Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 (PS4) Review
- Super pitch play
- Fantastic dribbling and passing mechanics
- Genuinely intuitive AI
Not So Much?
- Lack of licensing for teams
Another year and for dedicated football gamers it comes down to one question, FIFA or PES? PES makes its debut on next gen and Konami wants everyone to know “The pitch is ours”. Every year Konami raise the expectations of those who dream of a PES game that can compete with FIFA, and every year […]
Another year and for dedicated football gamers it comes down to one question, FIFA or PES? PES makes its debut on next gen and Konami wants everyone to know “The pitch is ours”. Every year Konami raise the expectations of those who dream of a PES game that can compete with FIFA, and every year they have fallen short. That is until PES 2015.
PES 2015 is what every PES fan from the PlayStation 2 days has dreamt about. PES can finally match FIFA on the pitch, and it hasn’t done this by attempting to copy FIFA but to create its own brand of football. It looks as though Konami’s decision to take an extra year to get to grips with the FOX engine (also used on Metal Gear Solid 4) has paid off.
PES 2015 makes dribbling fun again, Konami calls this “Closest Control”. You can notice the difference when you are controlling the likes of Ronaldo, Messi or Neymar. Each player plays differently, PES has managed to make players really feel what it’s like to control a superstar who can come up with moments of magic.
The dribbling in PES feels very rewarding when you pass by players, you don’t need showboating flicks and tricks but fast enough reactions to avoid the clumsy tackles of your opponents. That’s not to say you will always be successful, but PES has managed to find a measure of realism that FIFA is lacking. You won’t always be able to use the same trick or the same tactics to win your matches, you will need to have at least a basic level of tactical knowledge to beat the more difficult opponents.
There have also been changes to passing, shooting and tackling. The shooting system has seen an improvement to allow for “unrestricted shooting styles” and “precise control”. But the shooting still doesn’t feel as though it’s giving the player enough control to place shots. When you compare the shooting in PES 2015 to FIFA 15 it comes up a bit short. That’s not to say shooting has not improved from the previous version of PES, but still requires a bit more improvement to match the shooting in FIFA.
Passing still requires a lot of care and you can at times become frustrated while you get used to the weight of a pass, especially long passes and through balls. Passing could still be improved to make it feel a bit more natural. Although just like shooting the passing is still an improvement on the previous version of PES, this might be due to the improvements with the FOX engine.
Tackling isn’t very complicated, you hold X (Playstation 4) to try and pressure your opponent or double tab X to dive into a challenge. While holding down X it just doesn’t feel like you’re doing enough to win the ball.
The graphics are a significant improvement, PES 2015 looks great on current gen and it looks like Konami is finally getting to grips with the new engine to provide a much better presentation. From the stadiums to the players you can really see the dramatic improvement PES has made on the pitch. Although the pitch lighting is better during day time than it is at night, this is due to PES attempting to simulate real world floodlights. The menu presentation is still very poor with the exception of the main menu.
PES2015 deserves a special mention about its AI system. The AI in PES is the main difference between PES 2015 and FIFA 15, while the AI in FIFA expects you as the player to do all the work the AI in PES really feels as though it simulates the actions of real players. Play a game of Become a Legend and you can really see this in action as your teammates around you make great runs and pass the ball around like a real team.
Konami has also introduced PES ID where teams are setup to play as they would in real-life. Teams will automatically adopt their real-life game plan, which gives PES much more realism on the pitch. PES ID also introduces realistic abilities, so you shouldn’t expect John Terry to be able to perform flicks and tricks like Neymar or Ronaldo.
PES 2015 returns with the very addictive Master League which has always been a fan favourite from previous PES games and is no different this time round. You can spend hours in Master League creating your perfect team. The transfer system isn’t the best and not very realistic when it comes to signing the big players like Ronaldo or Messi. But it’s still the most enjoyable game mode in PES 2015. The menu presentations is very poor however, after all the hard work in putting together a great game it’s amazing to see the lack of effort put into simple menu system.
Become A Legend also makes its return to PES where you control one player and take him from the lower leagues to the champion’s league all the way to his retirement. Again the menu system and presentation is very poor here and requires a dramatic improvement. In the FIFA equivalent once you are subbed off you are still able to control the entire team or simulate to the end but PES forces you to watch the rest of the game, allowing you to admire the AI playing against itself or sit there in frustration until the game ends. Become A Legend also doesn’t give you any indication of how well you are playing during the game. It would be helpful to have your player’s performance rating for the match on the screen so you can adjust your playing style.
PES 2015 also sees a new mode called myClub an overhaul of Master League online to rival the Ultimate team in FIFA. Unfortunately this new game mode isn’t anywhere near to matching Ultimate Team. With poor graphical presentation and the introduction of GP points, this seems as though it was not given enough thought by Konami. The game mode does have some potential but needs a massive improvement if it is going to compete with the very addictive Ultimate Team in FIFA.
The commentary is still very poor and John Champion and Jim Begin can get very annoying after playing through the game a few times. The soundtracks are a great improvement with Cold war kids, Calvin Harris, Avicii and Imagine Dragons all featuring.
The lack of fully licensed teams and leagues especially the Premier League is still a massive put off for a lot of people deciding on FIFA or PES. Although PES does have the Europa League and the Champions league, as well as La LIGA BBVA, Serie A and a host of other leagues. Manchester United is licensed in the game but the Bundesliga hasn’t made it into PES, which is slightly confusing since Mario Gotze is on the front cover. There are of course community workarounds others use to provide kits, leagues via a data pack download.
PES 2015 has given players renewed hope it can challenge for the top spot again. PES has managed to win the battle with FIFA on the pitch, with fantastic dribbling great passing and a fantastic AI. If you’re looking for a game which provides a fantastic on pitch experience then PES is what you want. But if menu presentation, good commentary and real club names are your thing then FIFA is still the one you want. At long last it looks like Konami have managed to make a game to challenge FIFA on the pitch, with a bit more work off the pitch I think PES can finally retain its crown. Game on FIFA.
Freelance reviewer: Saqib Ahmed