Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2015

After reinventing itself last year with the implementation of Konami’s FOX Engine, 2015 marks the first year that Pro Evolution Soccer appears on the current generation of consoles. After trying to catch up to FIFA in the last year years, will 2015 mark the year that Pro Evolution Soccer overtakes FIFA?

Presentation wise, Pro Evolution Soccer is still lacking, especially since FIFA’s overhaul last year. It’s a lot similar to FIFA now in the sense that it has added a bit more colours and now features a tiled based system. It does the job of allowing you to get into a game and manage your team, but it’s definitely not revolutionary in any way, shape or form.

Graphically, Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 is miles ahead of PES 2014. Whilst not quite up to the standards of FIFA, it’s still completely stunning. Lighting has seen a huge improvement and crowds are also more dynamic. Although, when you don’t have the huge licenses that FIFA has it doesn’t mean a whole lot. Really, now that you can actually recognised players who each have their own unique expressions, it shows quite clearly just how lacking Pro Evolution Soccer is without the big names of the FIFA franchise.

Another area where I think that Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 is still let down is it’s audio. The soundtrack consists of about 5-10 songs and commentators still aren’t up to scratch.

Many people associate Pro Evolution Soccer with the PS2. When presentation didn’t matter so much and it was all about gameplay, most people considered PES to be a better franchise than FIFA. Unfortunately as graphics and presentation became more important resource hogging, EA took advantage and FIFA became the juggernaut that it is today. Thankfully, this is the most promising iteration of Pro Evolution Soccer in years.

The first thing that you’ll notice about Pro Evolution Soccer 15 is the addition of an XP system. Much like in FIFA, you’re able to gain what Konami call Game Points for completing certain challenges and milestones. This mainly ties in to playing multiplayer games and Master League Online.

The core gameplay of PES 15 often feels better than Fifa. Dribbling feels extremely impressive and gives you a much bigger sense of control. PES also allows you to automate skills moves so that you’re not having to learn complicated button combinations. Something that I use a lot in FIFA is the double-team OR pressure. This is done by a simple shoulder button in FIFA however requires an extremely annoying combination in PES. I’m not sure if this is something that’ll frustrate a lot of players however it annoyed me from the start.

Tactics is another area where PES feels a lot more open than Fifa. You’re able to tweak things such as how many players push up in attack or make players create a certain formation depending on the situation. Sure, these are things that only hardcore soccer players will use but it’s great that they’re there nonetheless.

Master League has been much improved and is much easier to navigate than FIFA’s comparable mode. You’re able to quickly give each player different training regimens in order to improve lacking parts of their game. The biggest inclusion is coach mode which allows you to perform instructions and watch your team act them out on the fly.

The enjoyment level of Pro Evolution 2015 is down to how you like to play sports games. It’s a lot more tactical than FIFA and feels a lot less scripted at times. Through-balls don’t just automatically work and passes and shots will go widely astray. The different is though, it will mostly be your fault when these things happen. Sure, it can be hard to score at times but it provides for a intense match of soccer and if you’re the type of person who likes to be tactical and perfect your plays, Pro Evolution Soccer 15 should be right up your alley.