While the football management genre has hit a peak of depth and realism, there's no doubt that it remains a little daunting for beginners. FIFA Manager 08 aims to fill the gap between the hardcore management simulations and such games as FIFA Soccer 08 with an approachable football management game that has many different features to distinguish it. Most notably, the 3D match engine is more visually engaging than similar features in other management games, plus the official license affords a mountain of team logos and player photos to break up the stats. This year, the game is a deeper experience than ever with revamps of the training, player interaction, and scouting elements. The game struggles to present all the information coherently if you play at the hardest difficulty, but otherwise, it's a decent, glossy alternative to other games in the genre.
FIFA Manager 08 makes an excellent first impression. British gamers, in particular, will feel a warm glow when the theme song from the Grandstand TV show kicks off the welcome screen, and high production values are evident throughout the game. As with any management title, you start by choosing the domestic or international club for which you want to work. If you choose to raise a team from the ranks of the lower divisions, you'll have fewer resources and lower expectations, but if you pick a world-class club, you'll have some very serious board expectations. However, FIFA Manager 08 helps you juggle the demands of whatever club you choose by allowing you to palm off certain aspects of the running to your assistants. If your interest is in finding and cultivating talent rather than wading through spreadsheets of numbers, then your finance team is there to take care of it. Alongside this, FIFA Manager 08 places an emphasis on creating your manager rather than being the manager. You're asked how you want to look, how big you want your family to be, and what sort of hobbies you want to pursue. Learning a foreign language will help you secure a job in another country, while playing golf may enamour you to the board members of another team.
FIFA Manager 08