Is the PES magic back? We had recent hands-on and can say that yes, it is. Find out why in our preview.
Published on Aug 6, 2012
PES is back. No, really. Don’t believe us? That’s OK, we weren’t sure ourselves until going hands-on with the game. Now however we feel pretty safe in saying that this is the best PES of this generation, and will run FIFA very close this year. In some respects it’s already the better game.
The passing, for example, is leagues ahead of its rival. It already was in last year’s game, and it feels even better here. With full control over the pace and direction of your passes (including a fully manual pass option for the Xavis out there), PES’s midfield exchanges are incredibly authentic while still remaining fun.
Because the system is so well implemented it changes the way you set out against teams: Spain need to be harried and harassed on the ball, (because if Iniesta gets his foot on it you’re in big trouble) whereas more direct dribblers like Ronaldo and Portugal will require a different approach.
It’s all part of PES’s system to make teams feel like, well, teams and not collections of individuals, and the new Player ID system backs it up. Gerrard, for example, plays like his real life counterpart, spraying the ball around and carrying the ball forward.
Ronaldo loves coming forward with the ball, legs pecking down quickly and arms chopping from side to side in the process. Each side feels different, something FIFA has struggled with for years.
Master League should be better than ever.
So the good stuff is still good, and changes have been made to correct the niggling faults that afflicted PES 2012. Most obvious is the shooting: formerly it felt like you were kicking a balloon around such was the pace it would leave players’ boots.
Now it feels like you’re actually connecting with a football, thundering off the laces on hard shots and curling delightfully when hit with finesse.
It all combines to make match play a delight. There are still problems: heading is rubbish, and there aren’t enough goalkeeping animations. Get these fixed however and PES will very nearly be back to its best. Between this and FIFA football fans are in for a banner year.