Platform PS3, Xbox360, Wii
Release Date Out Now.
Pro Evolution Soccer or as it has become known PES2013 is the strongest PES title in recent years. For a long time Konami reigned supreme as the football game of choice. A slight wobble at the beginning of this generation of consoles saw a move away from its well established simulation to a more action packed game which had a disastrous impact on the franchise. It is recovering each and every year and finally it is starting to get back to its previous glory.
It is hard to miss that Konami have secured the licensing rights to the two biggest club competitions in Europe, the Champions league and the Europa Cup ensures that Europe’s biggest clubs are included in the game. As well as some individual deals done with the England national squad and Manchester United.
To be honest not a huge amount has changed it is that everything has been improved and tightened up enough to be noticeable. The big new improvement is to the control system. The controls have been drastically changed this year to now make use of a full manual system. This gives players far more control than ever before, players now have perfect control over passing and shooting. Now you control the angle, direction, power and height of all your shots and crosses.
It does take a while to get to grips with the new method of control but Konami have included an option to hold your hand while you make the transition. For passing you get a helpful arrow that appears around your player marking the direction your pass will go. This allows you to line up those devastating diagonal through balls. In fact the controls are very accessible for player of all skill levels but it really shines in the hands of experts. You can of course play with the classic controls but we advise sticking with the manual controls as it is far superior.
On top of the full ball control you also have full player control. Holding L2 lets you spray the ball where ever you would like, but holding R2 allows you to control the player themselves. Trapping the ball, twisting your body to beat defenders or my favorite to actually just knock the ball past a defender to gain some space! Once you get to grips with these the game really opens up.
The master league has seen some improvements too, the chairman has stopped giving his odd advice and the transfer system is now far more robust and actually feels like you are playing the market now. This was for me anyway one of the biggest let downs in master league that you didn’t feel involved in transfers. They just seemed to either go through or get rejected, now you have more information that lets you know why it failed, if the target is worth going for again or are you chasing a lost cause.
This still remains the fans favorite mode and many hours have been sunk into master leagues around the world and it’s a good thing because again the online gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. Disappointingly you can still only play 2 V 2 online and while the stability of the games has improved a lot I still get most of my enjoyment from PES in offline mode.
Overall: It’s no secret that we love PES and this year feels does feel more like the PES we knew and loved, but when a game is trying to catch up on its own earlier incarnation it says a lot about its recent direction. We have said it before but PES 5 still remains our favorite release and Konami could do a lot worse than to get that engine strip it down and build it back up in HD.
Very solid game this year, the additions are very welcome but still the game needs a total overhaul.