Review by colinvandam

"Say goodbye to your Social Life - CM4 has arrived!"

Championship Manager 4 is a game like no other. If you can bear the few bugs and frustrations when you first play the game, you will be sucked into an excellent game that you will play for hours on end.

Gameplay
Obviously, if you’ve not got the patience for soccer/football, then you’re not going to like this at all. But for the millions of fans out there, then this is THE best management game ever made. There are literally thousands and thousands of real players in the massive database waiting to be bought/ loaned/ scouted or signed. From the best in the world right down to the under 17’s, they’re all there, which is the norm nowadays for the Champ series. As well as players, there are also many leagues and countries to choose, from the English Premiership down to leagues in the far east and from all over the world. The biggest letdown of the game is the amount of bugs and glitches in the game, making it feel like a rushed product, even though the game was delayed from October to March. However, if you download the latest enhancement packs from SI Games, the majority of these bugs will be sorted out. Nonetheless, it is a letdown that SI didn’t have these bugs fixed in time for the game’s release, especially with users without internet access. Another downside is that I could not possible recommend this game for people who have older PC’s, as you may only be able to run just 1 league per game. This means that only people with the newest computers can really enjoy a proper game with multiple divisions and countries running at the same time.

Graphics
Not much can be said here, since graphics have always had 0% to do with the success of Championship Manager. However, this edition has changed that, even if only a little. The biggest change in CM4 from previous versions is the 2D match engine, which now means you can see your players move about in full 2D. It may not be the full 3D match engine people were hoping for, but this not only keeps the game running faster than the already slow game that it is, but also means that Sports Interactive can concentrate more on the game mechanics, rather than the graphics, which made previous CM games so good.

Multiplayer Support
Although SI don’t officially support online games in the way of servers, they don’t hide the fact that internet games are possible. Having personally played multiple games online, I can say that the game plays great, and well worth the slightly longer loading times. If you know somebody else (preferably with a Broadband connection) with CM4, then you should definitely give it a go, as the process is simpler than you may think.

Replay Value
Like previous Championship Managers, this game has almost infinite replay value, making this game well worth your £30. With so many leagues and countries to choose from, you will have no worries on becoming bored with the game (until the next CM is released anyway!).

Pros
- Biggest CM game EVER!
- Addictive as ever
- Tougher to beat

Cons
- Massive amount of Bugs
- Runs slow at best
- Say goodbye to your social life.

Overall
All in all, CM4 is easily the best CM game ever made, period. Don’t listen to the people complaining about the amount of bugs in the game, because most of these can be easily phased out by just 2 simple downloads, and I’m sure there will be more fixes soon. This game maybe doesn’t live up to the hype, that was near impossible anyway, but it comes pretty damn close.

Score
This game is stunning in almost every way. Sadly, the high specs needed to properly run the game lets the side down. I give it a 9 out of ten.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/03, Updated 04/26/03


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