The last "grown up" version of Championship Manager published to date and unfortunately it seems unlikely there will be any more to come. This version introduced few new elements and at the same time lost on some fronts.
Championship Manager 2010 was the last "grown up" version of the series in sense that later versions were offered on mobile devices only and to be honest were just far cry from the original titles. This game itself was a improvement comparing to previous ones (with 3D match engine being one of the most noticeable new features), although not all of the new elements actually worked as planned (at least I hope they didn’t).
List of available competitions was extended in that version of the game, not only less popular choice countries were introduced (like Croatia or Northern Ireland), but also in "bigger" leagues additional divisions were added (f.e. amateur conference in England, 3.Bundesliga in Germany).
At the beginning you select which countries or divisions will be fully simulated (due to hardware limitations) and which will be just in the background without full simulation. Those in the background clubs are usually not fully staffed (like only the key players are fully generated or rest of them are randomly generated) and they do not take part in the transfer market, you can’t take over control of them. So... they are just there in case they will be used in international or friendly games.
All major competitions are available, those domestic and international, also it is possible to run a national team.
The list of player parameters was extended to cover even tiny details of the skills, f.e. anticipation, consistency, penalty taking, throw-ins. In general they are split into 5 parts: technical, intelligence, physical, temperament and set-pieces with each parameter value between 10 and 100, where 100 is the best value.
In some way it extended the details you can learn about your player, but at the same time made it a bit more complicated to get the general idea who you are dealing with on first glance. To make things worse players with skills value below 70 are not worth mentioning and at the same time there are some correlations between the parameters so you will stumble upon similar patterns, f.e. players usually have similar value of marking and tackling, pace and acceleration, first touch and passing, etc.
All parameters of players that are not part of your own team are hidden from the beginning, you need to send scout to watch them or invite them on trial contract to learn the details of their skills. The more you know about the player the more precise their data will be.
Each club have first team, reserve team and youth team so you can start developing your future stars at the age of 15-16, also you can use them to store the players that are not good enough for the first team or too young to face the top level opponents. Apart from typical set of options (contract extensions, setting transfer status) you can also assign the training schedule he will be using during the training sessions, but that is about it when it comes to player management.
Instead of preparing very detailed plan of training sessions Championship Manager 2010 uses training schedules, which have more general settings. For example you choose the balance between fitness, tactical, passing, defence, midfield, attack and each point you add to any of the parameters will put more strain on your player. On one hand he could improve his skills faster, but at the same time he will struggle to keep his fitness level for matches.
Another nice addition is the drill training, in which you can set up a routine your players will use during the matches, f.e. how to play free kick or corner kick, which player will move to where or will pass to whom.
Transfer options included direct transfers, loans, trial offers and free agent players. There is a transfer list full of players, you can place offers directly on players from other teams that are not on transfer list (but often they won’t be interested in making the move).
The free agent players combined with trial offers were smart move and created a new dimension to the game, but in a way they actually broke the game concept. In theory it is great - there are loads of free agents available, you don’t know anything about them, so you can invite some of them to spend a week or two with your team to take a look at them. Once the player on trial arrives to your club you get to know all of his parameters, which pretty much makes scouts redundant. If you like you can offer them a contract straight away, which is a good way to fill your team even when the transfer window is closed (they are free agents, so transfer window do not apply to them).
And here is the problem - you can actually get some really good players on free transfers, sometimes even much better than you would find on the transfer list, so there are seasons in which you won’t even spend a single penny on buying players from other clubs. Where is the problem? Imagine selling players in such environment, where any club can get any player through free agents list, and there are loads of them available all the time. Not to mention that after each season more and more contracts of valuable players are running out, so with each season the transfer market is more and more dead.
The tactics side of the game is extended version of previous ones, where you can place player in the formation and draw the line he should run or pass the ball (f.e. how far wingback should run down the line or who should he try to pass the ball).
For the first time Championship Manager included a fully 3D engine to present the match that included a lot of data, but unfortunately, while it looked good at the same time the engine had some issues. One of them were early goals. How many times in real life have you seen a goal scored in first minute of the match? They happen, but in Championship Manager 2010 they happen quite often (like several times per season).
Another huge problem in Championship Manager 2010 match engine was with the injuries. Yes, they should happen, it is part of the game, but in Champ Man 2010 it happened all the time. I mean your team would get on average around 2-3 more or less serious injuries every single match. Most of the times players would recover before next game, so you can call it "taking a knock", but still majority of the substitutions during the match are forced due to poor fitness and not your tactical decisions. I have experienced matches, in which teams were finishing with only 8 players in their squad because of the injuries.
Apart from those two biggest problems there were also few minor ones, but still quite annoying, one of them being shots from very long distance that somehow got to find the way into the goal even though goalkeeper should be able to spot them miles away. Sometimes the players moves in incoherent ways, like defenders slow down while chasing attacker that is about to take a shot or winger gaining magical speed.
In general the 3D engine was a nice touch, but due the issues mentioned above the game engine was unrealistic and quite frustrating.
Team management options were very limited, apart from listed above transfers, contracts of staff and players you had very little to do.
No stadium options were available, board of directors independently makes any decisions about increment of the stadium capacity or improvement of the stadium infrastructure.
You can hire assistant manager, several coaches, scouts and physios (the limits are the budget and the patience of board of directors). Assistant manager can take some of your workload by taking care of the team selection, training choices, selection of the reserve and youth team lineups, hiring and firing staff and deal with transfers. To put it in another words he can run the club on his own without your interference.
The coaches put their knowledge and experience to improve the training efficiency, in some ways they also can influence player performance during the match (through the motivation or tactical skill).
Scouts are useful to search for promising players or observe those you are interested in. Each of the scouts can have assigned up to 3 players to observe in their queue. The scouts can no longer be sent to particular country to search for talents, instead you are using the scouting network, where you assign budget to be spent on any area of the world that you will choose and from time to time you will get the report about newly found players. It sounds like a good idea, but in practice it really isn’t.
Why? You can assign budget to scout for players in f.e. France, which will "discover" for you players playing currently in France (not only French nationals), but since you have absolutely no options to give the scouts any guidelines they will swamp you with completely useless data. Let’s say that you have limited budget of 1 million pounds and you look for young striker, then for weeks and months you will be given suggestions about any kind of good players, no matter what age and what position.
There were no multiplayer options, but while using the same computer several managers could play the game making their choices in turns.
In general Championship Manager 2010 was a good game that added new features to the series, gave them the needed revamp, unfortunately for every added good solution there was a serious flaw. It seems that the game was not fully tested - there are few serious problems with the general flow of the game that makes is look rushed or not really thought through, like the huge amount of free players that makes the transfer market and scouts almost useless.
While it was good to have big amount of players and clubs available it was surprisingly easy to be successful - with well chosen squad it was not much challenge to win the division or be promoted higher. After you knew few good players that could be bought cheaply Championship Manager 2010 was a bit dull just going through the motions, dealing with tons of injuries and have not much to do through most of the season.
Rating: 4 based on 1 votes