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PES 2015 review

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PES 2015
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Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Next-gen graphics and slick presentation
  • Fast, fluid gameplay
  • More game modes
  • Cracking soundtrack

Cons

  • myClub mode is no Ultimate Team
  • Still falls behind FIFA in some key areas

Available on PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Remember the good old days when FIFA had the modes, the teams and the slickest presentation, but Pro Evo had the edge on gameplay? Well, they’re back again. After a few years in the doldrums, Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 sees Konami’s football series back on form and looking better than ever. Not all of Konami’s efforts to match FIFA have borne fruit, but it no longer feels like a struggling Championship side in terms of features, and it gets things right on the pitch. If you’ve sampled this year’s FIFA and decided that it’s not for you, then PES 2015 should be right on target.

The skin-deep stuff is a big improvement on Pro Evo 2014. The menus have never been slicker, while the modern indie and EDM soundtrack is the best we’ve heard from a sports game in recent years. Crowd noise rises and falls in response to the onscreen action and the commentary from Jim Beglin and John Champion does the same, even if it grows worryingly repetitive within the space of a few matches.

PES 2015

The graphics, meanwhile, show that Konami is getting to grips with the next-gen consoles. Players look more solid and convincing, hair and facial details are more lifelike, and the animation is top-notch. Arguably, Pro Evo’s handling of player-to-player and player-to-ball interactions is more convincing, with fewer of those weird-looking motions that drag you down to the uncanny valley.

FIFA still has the better lighting, the better cloth dynamics, the better player likenesses and the better pitch, but PES no longer looks like a spruced-up last-gen title, and the close-ups of post-tackle injuries and goals can be eerily convincing. Weather and pitch deformation effects, while not that frequently used, also add to the real-world football feel.

See also: FIFA 15 review

PES 2015

Beneath that, Pro Evo works harder to match FIFA’s wealth of modes. We get Master League and Become a Legend career modes, UEFA Europa and Champions leagues, the AFC Champions League, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana, while both the English premiership and champions leagues are represented. There are online tournaments, online lobbies and a quick matchmaking option to get you straight into a game. Most importantly, PES 2015 finally has an answer to FIFA’s popular Ultimate Team mode in myClub, an overhaul of Master League Online where it’s all about recruiting and building the best side you can field.

It doesn’t all work brilliantly. While the major tournaments are covered with atmosphere and flair, Master League struggles with a slightly bewildering interface, while Become a Legend isn’t as flexible as FIFA’s equivalent. In FIFA you can manage your player’s career but still control the whole team on the pitch. In Become a Legend, you only get control of that player, meaning you can spend half a match watching the action from the sidelines, and the rest only occasionally touching the ball. Team names are, as ever, a source of embarrassment. Only Manchester United make it in without an alias, and the addition of Championship clubs means you’ll spend more time than ever trying to work out who East Sussex or East Dorsetshire is meant to be.

See also: Best PS4 games 2014

PES 2015

Meanwhile myClub has potential, but it’s nowhere near as accessible as Ultimate Team, with some really strange mechanics for scouting and transfers, and an awkward interface for managing your team. It’s a start, but it still needs work.

By now, it probably sounds like FIFA is still kicking sand in Pro Evo’s face and stealing its ice-cream, but Konami’s game makes its biggest strides forwards on the pitch. The last few FIFAs have seen abrupt changes of direction and a struggle to balance fun and accessibility against authenticity. Even those of us who would argue that FIFA 15 moved things in the right direction would admit that there are problems with its knockabout, end-to-end approach.

See also: Xbox One vs PS4

PES 2015

PES 2015 gets things just about right. There’s an urgent pace and flow to the action, where steady, tactical play can suddenly break into a full-on assault on the goal, and where cheap runs up the wing don’t often end up with the ball in the back of the net. While you always feel in control, your attackers do a better job of supporting aggressive plays, while defenders seem to work harder to keep a tight leash on opposing strikers. Overall, PES 2015 leaves you feeling like you’re handling a team, not a group of unconnected star players. When you score, it’s because you make opportunities and then use them. When you concede a goal, it’s because you failed to halt the other team’s attack.

It’s fast, it’s fluid and there’s room for surprises, drama and – most importantly – fun. You’re not relying on a superhuman goalkeeper to bolster an inadequate defence, or focusing on solo runs because they tend to pay off more. You’re simply playing football as the world’s best teams tend to play it. It’s a game that rewards skill – as evinced by our humiliating defeats at the hands of online players. If we had any gripe, it’s that tackles are surprisingly difficult to pull off, and that so many attempts seem to conclude in a foul and accompanying yellow card.

See also: Best Xbox One games 2014

PES 2015

See what we mean about the good old days? If you want official teams, incredible graphics, the slickest presentation and the smartest, most accessible game modes, then this year FIFA should still be your game. Yet Pro Evo is finally catching up in most of those areas, and it’s the better, more exciting and believable game once the kick-off whistle blows. Perhaps next year one game will win through across the board, but this year it’s a case of working out your priorities and choosing the game you want to play.

See also: Best games 2014

Verdict

Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 takes important strides forward on graphics, presentation and game modes, while out-performing its arch-rival FIFA on the pitch. Official team names, more accessible game modes and some tweaks to tackling would all be welcome, but it’s great to see Konami’s football game back on form.

Overall Score

8

Mark Coull

June 25, 2014, 4:43 pm

Your obviously a FIFA fan!
I hate fifa! No matter how many licenses they bully everyone out of!
Its an early build of the game your reviewing! You should emphasise that more.
You should've started the review by saying your a FIFA player and the last pro evo you probably played was back in the ps2 days

Joe Gran

June 25, 2014, 5:08 pm

And you're obviously a PES fan.

The review seemed pretty unbiased to me. Comparisons to FIFA are common (and at this stage, necessary), and he's just stating his opinions.

I'll buy PES 2015 and most likely skip FIFA 15 simply because of my hatred for EA (and I still enjoy PES2014, even with the mass amount of annoyances), but just because this article states opinions you don't want to hear and don't agree with doesn't mean that the writer is slinging pro-FIFA propaganda.

Pastor_Zakilowski

June 25, 2014, 10:07 pm

thank you for the insight - looking forward to try the demo of both FIFA 15 and PES 2015. one thing I'll never understand however is how anyone could consider PES to be more "arcady" than FIFA....FIFA to me (at least the past few iterations) have felt like skates on grass rather than football. Oh well.

Roby Razbojnik

June 26, 2014, 12:01 pm

"Whereas FIFA is further blurring the lines between gaming and reality, with evolving pitches and enhanced player emotions" wr ffaa haha blurring the line haha between gaming and reality ahahaha fifa ahahaha...aaaahh....thank you for this...I needed a laugh :p

Mike

June 28, 2014, 4:21 am

I'm going to wait until the game comes out and see what the reaction is from fans. Too many years of failed promises from Konami and PES 2014 is one of the worst football games I've ever played. Lets not forget PES 2014 was marketed as the comeback game last year, and it wasn't anywhere near finished on release!! My money stays in my pocket until they deliver the footy game everyone's been waiting. My heart wants PES 2015 to be Konami's comeback, but my brain tells me it won't. I don't think Konami will ever produce a fooball game to the standard of the PS2 era again. If PES 2015 fails, then maybe it's time for another game producer to challenge EA with an original fresh football game.

Skull7727 .

June 28, 2014, 4:21 am

I watched fifa 14 gameplay for ps4 video on youtube and believe me it look nothing like real football, the game is so fast like watching basketball and look at the players feet while they're running it look so funny

James

June 28, 2014, 9:27 pm

Really dunno y people think fifa is more realistic. It is in terms of replicating the match day broadcast, licences, commentating etc. but not gameplay, as much as its improved. I'm a FOOTBALL fan and wanna play the game that best replicates the sport, not just the the things that add to it. PES 2012 wasn't good enough, but 2013 and 2014 (imo) still had something that FIFA didn't. Pes really does need to improve though. I'll try em both as usual.

info0

June 29, 2014, 12:08 pm

Truth be told PES is nowhere near simulation people speak about, but so is FIFA (and I play it only using FULL MANUAL controls). But saying FIFA doesn't play like football is blapshemous. It does. It's up to you how you play the game in the end. You make decisions.

Playing full manual definitely helps open up things you cannot normally do on assisted settings.

Knowledge Power

June 29, 2014, 5:01 pm

"PES still feels more of an arcade offering"

Stopped reading after that, complete joke.......Fifa is the arcade game not PES & and this guy seems pretty biased towards Fifa anyway so not an accurate review at all.

Anfield Red

June 30, 2014, 5:50 am

You are joking, right ?
FIFA must be the most corrupred game ever released and getting worse "year by year".
I do not own a copy of PES but will certainly purchase PES15 as FIFA is a pile of junk.

FIFA 14 was released by EA saying it is a football sim, lol it is just arcade nothing more, and gameplay is just awful.

I will never ever buy FIFA again or any EA product

Guest

July 1, 2014, 6:39 pm

LEAVE THE REPLAYS IN KONAMI! CHEERS!, THE REPLAYS ADD TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE GAME AND THIS GUY WANTS TO GET RID OF THEM BECAUSE HE HAS NO PATIENCE? JOG ON MATE LMAO!

Guest

July 1, 2014, 6:39 pm

100%

Zubeir

August 19, 2014, 10:45 am

After many years of disappointment from Konami, I switched to Fifa since 2012. I think this year may be a make or break scenario for the PES series, Many loyal fans got fed up and last years launch was poor, after many patches the game was improved. But this was too late, nobody wants to buy a broken game for £30-40 and then have to wait for fixes. Konami were slated badly and the reactions from many forums made their opinions loud and clear. Many are hoping this years release will wipe away some of the ill feeling. Fingers x'd

Luay Maani

August 20, 2014, 3:31 pm

I only play online.. I prefer PES as a game , but... i hate cheaters in PES.. the cheat detecting system doesnt work at all... when i play against a pathetic player and he decided to slow down his connection.. boom the match just vanished without me taking my deserved points!! in Fifa .. the system is way much better.
dont know which game ill chose yet.. but basically the make or brake (FOR ME) is the online experience

andrew

August 26, 2014, 10:43 pm

Fifa has been turd since the 09 incarnation. Not been matched since. It's completely let down by its handicap system. Scripting the game in favour of the inferior player. Terrible online the last few yrs due to this. Apparently it is STILL there in FiFa 15. Just not as bad. PES 15 on the other hand is said to feel like it's online player vs online player. Il no doubt purchase Fifa. As it's out 1st, if scripting IS present il trade in towards PES.

Gianna

September 8, 2014, 9:51 pm

Pes 2015 has to deliver if not..CONami have to stop making soccer games..

David Bold

September 14, 2014, 2:09 am

love a girl who loves football games, on the other hand, its time for PES to take over, AGAIN.

Jason Hair

September 26, 2014, 1:39 am

PES 2015 WILL BLOW AWAY FIFA 15.
CAME ALONG WAY IN JUST ONE YEAR
MASTERPIECE, GREAT JOB KONAMI

gonzalo

September 26, 2014, 5:05 am

My humble opinion is that PES is back again!!!!!!!
And i just love the gameplay, it is the best Pes by far

Paul

November 15, 2014, 11:37 pm

smells like a PES victory

Qthetar .

November 16, 2014, 6:12 pm

This review is pretty old and should be updated, he's probably judging by playing the demo instead of the actual game which is even much better

jackilnero

November 17, 2014, 9:00 am

"FIFA still has the better[...] player likenesses"

joking?
beside that, most of them are invented, since they didn't take the original faces

RedDevil4Life

February 24, 2015, 5:12 pm

will you marry me please?

RedDevil4Life

February 24, 2015, 5:18 pm

i don't know who you are but i will find you and we gonna play PES together

JAY

March 2, 2015, 7:31 pm

I play both, but I prefer PES

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