Platform: PS3, PC, Xbox
Release Date: October 20th 2010
PEGI: 3+Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has been around since 2001 and with each release has been closing the gap between itself and the football powerhouse that is the FIFA series.
Despite the 8 year head start that FIFA had (First hitting the market in 1993 on the Mega Drive) PES has done well to make vast improvements. I think it’s been fair to say that PES started off with a much more arcady playing style than that of FIFA, and in some respects this is what drew me to the game, scoring goals from 40 yards out is something that you rarely see in real football and being able to do it at least once or twice a game is really exciting.
But as the years have rolled by FIFA have started to share their label as best football game with PES in my opinion, Although in order to achieve this great feat I believe PES may have ruined what it once was, being the underdog is never a bad thing in gaming, being labelled as one of the big boys can put immense pressure on a release and can destroy a game before its even released. PES 2008 is still one of the best football games out there, not graphically, and definitely not because it is missing half of the team names and kits etc (Sir Bobby Charlton is called Cheringbone because they didn’t have the rights to use his name; something only FIFA can boast) But what the game did have in abundance was something that modern footballing games are moving away from, and that is a little thing called fun. Scoring 45 yard screamers with Eto’o just never gets boring, whilst running through an entire team with the human wrecking ball that once was Adriano also never ceased to amuse me.
As Technology gets better with every year that passes it allows games to become extended largely in how the mechanics work, where there were once 10 men (excluding keeper) running around like headless chickens after the ball in early titles there are now 10 men who can be told specifically to stay in one area of the pitch, to man mark a certain individual, to pass frequently to a team-mate, you can also work in training and set up attacking move sets to catch your opposition off guard when your on the counter attack, it’s all very technical and when setting up the game one feels very much like a professional manager, with the strains of who plays best in what position and stat increase and decreases being so close to real life that it’s just frightening, bring back the day where I could play kaka in defence so he could receive the ball in his own box and run the entire pitch and score.
What I’m trying to get at is that for all the progress that Pro Evo has made in the last few games I feel as though they are losing some of their core fans, and that is never a good thing, the developers need to stick to their guns and play to their strengths, you won’t see Epic deciding to change the way gears is played to make it more realistic by having human enemies instead of locust, removing blood completely and having Marcus get off whatever roids he takes to get soo insanely beefed. – it just won’t happen because change is something that is only needed if a game starts to fall behind.
I believe Pro Evo needs to forget about what FIFA is doing and do what it has always been good at, and that is being a fun game, If I want to pretend that I’m a real manager, managing a team of real prima donnas then I will play FIFA because it simply does that sort of thing better.