Another clear improvement this year is in the visuals. Not only have all graphical assets been either polished or completely reworked, but the animation system has had a massive upgrade. Players look like a team of men, reacting to moments in individual ways. There are no cases of the synchronised warm up dances we've seen before and you can noticeably see when a player is getting frustrated at his team.
The collision system has also had some work, but although it's better than the one EA used on FIFA 12
it's still not without faults. There seems to be more ghosting this year, with legs going through legs and arms through chests. I experienced one really frustrating moment as I flew in for a sliding tackle only to see my player slide straight through his opponent as though it never happened.
It can also break up the flow of a game. When two players collide they stumble around and you can only hope that your animation finishes before the other so you can collect the ball and move on.
Modes of play
In terms of game modes, PES 2013
doesn't offer anything we haven't seen before. Master League still offers the same buzz of taking over a side of nobodies in a post-apocalyptic football world and leading them to the top of the super leagues.
It's been slightly toned down to make it more accessible and is a more pleasurable experience for it. You're guided through your first decisions and games by the background staff between matches. They'll offer you advice, point you in the right direction and even flatly tell you who to sign.
It's a helping hand that's needed even for experienced players and although the cutscenes are somewhat cheesy, they're actually quite endearing.
really falls behind FIFA
is its presentation. Almost every aspect of its off-the-field play feels like something from the last generation.
Crowd chants are nonsensical, the commentary even more so. Jon Champion now sounds like a deluded old man ranting made up cliches into an unplugged microphone in a chip shop. He'll often repeat sentences moments after he's finished them and he reacts to shots even after the goalkeeper has taken his goal kick.
The soundtrack is a mix of pop and RnB from all over Europe, all of it awful. The menu system, especially when trying to make substitutions and change formation, is appallingly fiddly
and most of the useful information they can provide is hidden away.
And that leaves me with my usual PES
gripe. The lack of licences are more evident this year than ever before. There is only one licensed English team in this game, Manchester United, so it seems like a further step back. The PES
modding community does a great job of trying to correct that but it's simply not the same.
At The End Of The Day
Putting it simply, PES 2013
is the best game of football Konami has had to offer since 2008. Its improved attacking play makes for an excellent game of football, but it's still lacking overall.
After seeing the great work the PES
team has done to turn the series around, this year should have been about taking another great step forward. Unfortunately Konami hasn't achieved this.
does, however, offer a decent alternative to those who are fed up with FIFA
and want to play a game that represents the sport they love in a more realistic way.
+ Master League is still fantastic
+ Manual controls offer more tactical attacking options
+ Represents the sport well
- Defending is dated and ambiguous
- Overall presentation is well below standards
- Player collisions don't always work
SPOnG Score: 7/10