Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 Review

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Let’s remove the Elephant in the room, PES 2016 is without doubt a fast, fluid and graphical master over its long-time rival FIFA 16. There I have said it! PES has definitely reclaimed the crown for best football game on the market for 2016/17. We have been waiting…

PES has traditionally struggled to provide the visuals needed to produce a wold class game, however they have come up trumps with this year’s edition, beautiful fluid player animations and real life visuals, which include the lighting and attention to detail which can largely be attributed to Konami’s FOX engine, giving PES a substantial edge. Player facial expressions, including scars, cuts or dirt are shown magnificently with beautiful graphical representations of the footballing stars you know and love. The ball physics and animation are second to none, however if I am being picky, it does lack pitch realism, i.e. Flat grass.
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However it may have the crown of footballing game of the year, it is still far way from being a perfect footballing game. This is mainly due to the known issues that are outside of Konami’s control, licensing. If you are a seasoned PES player, then you know how unappealing it is to choose made up teams, such as London FC and or Merseyside Reds, also known as Chelsea and Liverpool. You may think to yourself “well I can live with that” unfortunately you can’t.

This year’s commentary team are headed up by Peter Drury and Jim Belgin, although they do a great job commentating on licensed teams, they fall by the wayside considerably for the made up ones. Repetitive, generic dribble is all you will hear and a real failure to talk about the action that is unfolding on the pitch.

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PES also lacks originality, especially in their choice of game modes, which include Master League, where you choose a team and become their club manager, myClub, PES’s version of EA’s Ultimate Team. I found issues with connectivity and not just during the gameplay, also beforehand when trying to download the latest rosters etc… In myClub, you can essentially build the team of your dreams, choose by picking a team then a manager and then look at the loan list, sounds very familiar to FIFA’s draft! Once your team is filled you can begin scouting and signing new talent.

In addition you also have the Become A Legend mode, starting low in the ranks of a player and dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a pro-footballer, being picked for the side will be your number 1 priority, however don’t expect much of that in the first season and be prepared to sit on the bench in the second, however this is when it really kicks off and you be playing 90 minute games against the best in the world in no time. Again an exhausted mode of play, yet a popular one.

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However all this fades into the background when you are playing the actual game and everything seems to go right. The above for mentioned ball physics, the easy intuitive control system and the player interactions are all the elements that make the gameplay truly amazing. PES stepped up its game and heavily focused on certain player’s personality traits and even their style of playing. Just look at Neymar or Messi and be gobsmacked at how these pro’s emulate their real life counterparts, in terms of speed, agility and stamina, as well as the odd ball trick here and there. On previous PES titles, player movement and interactions have been detrimental to the series, this is obviously something Konami heavily focused on and re-worked for this year’s instalment.

Overall whilst PES isn’t perfect, it now has the right ingredient’s to improve on for next year and whilst I feel FIFA 16 has taken a step back, PES has made up for it. In some respects both games complement each other, when one shows weakness the other shows strength. So why not pick up

both games and tell us what you think? However if you only have the one choice this year, then my vote has to go to Pro Evo 2016.

About: Matthew Cawley

I always had a passion for games even in my younger years, when I first received the Atari 2600, Pele Soccer was the flavor of the year, I played that game so much I actually started seeing top down soccer players in real life. My first real advanced gaming experience was when I received the Commodore Amiga 500, this is where adventure games took over my life, Sierra classics such as Police Quest, Space Quest, Kings Quest and the entire Leisure Suit Larry series dominated huge portions of my childhood.

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