It’s a good thing I went from NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 to Worldwide Soccer Manager 2006. EHM was already an epic leap in complexity, depth and sheer red-eye factor over the simulation modes in other games like EA’s or 2K Games’. Better known as Football Manager 2006, the latest in the award-winning FM series from Sports Interactive, it is a definite step forward even over EHM.
For example, in Eastside Hockey Manager, your players would get upset over losing streaks, unhappy over their contracts, be elated if they’re winning, respect you, or dislike you. Not only is all of this true in Worldwide Soccer Manager, you can also give players feedback that goes beyond mere official warnings and pay suspensions. WSM permits the player-as-manager to give his players team talks at halftime and at the end of the game. You can also choose to release stories to the media, praising a player, ripping on his performance or even criticizing his own remarks to the media.
More than that, the media system reports on games, there are TV broadcasts of some (or all, depending on the team) games which leads to additional revenue, and the media can spread rumor and comments from coaches and players on other team. Currently, I, as manager of WKS Slask Wroclaw, a 2nd-league Polish team, am enjoying some friendly relations with a top rival in the league while ripping on a fellow newcomer who is leading his team down to demotion out of the league.
The sheer number of soccer (or rather, football) leagues in the world, especially Europe, is astounding. Poland has two leagues represented in the game, a typical number for a smaller but potent soccer nation. Meanwhile, the English have no less than six
- count ‘em – Premier, Championship, League One, League Two, Conference National, Conference North/South – six leagues. Please do be careful to make the distinction between “English” and “British”, because in addition to those six leagues, Scotland fields four, Northern Island another three and Wales is represented by their own Premier league. That makes for fourteen leagues in Great Britain alone. Each of them complete with full team rosters, including career stats for many players, prospects, first- and reserve- teams … it’s bloody overwhelming.
Britain obviously gets the most detail from the British developers, but it would be unwise to write the rest of the world off. France and Italy have four apiece, for example. Most other nations have two or three, so it’s a bit disappointing to see that the United States has only Major League Soccer present, but then again, I can’t exactly name another American soccer league so perhaps that’s fair.