Pro-Evolution Soccer 2015, aka PES 2015, is here and Konami is back with another shot at goal and, unlike last year’s attempt, it’s hit the back of the net!
PES in recent years has slipped. There were always those who were firmly in the FIFA camp, and those in Pro Evo camp, but even the die-hard PES fans were looking over at FIFA and begging for a transfer more often the Carlos Tevez.
PES 2014 was blighted with sluggish controls to the point where it ruined the game, but here we are today with PES attempting to shoulder-barge its way in to your consoles again.
This time round, there’s a more tactical game of football to be played. Making mad dashes up the field with the hope of dribbling you way through midfield and defense into the box just won’t work; AI is intelligent and they will make you work for possession, let alone goals. Star players and tricks are all in there, but you don’t need to rely just on them as this is a more measured game with you working your way up field with short passes and possession – it requires you to draw the opposing team’s players out of position to create gaps and then a tactical use of the sprint button to break free of the man on you. This feels natural and like a real game of football should.
Unlike last years edition this isn’t hindered by sluggish controls. Press the LB button to change player or a quick tap of the pass button and the response is immediate with no lag. This game of football is sharp!
Graphically, it looks great on Xbox One. Detail and character likenesses are spot-on for the most part and animation is fluid.
Commentary from Jim Beglin and John Champion is good and, thankfully, there’s not too much repetition. The crowd sounds and chants are atmospheric and react to the play on the pitch. The audio sound track is modern with contemporary artists such as Avicii, Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding to name but a few.
A new feature this year is “My Team”, which gives a nod to “Ultimate Team” from FIFA. Master League is still in there along with “Become a Legend”. On top of that there are enough leagues, competitions and cups on AND offline to keep you busy.
There’s still an annoying lack of a licensed teams, but you can edit these if you wish and most people will be, since playing as “Man Blue” is as stupid as it sounds. The menus too – although better than previous attempts – still lack the spit and polish of FIFA. But these are the only two real blemishes on the record sheet.
On the pitch, though, where the football is actually played, its PES that forges ahead. This is the purist’s game which focuses on the football. Konami have managed to put themselves right back in the game. PES fans can hold their heads high once again. If you’re a PES fan go out and buy this – it’s that simple.
IF you’re a football fan, then this deserves a spot in your collection too. Prepare for the debate to begin again as to which is best. The fact that it’s back up for debate is an achievement in itself. Just imagine if Konami had coughed up for the Licenses.
In a market flooded with FPS shooters, sandbox games and racing games there’s only two real contenders for the football crown, and this year, Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 has just made that choice difficult again.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 Trailer (PS4/Xbox One)
- Publisher: Konami
- Players: single player campaign, co-op
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
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