Football Manager 2006 will be more verbose and realistic than ever when it's released for PCs and Macs this November 4th, according to the chaps at developer Sports Interactive. Of course, we thought, they would say that, but then we read the rest of their press release and their claims were given much support. Unlike insert-your-most-hated-club-here.
Budding Rafa Benitez's and budding versions of other, lesser managers can now adjust tactics mid-game, bellowing instructions from the touch-line and so forth, while they can also grill their team or pat them on the back at the end of a match; SI had already chucked in half-time team-talks, and now there's a full-time option too.
It should also be easier to see what's going on while the game's in motion, after SI sat down with regular advisor and former Liverpool player Ray Houghton to work on making the match engine more realistic. The commentary has also seen a revamp, with lots more text-based observations presented to bolster the atmosphere and levels of detail in match-description.
Away from the dug-out, players will receive "more pertinent information" regarding player form and in-depth match statistics. Physios will also come to you with feedback on injuries and treatment options, rather than just lying on their little padded beds with their legs crossed and fingers poised to grasp the nearest sponge.
There's also been a degree of refinement to the game's interface; in particular a configurable ticker bar which alerts you to news from around the globe or wherever you please, rather than just telling you about scores in other games. Finally, we're promised a "media overhaul" [if only - weary Ed with a cataract]. Lots more information will be given in a new "player bio" system, following club landmark-year news, better feedback on your stumbling first steps as a manager, a bigger reaction to success, and more player-info in media items.
Oh, and for any of you wondering about the changes we'll see in the January transfer window, SI tells us that, as per usual, there'll be a free data update released around that time - and the game will then be remastered in certain territories to include the updated code.
And if all that sounds good, you'll be pleased to hear whatever we hear when SI announces the final set of FM 2006 PC/Mac features in the near future. In the meantime, new screenshots are online too. Oh, and we expect some more news from SI later this week, so stay tuned…