19 Reviews

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

It's PES - but not as we know it

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Beglin's insight into the game, meanwhile, is about as deep as Inter Milan's defensive line.

Previously, when PES was quicker and quirkier, it could get away with slightly sub-par extras. But if Konami wants to continue down the sim route - and really get right up in EA Sports' grill again - there needs to be improvements in the whole match-day experience.

Sophisticated commentary and authentic sounding crowds (even if they don't look too hot) are all part of what makes FIFA feel like a cup final - where as PES still feels somewhat pre-season.

MASTER OF ONE
Off the pitch, Pro Evo's Master League is still the stand-out feature. It's very similar to previous editions but with the mode being so popular we wouldn't expect many changes.

The control the player has over the running and development of his or her team is still deep - with everything from training to club finances available for tweaking.

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We do wish that the transfer system offered more by way of player negotiations instead of letting scouts handle everything contractual - but with the addition of Online Master League a whole new competitive dynamic will be added to the much-loved mode.

Make no mistake about it, PES has made a big and important step forward this year. It's managed to combine a new system - which forces you to patiently and skilfully pick your style of play - with the usual hint of lunacy in front of goal that made the series what it was at its peak.

Players now have more control than ever, even more so than FIFA in places, and they won't get their hand held. The ball never feels as though it's on a pre-programmed flight path, nor does it feel like it's stuck to a player at any given moment - even if the men on the pitch sometimes snap to invisible lines.

Similarly shots are based on physics rather than animations which means there are an infinite variety of goals to be scored.

FIFA is still the better football sim by a fair bit, though; it's fluid yet solid where PES feels liquid but fragile.

Pro Evo's biggest letdown, however, is still its lack of atmosphere and licences - and its occasional awkward movement. It still doesn't feel like the real deal in a lot of places.

FIFA fans won't entertain Pro Evo, but long-time fans of PES will know what to expect and have come to love a lot of the series' quirks. In a way, it wouldn't be Pro Evolution Soccer without them.

The new style of play will hurt at first, some might throw the pad down in anger. But ultimately, with the addition of this new "no assistance" system, PES-heads get a completely new dimension to their play - alongside a fresh and interesting challenge.

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The verdict

Still in second place - but the best PES in a long time. Fans will feel like an old friend has finally returned.

  • More player control
  • Infinite number of shots
  • Master League (again)
  • Online Master League
  • Some great graphical examples
  • Little to no atmosphere
  • Appalling commentary
  • We still love licenses
  • Patchy AI
  • A little too light on its feet
8.5
Format
PlayStation 3
Developer
Konami
Publisher
Konami
Genre
Football, Football, Football

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