The month of November promises many things: the fate of the world will be decided when Donald Trump’s bid to become US president reaches its climax, and the remnants of your social life will die a slow death after you buy the latest edition of Football Manager.
No doubt ardent fans of the series already have the launch date (it’s the 4th, in case you were wondering) marked on their calendar, along with a detailed plan of action for taking Torquay from non-league to the Nou Camp in under five seasons. But there’s probably a few of you who are thinking about giving it a miss this time.
Whether you do will probably rest on a couple of factors: how much you value your relationship, and if you can be persuaded that this year’s incarnation is a genuine upgrade on previous editions. To help you make up your mind, here are five new things on Football Manager 2017:
Sports Interactive are always looking for ways to make the Football Manager experience more authentic, and nothing says authentic like being showered with abuse by your own supporters on Twitter. With the new social media tab, you can keep your finger on the pulse of the fans' opinions, and find out who your left-back is shagging.
Football Manager still has a way to go before it can compete with FIFA on the graphics front, but developers have made some subtle improvements to the way players move. In practice, this means matches will look and feel a lot more realistic; in other words, no more awkward changes in direction, or crazy overhead kicks when a simple tap-in will suffice.
New Camera Angles
Remember when Steve McClaren used to watch his teams from the stand, or when Andre Villas-Boas would crouch down in the technical area? You may have laughed, but these coaching mavericks weren't content with watching the action unfold from the bench, and neither should you be. FM 2017's new camera angles help you ensure your team stays in shape.
We've all been there: you've taken your team to the Champions League final, and after a tense 90 minutes you finally work a goal-scoring opportunity. Then for some inexplicable reason, your star player attempts to beat the opposing goalkeeper from a near impossible angle, instead of squaring it to an unmarked teammate in the middle. Well, this should now be a thing of the past, with players (including opponents) more adept at split-second decision-making.
Your Own Face
Some of us use Football Manager as a means to escape the aching monotony of our day-to-day lives (ahem). Good news: thanks to FM 2017's face-mapping technology - which makes a realistic cartoon avatar out of your photograph - you'll have a constant reminder that, regardless of how many times you lift the World Cup, you're still a humble office worker named Jeff.