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Eidos Championship Manager 2010 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £18
inc VAT

More accessible than Football Manager but still lags behind it for match realism.

For years the Football Manager series has dominated the sports management genre with its classy mix of on-pitch realism and detailed tactical features.

The Championship Manager franchise has often been considered a poor man’s Football Manager, but this year, that’s all changed thanks to CM2010’s array of fresh new ideas that have revitalised the series and made it a genuine alternative to its flashier rival.

The most striking addition to CM2010’s arsenal is its new 3D match engine. Players move with fluid, lifelike movements, while varied stadium sizes and a raft of excellent, expandable tactical and statistical tabs ensure that the match-day experience is both visually impressive and strategically flexible. The on-pitch action does lack the consistent realism of Football Manager 2009, with the flow of play sometimes looking a little robotic, but there are still plenty of satisfying passages of play to enjoy.

A few strange incidents aside – such as players clearing the ball into touch for no reason or occasionally bouncing off each other like dodgems – the action is slick and exciting (especially in highlights mode) with defensive midfielders harassing players, star strikers unleashing blistering shots and players jostling during set pieces.

Goalkeepers now rush off their lines in one-on-one situations and leap through crowds of players to claim crosses, though rather bizarrely they also appear to parry shots several inches in front of their limbs.

Championship Manager 2010 is bursting with new features and innovations. An excellent set-piece creator allows you to construct free-kick routines and watch them in real time, while the ability to monitor training sessions enables you to view your squad performing drills and mastering your tactics during practice matches.

Scouting has also been revamped. Finding star players no longer involves simply trawling through a comprehensive player database, as you must now scout players several times before working out their abilities. The more times you scout someone, the more accurately you can gauge their stats. You can also set up global scouting networks to track down new talent.

Dabbling in the transfer market requires more in-depth negotiations and haggling than in previous Championship Manager games, but it’s forgiving enough to allow you to bolster your squad with a few key additions. Sadly there are virtually no press, fan, player or board-interaction features, and navigation is still a problem.

Championship Manager 2010 is an excellent choice for those looking for a more forgiving and accessible management experience, while its exciting new features ensures that it’s wannabe footie coach-friendly.


Price £18
Rating ****