Asking whether the latest Championship Manager game is any good is much like enquiring whether Manchester United might have a chance at the Premiership title this year. Conclusions just don’t get any more foregone than this… although I suppose we had better take a closer look under the bonnet just in case.
Season 00/01 (hereafter known as CM00/01) is built upon the Championship Manager 3 engine. It has the same appearance and interface, although many tweaks have been made to the formula to make it an even more in-depth managerial experience.
Most obviously, all the team rosters and player status screens have been updated to reflect the happenings of the last year. A new play mode has also been added whereby you can have completely randomised player names and stats for the ultimate challenge. This means that you have to work out who the true big name strikers are yourself (CM00/01 has many important hidden stats alongside the visible attributes).
The backroom staff also have a more important role to play in CM00/01. They offer more advice on how you should be playing and who you should be buying. Similarly, the interaction with the press has also been bolstered; you have to deal with more sticky situations, like defending Gazza after he’s been snapped on a mad lager-curry-nightclub fiasco.
There’s also more emphasis on attitudes within the team, with players who don’t get on with each other mucking up your cleverly laid strategies, and suchlike. Basically, the realism of the game has been taken to even greater heights, and it’s pretty dizzying stuff.
Additional statistics have also been tagged on so that you can, for example, track a player’s completion percentage of passes throughout their entire career, to see just how good a mid-field playmaker they really are. You can even complain to the FA about the referee after a match if you think the man in black was carrying a little too much bias for his own good. The depth is so incredible here that about the only thing you don’t have to do is make sure the kits are washed for next week’s big league encounter.