‘Pro Evolution Soccer’ has chased EA’s colossal ‘Fifa’ series for the last decade, since its golden years, but has ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’ finally put the past behind itself?
The quick answer is a resounding yes, as stated above ‘Pro Evolution’ has struggled for years to move ahead of EA’s ‘Fifa’ franchise since falling from its’ grace many years ago. However, this time ‘Pro Evolution’ has really gone for it in terms of quality and performance. ‘Fifa’ still has all the rights of every football team going whilst ‘Pro Evolution’ only has a handful this doesn’t impact the game itself but this does not matter to fans of the ‘Pro Evolution’ series.
In my opinion, the game feels better built this time around. The players, when on the ball, feel like they have real weight to them and each player feels distinct from one another. The larger, stronger players have the ability to hold onto the ball whilst under pressure from the opposing players whereas the weaker but faster players are pushed off the ball easily and have to use their pace to beat opposing players. This translates to all aspects of ‘Pro Evolution’ – in the air or on the ground it just feels ‘right’ for me. This is the most important aspect of any football game and ‘Pro Evolution’ pulls it off so well this time around. One of the main reasons for this is the amount of animations added into the game which allows every move you make feel ‘natural.’
‘Pro Evolution’ also has a massive amount of content with the new and improved Master League and with the Champions League licence it just makes the Master League feel that much more special. The ‘My Club’ mode has also had the same amount of care given to it with players now leveling up, giving them the chance to improve their stats. Even the best players can start at low level and improve their stats which left me with a real feeling of progression. ‘My Club’ makes you feel like you are in control of your own club. Even the little changes Konami have made have really made an impact on the overall enjoyment of the game mode.
Unfortunately, there are still some issues within the game that never seem to be resolved such as the graphics of the crowd being awful. One of the main issues however was the lack of fouls. Obviously having the referee blow his whistle every five seconds is not fun at all but a referee never blowing his whistle is just bizarre. The lack of breaks in play is astounding but it is not all bad as the referee does blow his whistle sometimes but when blatant fouls were ignored I found myself screaming with frustration at the screen.
One aspect that has always had issues in ‘Pro Evolution’ is the commentary. This time around there is a huge improvement in this and although there are still some issues such as the commentary sounding a little robotic, it is a lot better than previous ‘Pro Evolution’ games.
In the end ‘Pro Evolution’ has finally started to move in the right direction and in a big way. It is not perfect by any means but ‘Pro Evolution Soccer 16’ could be the best Football game I have ever had the opportunity to play.