Soccer Manager 2022, review of the pocket manager for mobile platforms



The review of Soccer Manager 2022, a manager that allows you to be a coach with your cell phone, although in a reduced form and with some limitations

Despite being normally associated with the PC world, the manager genre could ideally adapt very well to the mobile fruition and this review of Soccer Manager 2022 shows how, at least by someone, are emerging concrete results in the exploitation of the formula in this area. Available on iOS and Android, the game is part of a series that is now well established on smartphones and tablets, but also on PC and Mac, since the origin starts from the desktop version, as an indie and free-to-play answer to the overwhelming power of Football Manager. There’s now a well-established base under the increasingly complex and refined mechanics of the latest chapters, with the structure now going forward mainly for increases in content rather than substance.

To be honest, you won’t notice huge changes in Soccer Manager 2022 compared to the previous edition, which you can learn more about by reading our Soccer Manager 2021 review.

However, in a game like this, even the simple advancement between seasons with subsequent updates of roses, names and regulations, all under FIFPRO license obviously makes a difference and the fact that it is still proposed as free-to-play leads to a virtually automatic transition of users from one chapter to the next, provided that you have not reached total saturation.

We know very well how the soccer manager, especially in a land of soccer fans, has an irresistible attraction, which is why it is easy to pass over the lack of novelty and the harmful consequences of the freemium model to launch over this edition.

Gameplay: a club in your pocket

Soccer Manager 2022, a screenshot showing one of the main menus

The amount of options and facets that Soccer Manager 2022 is able to bring to the small screens of smartphones is impressive, showcasing a gameplay that is equivalent to that of other major and emblazoned productions, albeit with some changes made to meet the free-to-play monetization style. It is always about training and managing a soccer team, both from the point of view of the field and the control of finances and the general health of the club, trying to get better and better sports results.

The game concentrates in the user’s hands a huge amount of statistics to keep under control and options with which to interact, always managing to remain quite clear thanks to an interface that, already designed to work best on portable displays, is in this edition even more optimized and clear.

Soccer Manager 2022, in the image we see that modules and tactics are essentially unchanged from the previous chapter

From this point of view, we must praise the streamlining carried out in terms of reading and navigation, although there has been no lightening in the options, which are indeed increased: unlike the previous chapter, in this case there is no more vertical scrolling but everything is visible in a single screen, with the ability to quickly switch from one to another with side swipes.

Through these menus, which are the heart of the game, we have to control the destiny of the team by dealing with the soccer market and negotiations with players, training structured on different characteristics, working out the form and tactics of the game and of course directing the team during the actual game.

Changes: between game systems and technique

In Soccer Manager 2022 the graphics of the matches aren't exactly the best, but the game isn't based on this

In addition to the improvements applied to the interface, which are immediately evident, there has been a certain evolution in the graphics related to the games, with more varied and detailed stadiums and better animations for the players, although obviously this remains a part of minor importance and is still somewhat underwhelming compared to soccer games more set on the action. The most notable technical evolution is then probably found in the management of artificial intelligence, which now offers both more difficult opponents (even too much in several cases, with suspicious influences on the issue of micro-transactions) and more reactive players. By this we don’t mean only on the field, but also in the management phases: the team dynamic, the chemistry between players and also the reactions they can have according to their performance have been better elaborated. Requests for contract adjustments or “stomachaches” due to incompatibility with the team emerge in a more convincing manner and force further managerial aspects to be taken into account.

The progression of the trainer itself is also a notable novelty of this chapter, allowing you to apply experience points to increase the statistics of our alter ego, as in a sort of role-playing game.

In Soccer Manager 2022 you can expand and enrich buildings and sports facilities, with the usual expectations

At the beginning we can choose between three standard types of managers: the coach who is more focused on physical work, the tactics specialist and finally the financial genius, but starting from these basic archetypes it is possible to evolve the character by applying points to increase statistics and improve them in various aspects, customizing our coach. Finally, other changes include the introduction of extra-league tournaments, which can be used to test modules and formations as well as to earn some extra money, and some changes to the player transfer system, which to tell the truth is still rather confusing and unclear, with the introduction of additional agreements and pre-contracts.

The consequences of free-to-play

Soccer Manager 2022 lets you manage your trainings in a detailed way

It is not easy to assess, in a few days of testing, the actual impact of microtransactions on the balance of Soccer Manager 2022, which all in all seems pretty fair. Even in this chapter we have to deal with forced waits regarding the time of construction and improvement of structures, which also makes sense, while rather intrusive is the presence of advertising, which are still eliminable by making at least the basic purchase of 5.99 euros. The latter can be considered an acceptable agreement to enjoy the game in a quieter way and paying a low price: the problem is that the system of monetization is still inherent in the mechanisms of the game and sooner or later emerges, especially with regard to the management of bonuses and boosts, as well as additional save slots, which then go to affect the general balance in part pushing towards in-app purchases.

Comment

Soccer Manager 2022 continues precisely in the path traced by its predecessors, making some functional evolutions but without changing practically anything, while maintaining the flaws and risks inherent in its free-to-play structure. It’s still one of the deepest managerial games you can find on mobile, giving back to all effects a really complete experience of the genre in portable version, in this chapter with further improvements made to the usability thanks to the new interface and an interesting increase of the artificial intelligence. Some doubts about the balance and the potential pay-to-win drift remain, given the randomness of certain performances, but in general there is a certain general fairness in the progression.

PRO

  • Deep and multifaceted as a complete PC manager
  • Improvements to the interface and artificial intelligence compared to the previous chapter
  • The sense of progression is more pronounced
  • The free-to-play model involves some long-term imbalances that push for microtransactions
  • Some passages a bit brain-dead, such as regarding transfers and the like
  • The interface is much more navigable but some elements remain a bit microscopic
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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