- + Quick gameplay
- + Nice visuals
- + Amazing celebration system
- - Dull commentary
- - Unrealistic refereeing
- - Lack of licensed teams can be a pain
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Inferior Footy”
Having not played a Pro Evolution Soccer game for many years, I didn’t know what to think heading into the latest instalment.
The hype I’ve seen surrounding recent PES games has shocked me. Sure they look nice n’ all, but I always saw them as the game you played if FIFA was too mainstream for you, the “indie” or “alternative” football title. So putting my preconceptions aside, I decided to have a play of the latest Pro Evo and piece my thoughts together.
How about beginning with the positives? The game was quite pleasing on the eyes in terms of graphics, better than its closest rival FIFA, in my opinion. You tend to notice how nice the game looks when you are playing as one of the teams that Pro Evo has licensed officially. The players look alive, as does the entire pitch, which helps to create a pleasant show to watch.
One other positive that stood out was how well made the celebrations and their controls were. When you score a goal (which came few and far between for me), you’re presented with a simple and brilliant set of controls that allow you to implement your goal celebrations seamlessly into the game, which adds a layer of realism as a result.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews praising the realism of the gameplay but I personally wasn’t overly impressed. Perhaps this could have been due to the amount of time it took me to get used to the controls, but it all just felt a bit basic and clunky to me. I even spent an entire game trying to get my players sent off and all I ended up with was 5 yellow cards and 1 red card, so perhaps this aspect of the game could do with a little bit of work.
Having said that, gameplay is very fast paced and quick, which means goals can come from nowhere. This helps by giving it a bit of a “pick up and play” factor that makes matches enjoyable if you have a few friends over and feel like a quick game of virtual footy. This quick and fast-paced gameplay also gives the chance to punish each and every one of your opponent’s mistakes to a satisfyingly effective end.
I know it’s not fair to judge this game by the lack of licensed teams it has, but I was disappointed to find that my team Reading FC (who are known as the Berkshire Blues in PES), played in gold and red, not blue and white. The fact that the starting lineup featured around 5 players that no longer play for Reading also furthered my frustrations.
The commentary in sports video games, no matter what sport it is, tends to get very repetitive after a while and PES is no different. It seems very dull and uninspiring and can become quite tedious over the course of a couple of matches, but as I have previously stated this tends to be a feature in most sports games, WWE 2K15 for example.
Looking back on my time spent with the most recent incarnation of PES, I feel a sense of fondness and nostalgia. The gameplay, however flawed it may be to me, reminds me of the way football games used to be and I do like that, it provides a nice change up and helps to give PES its own identity.
However, I don’t believe that this is enough to redeem it in my eyes. It’s a well-made game that can be fun if you just want to pick it up and play but I feel that prolonged becomes very repetitive and dull.
Hopefully one day we will have a PES game that is a worthy challenger to FIFA and then we could get some real competition going on between the two games, something that I feel we are lacking at the moment.
*PES 2016 was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Konami and Xbox One by Xbox