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What is PES 2015?

Coming to PS4 (reviewed), PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360
PES 2015 release date - TBC

England might be out of the World Cup but there is still plenty to look forward to in the footballing world – enter PES 2015. The latest instalment to the annual Pro Evolution Soccer series, PES 2015 is Konami’s answer to FIFA 15 and a game which is looking to mix things up with the addition of a new ball control engine.

Having spent more than half a decade firmly in the shadows of FIFA, Konami is hoping to return to past Pro Evo glories with PES 2015, a title which is more of an iterative update than out-and-out refresh.

Like EA, Konami has sought to bring new emotion and reality to its football franchise, with the move to Xbox One and PS4 allowing developers to refresh stadiums and improve crowd reactions.

PES 2015

From our early play, this does make a difference to the overall feel of the game – adding some much needed atmosphere – but not as big an impact as Konami would have you believe. It is a nice addition but an expected one which, in all truth offers little effect to actual gameplay.

On a more positive note, the game’s new ‘jinking run’ control is the true star of the show. A simple addition which adds control and finesse to the game, we found this more precise ball control brought a new dimension to our play.

No longer just about punting the ball up field, playing pass-and-move football or simply trying to sprint past an opponent, the jinking run controls allowed us to keep the ball close to our body, make tight turns under pressure and round defenders with a combination of skill and agility.

Using the jinking run does slow general gameplay down, making you more vulnerable to tackles, but timed well it can help open up new avenues and spaces in which to push play. This is a feature which will help evolve your play the more you use it. A novel addition at first, even after just a handful of matches we found ourselves starting to incorporate the new control into elements of our attacking play to good effect.

PES 2015

Our favourite use of the jinking run control didn’t involve running at all though. Timed right, using the jinking run features when receiving a long pass can really improve your first touch, trapping the ball or pulling it into the body with an intricate, precise touch.

As welcome as this new feature is, it doesn’t feel enough in itself to see PES 2015 truly bring the fight to FIFA 15. Whereas FIFA is further blurring the lines between gaming and reality, with evolving pitches and enhanced player emotions, PES still feels more of an arcade offering.

The power meter which accompanies every pass, shot or cross does help better control your play but takes away some of the natural flow found in FIFA. The Pro Evo collision engine is less advanced and intricate than FIFA’s too – resulting in some rather clunky, awkward comings together and slow, unrealistic tackles.

PES 2015

Another minor issue we had with the game is one which will get old fast. The endless mass of replays and celebration screens which follow every goal or near miss quickly become a bore. Yes, these replays help make the game better echo a football broadcast – and give you more opportunities to gloat at friends – but skipping through half a dozen after every goal is a tedious and laborious process, especially when playing solo.

First Impressions

Having played both PES 2015 and FIFA 15 back-to-back, it is difficult to see Konami toppling EA’s command of the football gaming space anytime soon. That isn’t to say PES 2015 isn’t a top game in its own right, though. Konami has made a number of improvements, namely the addition of the jinking run control, sadly the overall package falls just short once again.

Read more: Best games 2014

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