Review

Pro Evolution Soccer 5 Review (PC)

Pro Evolution Soccer Ė loved by most for being quite obviously the best football game on the market, but hated by some for being one of the most frustrating games youíll ever play in your life. FIFA is often criticised for its ease and simplicity, these are two things you quite definitely can not say about PES. However; sometimes, in the frequent moments of rage when your star striker yet again trips over his own feet the moment you press the shoot button, it can be hard to not think that the supposed challenge provided by PES is more about luck than skill.

The graphics have improved slightly from the last game
PES 5 has a very advanced tactical system

Thereís no doubting the complexity of the PES control system, and the latest in the series has some additions and minor changes to that system. Itís hard to really go into detail about this without talking in terms that only a PES veteran would understand. For example, you can now use super cancel to reposition a player receiving the ball from a lobbed through-pass in order to first-time volley the ball at the goal. People who havenít played PES are now left wondering what the heck super cancel is, and people who donít know about football have already stopped reading. But the point is that the controls are as complex as you need them. The beauty of the system being that a layman can pick-up the basics in 5 minutes and still put on a good show without ever knowing what the hell super cancel is.

The game comes with five difficulty settings, a sixth is un-lockable. PES has always been known as a hard game, but Konami have yet again stepped it up a peg with this release. Now, I donít like easy football games Ė they really annoy me. But thereís something about the difficulty of PES that seems almost unnecessary. Itís not difficult because the calculations you have to make regarding your playersí runs, itís not difficult because you have to have three hands with 20 fingers on each to be able to effectively use the controls, and itís not difficult because you have to outsmart your opposition with mazy runs and brilliant through balls. You do have to do all that stuff, but none of those reason are *why* the game is difficult.

As with 4, PES 5 allows comprehensive editing and creation of players
The replay system allows game reviewers to take half-decent screenshots

Itís
difficult becauseÖ quite frankly Ö it is, for want of a better word, cheap. Whenever your players get into the final third of the pitch they suddenly lose all competency on-the-ball. Itís almost as if the controls change their function; shoot becomes Ďtrip over the ballí, through-pass becomes Ďpass ball to opposition goalkeeperí, and cross becomes Ďkick the ball out for a goal kickí. Your fire-hot strikers become bumbling buffoons desperately trying to scramble the ball in the back of the net. Itís true that occasionally you fire in a few amazing long shots, or volley in a fantastic scissor-kick; but these occurrences are very occasional even for players like Henry.

But Iím being very critical; there are a lot of good things to say about this game. Itís just that Iíve already said them about Pro Evolution Soccer 4. To think of positives about this game that canít be said about PES 4 is very difficult. Itís got better graphics, just about. Itís got a more complex control system, just about. Itís got funkier music, which really doesnít count for much.

So maybe thereís less here for the PES veterans than one might expect from a series which has prided itself on being the connoisseurís choice football game. But for those who havenít played a PES game yet thereís a wealth of reasons to buy this game; the master league gaming mode being high on the list. This is a mode where you take control of a football club in management as well as in-game. Your team begins as the table legs of the bottom league. You are responsible for buying new players, selling old ones, managing the club finances, and earning money by winning matches. This allows for a great deal of fun as you work your way up the leagues and cups year after year, gradually customizing tactics and improving your squad.

One thing that I canít help but mention before finishing is the damned awful commentary. Either this is one of the most ironic jokes after attempted by a games design company, or itís just plain awful. The next time Peter Brackley tells me itís been a ďding-dong battle between these two sidesĒ Iím going to break something.

This is the master league, one of the more compelling game modes of PES 5
Take my word for it, this was a goal

Top Gaming Moment: Making a comeback in a match you thought was all over; very hard to do but thoroughly enjoyable.

Negatives to one side, this is the damn best football game on the market. It can be picked up and played on the spot, but takes months to master. Itís complex, difficult, nice to look at, and it beats FIFA to death in terms of game play. The single-screen multiplayer mode is as good as they come for sports games, providing limitless entertainment with or without the accompaniment of alcohol.

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Comments

By awatdr (I just got here) on Jan 02, 2009
awatdr
?
By youtubeline (I just got here) on Dec 26, 2009
youtubeline
thanks for post
By Mirasss (SI Newbie) on Aug 27, 2011
Mirasss
When PES was better than FIFA...