Pro Evolution Soccer 6 Review (PC)

These days when you claim PES is the best football game you’ve ever played, that it mops the floor with Fifa, and that it probably always will do, you barely find someone who can be bothered voicing their agreement – let alone find one of the rare individuals who still champions EA’s sorry little franchise. Well the latest PES release has recently hit the market, and while its dominance of the genre will go completely unquestioned, what I am concerned with is what those Konami boys have actually been doing for the past two years.

Another year, another PES
Notice the addition of a shameless advertisement in the top-right

PES 6 features a whole variety of gaming modes, some of which can be customised with various weather, difficulty, and multi-player options. There’s a training mode which starts out at the game’s absolute basics, a custom league/cup mode, exhibition mode - by far the easiest way to have a quick 1 v 1 multiplayer match, and the master league mode. Master league is an option whereby the player takes control of a team of their choice, or one of their own creation, and takes them from the bottom of a minor league to champions of the world – purchasing new players and training current ones along the way.

If you haven’t heard why Pro Evolution Soccer is simply the best football video game in existence then I present you with the following simple list; it’s an easy game to pick-up but very difficult to master; the shear range of tactical, strategic and technical modes of attack and defence available; the concentration and creativity required to actually score a goal – especially against human opposition; and the game’s un-equalled dominance of late night post-pub gaming tournaments.

Has it really been a year since I reviewed PES 5 for SI? We’re all a little older, a little more cynical, a little more demanding… But it’s nice to know some things never change – like the clear blue sky, the long green grass, and the latest edition of Pro Evolution Soccer – which is so similar to the last incarnation I almost believed I’d been sucked back in time to 2005. In fact if I strained my memory banks enough I’d find myself wondering if perhaps the year *is* 2004, and my undiscovered brain tumour is the only cause of my strange fantasy that two years have past and in reality I’m playing a game which is apparently two releases on from Pro Evolution Soccer 4.

Yellow card frequency has been slightly increased
Argentina sink England… again

Ok so these thoughts are fairly implausible. But the only alternative consideration is that in two years, two releases, and after a heck-load of income for Konami, the most innovative and brilliant computer game football series has gone through barely the change one would expect from a downloadable patch. If I was a lesser man I’d be copy and pasting my PES 5 review right now and search/replacing all the fives with sixes.

The auto-targeting system for passing has changed slightly, making it harder to specify who you want to pass to. Additionally, back-heels and first-touch passes appear to be slightly less effective. Step-overs and various other ball-skills have been improved slightly, but thankfully not enough that they are anything more than a way of embarrassing your opposition.

Apparently the game engine has been altered in subtle ways to make player interaction more physical. But frankly you’ll hardly notice it, apart from the once per match occurrence when two players struggling for possession of the ball indulge in an unfamiliar ten second uncontrollable uninterruptible ‘tussle’ animation. The first time I saw it I thought something marvellous and wonderfully realistic had been added to the game, but half an hour later it was just another trite addition which is nothing more than an annoyance.

Much like the new menu system, which frankly seems to be the biggest change the game has seen in two years. The old menu was criticized for being convoluted and hard to navigate – to quote a joke from a friend of mine; “what do they want? A single giant button just labelled ‘Go’?”. In terms of complexity there really is no difference anyway, the only thing which really is apparent is the obvious attempt to make the menus appear more ‘fifaish’.

I would like to mention that I had a copy of Piggyback Interactive complete guide for Pro Evolution Soccer 6 which contained many pages of useful information on how to score goals and the tactics which you can use in order to create a successful club. The guide also includes a free DVD which contains footage of over 150 moves, tricks, shots and Advanced techniques. The guide comes at the cheap price of £11.99 and is a must buy for any hardcore Pro Evolution Soccer 6 fan.

This is a ‘through on goal’ moment
Personally my favourite addition, un-lockable raptor costumes. So that’s what took them a year of programming!

Alright enough. My opinionated rant could go on for pages and pages but it’s really not that important. This game can be summed up very simply. It’s the best damn football game ever made, but only by a gnat’s whisker, and if anything that whisker is merely the updated seasonal player data which separates it from Pro Evolution Soccer 5. Oh, and apparently there are some non-fundamental structural changes which have been made to the master league, as if that counts for anything…

Top Game Moment:
It’s damn hard to score in this game, so when you do it’s well worth it.


By PlipOZ (SI Newbie) on Apr 22, 2008
Anyone know of any good PES mod sites that have good info on the differences between the patches and good tutorials about how to use them ?