As the new season gets fully underway, the world’s most in-depth manager simulation makes its return with new features, buttons and mechanics added to keep us in the dugout for another 12 months.

Changes are quickly apparent with the Beta’s new start menu. Text looks smoother, the shortcuts are more responsive and the much-improved manager avatar now dominates the screen. Inside the game this trend continues.

The new ‘social feed’ launches FM17 into the modern era, with fans and journalists ‘tweeting’ about the latest footballing affairs. Through this you can see reactions to the decisions you make, ensuring FM17 is far more immersive than its predecessors. This feature also has consequences: follow a player’s twitter feed and you might unsettle him, he may even request a transfer. Additionally, backroom staff advice is now easier to implement.

The game no longer drags you through menus, but advice is read and applied from inside your inbox with a press of a button. The scouting interface is similarly effective, with scouts now offering their thoughts on their next destination and giving more analytical reports. On the pitch, the match engine has been revamped with over 1,500 new animations.

The latest rule changes have been added, and improved data maps present information about your team’s shortfalls in a much friendlier way than before. There is even a nice touch in the use of vanishing spray. Transfer dealings are also more refined with pre-contract promises. These differ from promises to strengthen the squad or just allowing the player to be the free kick taker, offering a happier medium to the solitary ‘make captain’ promise of FM16.

The option to have a clause that stops a transfer going through until you sell a player is also welcomed, allowing you to agree a transfer whilst attempting to move on another player. Loans haven’t been neglected either, as wage fees can now change whether or not the player is involved on match day.

Football Manager 2017’s new features the game whilst keeping things familiar. Features such as the social feed and updated transfer negotiations bring the game into the modern day, succeeding in keeping you up into the early hours of the morning. It seems the infamous ‘just one more game’ effect is now stronger than ever before.

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