PES 2010 Reviewed: Football on the PS3
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 has rolled out for the PlayStation 3 and immediately hit the back of the net by topping the charts in the number 1 spot in the UK. Find out if this is the best football game out there in this review.
Pro Evo vs Fifa History
The two big franchises when it comes to football are Fifa Soccer and Pro Evolution Soccer. When Pro Evolution burst onto the scene it blasted its opponent into touch with a new brand of flowing, realistic and satisfying football. PES ruled the PS2 days easily offering the most engaging and thrilling football experience. In recent years EA have worked hard to ensure that Fifa redresses the balance and while they may now lay claim to the most realistic football game on the market you still cannot beat Pro Evolution for fun.
The latest release in Konami's series, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 has rushed straight to the top of the UK chart. The series has some staunch supporters and thanks to the intense rivalry with Fifa, which forces people to choose sides, most gamers will declare themselves a fan of one or the other. The PES series has long held the crown but there is no doubt it was stolen away with the release of the PlayStation 3. This is the best release from Konami so far on the new console and given the choice I'd go for PES 2010 over Fifa 2010.
The current generation of consoles has seen a lacklustre release from Konami as Pro Evo rested on its laurels and allowed Fifa to gain ground. Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 doesn’t represent a massive overhaul but there have been some key tweaks and additions that bring it right back into the match. The game now features full 360 degree control for dribbling the ball. This extra range of movement and ability to effect the slightest changes in direction makes it feel more fluid than last year’s game and definitely adds a bit of depth.
The big change is to the menu system and the options have been rendered with greater clarity than ever before. Ratings for players are clear, positions are highlighted and there are sliders for setting a wealth of tactical aspects for your team. It is accessible and intuitive and much easier to tweak than the previous options system.
The full range of modes is available and you can play one off matches against the improved AI or a friend with full support for online multiplayer. You can also take part in the epic Become a Legend mode or dive into the redesigned Master League which offers a much more in depth managerial experience than ever before. The AI improvements can be seen on the higher difficulty levels but there is still room for stupid errors and comical goalie behaviour. The referees seem to be a bit more consistent now. The individual players also have a recognisable gait and if you play to their strengths you’ll get some awesome results.
The real reason to pick up Pro Evo has always been the multiplayer battles and it offers a terrific match experience. Screaming and jumping around with excitement as you slam in the winner after a mammoth session which has taken you into the early hours of the morning is every bit as inevitable with this release as it was with the first game in the series. For me Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 has the edge when it comes to a night in with a few beers and some mates. The slightly arcade feel coupled with a good level of realism makes it possible to apply genuine tactics and skill but also to have the odd astounding fluky moment or gaffe which makes for a really fun gaming session.
The long awaited overhaul has arrived. The game looks by far the best of the series so far and player likenesses are excellent. The build up is cinematic and atmospheric and the game looks fantastic in full flow as well. The range of animation has been increased slightly and for the most part the action flows really well. There are occasional moments of awkwardness with tackles and deflections but generally speaking this is a very attractive game.
The big disappointment is that the game still lacks all of the official licenses and there are a few teams and players with daft names. The overall style and presentation is improved but it still lags behind Fifa in this department. The gameplay is more important for me but some people will find the lack of certain real competitions and names irritating.
Thankfully the music they have licensed in this title is far better than last year’s annoying sound track. The sound effects are excellent with an exaggerated twang when the ball hits the post or crossbar and some authentic crowd chanting. The commentary is provided by Champion and Lawrenson as usual and they sound much the same as last year. There are some nice one liners but all too often they come out with something inappropriate for the action or just plain daft. The best thing is the responsiveness of the crowd as they cheer and shout according to the action on the pitch.
Sports titles are generally good for replay value and Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 is no exception. The wealth of modes and the multiplayer options will keep you coming back for more and you can easily dip in for a single 10 minute game or spend a whole night guiding your team to victory over the course of a season. There is plenty content to keep you busy and the game definitely justifies the asking price.
Detractors will argue that Fifa 2010 is a superior game for realism but how much realism do you want when you’re gaming? Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 represents a big step in the right direction from Konami and fans of the series will enjoy it. It is an excellent, fast-paced and exciting game which offers a real footballing experience with depth. There are rough edges here and there but the bottom line for me is that PES 2010 is huge amounts of fun.
- All references, cover art and screenshots from Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 for the PS3.