The first thing you do is pick a team. After that, anything could happen. It’s one of the beautiful things about the Football Manager series–every game is different, every player plays differently, and every team provides a different challenge. By focusing on stats and raw data, Sports Interactive has distilled the beautiful game down to a form that has created a 20-year line of addicts. Addicts who want more detail, more leagues, and more chances to turn an underperforming minnow into a blossoming goliath of the game.
The new Classic mode features menus that are simpler and easier to digest.
It’s odd, then, that–in a gesture of what is likely supreme self-awareness–Football Manager 2013’s biggest new feature is Classic mode. Designed to streamline the playing experience for veterans and provide an extra helping hand to newcomers, Classic mode is seemingly an admission from the developers that the core game of Football Manager is perhaps becoming too big, too complex, and too time-consuming for anyone with a job, partner, and/or need for sleep (or, at the very least, aspirations to experience such things).
Without exaggeration, it’s possible to complete a season of Classic mode in a day or less. This is largely thanks to reduced levels of media interaction, the complete removal of team talks, and the option to auto-resolve matches, taking you straight to the end of each game and displaying the final result in a matter of seconds. This may sound like Football Manager for Dummies, but to think of it in such a way is to do the mode a great disservice. Yes, you can fully simulate matches in seconds and completely remove yourself from player training schedules, but success and failure still ultimately rest on the work you put in over the days leading up to each match, and whether your team actually wants to play for you. Classic mode or not, good and bad managers still exist.