In addition to enhanced gameplay, FM 2014 also delivers a range of technical innovations, with the game available on Linux for the first time and the introduction of ‘cloud save’ technology, which means that managers can now pursue a single career from any computer, anywhere in the world.
The FM experience is also more customizable than ever before, as the integration of Steam Workshop tools make it easy for managers to create and share customized FM content and experiences such as photo/logo packs, new and custom competitions and even tailor-made in-game challenges using the new Challenge Editor which has been incorporated into the free-to-download Pre-game Editor.
From right now, anyone who pre-ordered Football Manager 2014 from a participating retailer can download the early access Beta version of the game through Steam.
Although this Beta version is not finished - and certain aspects are likely to change or be updated in time for the full release on October 31st - it is fully-playable and features the main career mode and Football Manager Classic. What's more, careers started in the Beta version can be continued once the finished game is installed.
The early access Beta version of Football Manager 2014 will be playable until the Monday after release (November 4th).
- Improved Match Engine: The 3D Match Engine has seen extensive improvements, including enhanced AI, improved lighting and player animation, individual player character and kit models, more realistic player reaction to on-field incidents and a range of optimizations which combine to make this the best looking and fastest FM Match Engine yet.
- Tactical overhaul: There has been a complete redesign of how tactics are created, selected and implemented with player roles and team strategies becoming even more prominent, definable roles for players for multiple positions, new player roles and instructions and improvements to rival managers' AI so that they’ll adapt their tactics more readily over time.
- More realistic transfers and contracts: FM 2014 features a revamped transfer module where opposing clubs and managers adopt a more realistic approach when making or responding to transfer offers. In addition, a number of new ‘real world’ transfer clauses have been added, such as the facility to loan a player back to the club he’s just been bought from and the option to offer a combination of cash and loan players, as well as new contract clauses such as a sub bench appearance fee. On top of this, the old ‘turn-based’ system of transfer negotiations can now be done two ways, the tried and tested system and a new ‘live’ system, similar to that used in FM’s contract negotiations.
- More sophisticated board interaction: Contract negotiations are more realistic in FM 2014, as managers and boards can now make demands and lay down their respective visions for the club in both initial job interviews and contract renewal discussions. Managers can also attempt to renegotiate transfer and wage budgets as a reward for staying loyal if they’ve been offered a job by another club, with the outcome helping aid their decision on whether to move or not.
- Improved interaction with players, staff and media: There is now better interaction between players, managers, their rivals and the media; for example, members of the coaching staff now offer feedback on how reserve and youth team players are performing. Managers can also ask key players to have a word with unhappy squad members, while the introduction of an end-of-season meeting allows the manager to let the squad know how they have performed and set targets for the coming season.
- News system: The news system has been overhauled so managers can now deal with many club matters directly from their inbox. In addition, news is now color-coded, based on category, and contains more detail – for example, scout reports now appear as a single news item with a top-line report on all players scouted and the facility to shortlist or make an offer for each of these players.
- Enhanced user interface: Major changes have been made to FM 2014’s user interface. Key areas have been redesigned – including the training overview page, the transfer centre and the news homepage – while widespread changes have been made across the game’s user interface. The language employed throughout the game has also enjoyed a major overhaul and now corresponds more closely to the language of real world football.
- Football Manager Classic evolved: Managers can now choose more than three playable nations in Classic mode for a more immersive experience. In addition, FM’s ‘fast play’ mode now includes Transfer Deadline Day, a Match Plan wizard and new unlockables.
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