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PS3 Game Review

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (PES 2011)


Format: PS3
RRP: £49.99
4 012927 052198
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 08 October 2010

With the release of the new PES 2011: Pro Evolution Soccer, football game, for the PS3, the first thing I’m not going to do is compare it endlessly to the new FIFA game, although they share game content their approaches are very different.

So, have Konami finally done enough work to silence its critics? I’d have to say that the radical rethink has gone a long way to progressing the game, pushing it to a new level. So, what’s changed? What hasn’t? Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka has overseen a radical reshaped of the franchise, with better graphics, improved single and multiplayer modes and an overall improvement in the mechanics of the game. Unfortunately it does not have the same licences as EA, so some of the player likenesses and team names have had to be fudged. I can’t really see this as a problem if you’re looking for a fun football game, but it may be an issue if you insist on playing a particular team with specific players.

Konami have tweaked the ball control, so instead of furiously passing and shooting, with the previous reliance on the CPU to help you out the inclusion of a power bar means you have to think about your passing much more, certainly it makes the game harder in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it the experience feels more interactive, more importantly it slows the game play to a much more realistic tempo, even if it does lose some of its arcade sensibility. That’s not to say that this is a difficult game to pick up, just that it requires more skill that its predecessor. I’m not a great football player, but still I was up and running in no time and after a bit of practice I was even able to hold my own against the CPU, even if winning was still some way off.

Of course, you still have the problem of furiously following whatever player the computer decides is closer to the ball, also there are times, during play when the ball is put back into play, usually by the goal keeper, when you can’t see any of your players on the screen, which is downright irritating as the CPU is aware of the positions of all its players. You do have a little radar type screen, which shows the position of all your players, but it doesn’t really make up for not being able to see a greater proportion of the field.

The audio in the game is adequate to the job, with in game commentary, which is varied enough at the beginning of the game, but is likely to fade into the background in time, with repetition. The crowd noise is a bit too muddied but does add well to the overall ambience.

Leaping straight into an exhibition game is a good way to start; it’s fairly easy to pick up the controls of the game, though becoming proficient will take time. Passing, scoring, and generally running around the pitch like a loon, the game is not so hard that you won’t get a chance at a goal. When you do score you get to rewatch the action from a number of different angles. These replays can be moved back and forwards in time for you to savour either the bitter dregs of defeat or the heady heights of success.

One thing that has not changed much is the Pro Evo's Master League which remains its strongest selling point, given the depth of options of stats and staff.

I’m sure the game will have both its fans and detractors, both inevitably comparing this to EA. On its own PES 2011 is a massive improvement, adding more flexibility and a greater move towards realistic game play.


Charles Packer

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