FIFA is often criticised for its ease and simplicity, these are two things you quite definitely can not say about PES
Pro Evolution Soccer – loved by most for being quite obviously the best football game on the market, but hated by some for being one of the most frustrating games you’ll ever play in your life. FIFA is often criticised for its ease and simplicity, these are two things you quite definitely can not say about PES. However; sometimes, in the frequent moments of rage when your star striker yet again trips over his own feet the moment you press the shoot button, it can be hard to not think that the supposed challenge provided by PES is more about luck than skill.
The graphics have improved slightly from the last game
PES 5 has a very advanced tactical system
There’s no doubting the complexity of the PES control system, and the latest in the series has some additions and minor changes to that system. It’s hard to really go into detail about this without talking in terms that only a PES veteran would understand. For example, you can now use super cancel to reposition a player receiving the ball from a lobbed through-pass in order to first-time volley the ball at the goal. People who haven’t played PES are now left wondering what the heck super cancel is, and people who don’t know about football have already stopped reading. But the point is that the controls are as complex as you need them. The beauty of the system being that a layman can pick-up the basics in 5 minutes and still put on a good show without ever knowing what the hell super cancel is.
The game comes with five difficulty settings, a sixth is un-lockable. PES has always been known as a hard game, but Konami have yet again stepped it up a peg with this release. Now, I don’t like easy football games – they really annoy me. But there’s something about the difficulty of PES that seems almost unnecessary. It’s not difficult because the calculations you have to make regarding your players’ runs, it’s not difficult because you have to have three hands with 20 fingers on each to be able to effectively use the controls, and it’s not difficult because you have to outsmart your opposition with mazy runs and brilliant through balls. You do have to do all that stuff, but none of those reason are *why* the game is difficult.
As with 4, PES 5 allows comprehensive editing and creation of players
The replay system allows game reviewers to take half-decent screenshots
It’s difficult because… quite frankly … it is, for want of a better word, cheap. Whenever your players get into the final third of the pitch they suddenly lose all competency on-the-ball. It’s almost as if the controls change their function; shoot becomes ‘trip over the ball’, through-pass becomes ‘pass ball to opposition goalkeeper’, and cross becomes ‘kick the ball out for a goal kick’. Your fire-hot strikers become bumbling buffoons desperately trying to scramble the ball in the back of the net. It’s true that occasionally you fire in a few amazing long shots, or volley in a fantastic scissor-kick; but these occurrences are very occasional even for players like Henry.
But I’m being very critical; there are a lot of good things to say about this game. It’s just that I’ve already said them about Pro Evolution Soccer 4. To think of positives about this game that can’t be said about PES 4 is very difficult. It’s got better graphics, just about. It’s got a more complex control system, just about. It’s got funkier music, which really doesn’t count for much.
So maybe there’s less here for the PES veterans than one might expect from a series which has prided itself on being the connoisseur’s choice football game. But for those who haven’t played a PES game yet there’s a wealth of reasons to buy this game; the master league gaming mode being high on the list. This is a mode where you take control of a football club in management as well as in-game. Your team begins as the table legs of the bottom league. You are responsible for buying new players, selling old ones, managing the club finances, and earning money by winning matches. This allows for a great deal of fun as you work your way up the leagues and cups year after year, gradually customizing tactics and improving your squad.
One thing that I can’t help but mention before finishing is the damned awful commentary. Either this is one of the most ironic jokes after attempted by a games design company, or it’s just plain awful. The next time Peter Brackley tells me it’s been a “ding-dong battle between these two sides” I’m going to break something.
This is the master league, one of the more compelling game modes of PES 5
Take my word for it, this was a goal
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 5 VERDICT
Negatives to one side, this is the damn best football game on the market. It can be picked up and played on the spot, but takes months to master. It’s complex, difficult, nice to look at, and it beats FIFA to death in terms of game play. The single-screen multiplayer mode is as good as they come for sports games, providing limitless entertainment with or without the accompaniment of alcohol.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Making a comeback in a match you thought was all over; very hard to do but thoroughly enjoyable.