sure makes things easier. Compare it to the situation from FM11 and previous versions, where you constantly had to open the filter pop-up and adjust what you want before coming to the conclusion you had to go back again as there were no suitable players available with those specific attributes, making it the scouting process a boring and arduous task at times.

Once you have selected a suitable target for your club, the overall wheeling and dealing in the transfer screen hasnít changed much. With there on following contract negotiations now offering the ability to set a loyalty bonus and actually lock certain parts of the contract you're offering.

One of the biggest changes comes in the form of the aforementioned Transfer Centre overview screen, in which you can have a proper overview of all the offers that you either placed or others have on your players, grouped by player. The transfer centre overview also gives you the opportunity to deny offers or cancel outstanding bids with one click. In the end there is also the opportunity to negotiate all offers or to withdraw all bids you made. This means no more clicking on an offer and saying ďreject allĒ but looking at the list and picking out the relevant offers before rejecting the rest with a single click of the mouse. In terms of being user-friendly, SI have also added a link to the boardroom to adjust your budget, when you notice youíre a few quid shy of the wage you want to offer. Itís not a groundbreaking change, but it helps to navigate the various options much faster.

So in the end the improved search and transfer system can if used properly become a vital part of your day to day screens to visit. Itís not revolutionary, but it sure does help the functionality of the game and overall process of handling transfers and searching for potential signings. The small addition in the contract negotiations tips it over the edge securing the full amount of points.

5/5

In our next part we will be discussing the Tactical Overview and Staff/Squad (incl training) related screens.

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Author: Mark
Added: 20-10-2011
Views: 14452
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