Manager's mid-table mediocrity

PUBLISHED: 12:12 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010

Championship Manager 2008

Championship Manager 2008

Championship Manager 2008 Format: PC Price: £24.95 THE past master of the football management genre returns for 2008, but sadly this is a pale imitation of what was once great. For those unfamiliar with Football Management games, there is a very simple hi

Championship Manager 2008

Format: PC

Price: £24.95

THE past master of the football management genre returns for 2008, but sadly this is a pale imitation of what was once great. For those unfamiliar with Football Management games, there is a very simple history that must be understood. From 1995 to 2004, Championship Manager was the only series worthwhile investing in and then its creators left and began a new series called Football Manager. Now Football Manager is the top-selling simulator and Championship Manager is in the hands of Eidos. It should be said that compared to Championship Manager 2007 this isn't a half bad effort and does have a few promising features that are missing from Football Manager. That said Championship Manager 2007 was fairly dire and it would have come as a complete shock if the developers hadn't learnt anything from this experience.

The match mode is the same familiar format with players displayed by statistics and personal interests and all management dealings occurring though the interactive team menu. The big change to the game comes in the form of the vast improvement of the 3D match engine. While Football Manager is still utilising 2D pitches, Championship Manager has provided a match mode where you can watch your team perform in a semi-realistic manner. Players sometimes fall in unconvincing ways and will occasionally move in directions that will make you wince but overall it's a good improvement.

The main drawback of this Championship Manager which prevents it from being recommended is that it seems unsure whether it is aimed at hardcore football fans or slightly curious gamers. For example there are plenty of player statistics, enough to alienate the curious gamer, but not anywhere near enough to hook the avid football fan who thinks he can do a better job of managing England than Fabio Capello.

A good improvement on last year's effort but still a long way from being a genre master.

MAT BURTON

ä Graphics: 3.5/5

ä Longevity: 3/5

ä Playability: 3/5

ä Originality: 3.5/5

ä Enjoyment: 3/5

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