The battle between Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA is bigger than ever. Last year, Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 delivered a great football game, it even won back some old fans from its Playstation 2 era, but it has and always will have a challenge to beat FIFA.
Prior to the last gen PES was the connoisseur’s game of choice. Never quite successful as FIFA, and frustratingly lacking in official licences, but far more authentic. The games weren’t necessarily the most realistic in terms of simulation but they replicated the heart and soul of football far better than EA could.
Pro Evo 2016 does well in the graphics. The level of detail of each of the players is truly outstanding. The terms of the players, gestures, textures uniforms and modeling stages, will satisfy the most demanding. It is clear that Konami has found the right formula to exploit the true potential of the current generation consoles.
Animations this year is better than ever, In the edition of last year this aspect received special treatment that left us with jaw dropping stuff. For this 2016 game, they have added a significant number of new moves to make everything feel more real and of course the gameplay would be facilitated with this. Yes, you can select the type of celebration that makes your player when scoring a goal by pressing certain combination of buttons.
Turning to what did not go so well, we can say that the way the pitch looks is not the best. From afar, it looks as if the grass was just a green artificial color but are we being picky?. Of course, things change a lot when we see a close-up, because here, if the thickness of the grass and even noticed how some pieces of it, jump through the air when someone slips or pulls a powerful shot. Maybe this is a minor complaint, however, I think it would have been great to be careful a little more this aspect.
For this year the Formation Fluid option allows you to combine various styles of play to the attitude or standing of the 11 players under your command, occurs easily and smoothly. Above it may sound very complicated, but I can assure you that they are well-designed each of the menus within the title that makes things quite easy to setup and run.
The finesse of the control system and the AI represents arguably the biggest leap either series has made in years. Dribbling past defenders is not for the brave, but practice the array of flicks and feints at your disposal and you will find it is a legitimate, exciting option. Passing, meanwhile, eliminates the input quibbles of last year, allowing you to play quick, one touch football or, should you wish, play a long ball game.
The best improvement, however, comes in one on one situations, where the collision system transforms inconsequential centre circle tussles into mini battles. The physicality of the players informs each encounter and an incident as trivial as leaping to win a header from a goal kick feels genuinely exciting. Jostling and angling for position is now just as vital as what you do when you are in possession.
This is helped immeasurably by your computer controlled teammates who no longer wait for you to dictate play. Occasionally an astute midfielder will initiate a one two pass, or a defender will look to the plug the gap left by your forward run. The result is a game that feels naturalistic and constantly shifting and it is best experienced in the Master League mode, a satisfyingly in-depth career simulation that allows you to get to know – and tweak – your team over successive seasons.
Off the pitch Konami has also instituted major improvements to Master League, reconfirming it as one of the series’ crown jewels. It’s probably still not as in-depth as some would little – there’s little in the way of proper training and you can’t negotiate with players directly – but compared to the recent collapse in quality of most sports game career modes it’s still engrossing stuff.
There are no other major new modes, with Konami instead focusing on trying to turn myClub into PES’s equivalent of FIFA Ultimate Team. It’s more balanced but less flashy than EA’s system, which is Pro Evo in a nutshell really – although some will likely be upset it still has no transfer market.
And while yes, it’s true that PES doesn’t have all of the official licences it does now let you import images to create your own kits and emblems. And given the size of the fan community it’s only going to be a matter of days until every club imaginable is available to download. Whilst writing this review PS4 and Xbox One official teams are available for download to your console.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 takes a safe way and meet their objectives, based on the very strong foundation left by his predecessor to continue as an emblem of video game where the gameplay above all else gets. If you are looking for a title that is well managed and that of course is fun, then PES 2016 is the game for you.