Reviews// PES 2015

Posted 14 Nov 2014 13:21 by
Games: PES 2015
It kind of ruins the mode for me. Other modes let you filter what class of team you?re up against, but in Online Divisions you have to endure match after match against Real Madrid, a team filled with over-powered players who can bang the ball in the back of the net from the most impossible positions. I hope they patch a restriction in, because at this rate it?s failing to grab me.

Thankfully, though, there are still enough modes to choose from and this year the net code is stable. It?s not perfect, with the occasional lag game here and there but it?s a far cry from last years effort and I have no doubt that it?ll get the support it needs to iron out the creases.

The thing that lets PES down the most is its presentation. It?s tried to pull up its socks, with new menus that imitate FIFA and improved the graphics. There?s no doubt that PES Productions has given it a bloody good go, but it simply can?t compete. After putting hours into this and being happy with how it looked, I went back to FIFA 15 and the gap between the two is bigger than I first thought.

The background work in the menus is also clunky. It?s a vast improvement over PES 2014, with FIFA?s tiled menus being adopted, the data packs downloading automatically and the lag in the team selection menu being fixed, but the little notices here at there, constantly checking of data packs and establishing connections makes the whole thing feel as though everything is held together with duct tape.

The attention to detail just isn?t there in PES. Players shirts look too solid, the grass looks textured, the commentary is embarrassing and although they have introduced 3D crowds, they don?t react anywhere near as well as they do in FIFA. Any player that hasn?t had the special treatment looks ridiculous too, barely resembling humans let alone the players they represent.

This is somewhat made up for with the inclusion of Championship teams this time around. It?s a shame they haven?t covered the full English football league, but the fact that they?re expanding their roster is a good sign for the future.

Every year I have to mention the lack of licensing. It?s probably pointless to bang on about it as I?m pretty sure it?s locked down by EA, but it can?t be ignored and will always be a thorn in PES?s side and with the user-generated option files being currently incompatible with the Xbox One and PS4, there?s no fix in sight. So I sat down one afternoon and changed the team names manually, although it?s not the same, what with team badges and kits not being fully customisable, it made the game just at least a little more authentic.

This time around the missing presentation is easier to ignore. We ignored it during the early days of PES and we can now do it again, simply because the core element of gameplay in PES 2015 is that much better than any football game I?ve played in recent years, and that is what?s most important when it comes to playing a good game of football.

Not the licensed music or the hundreds of teams and kits. Nor the slick, near-Sky Sports presentation plastered over the top. That all helps, and can make a great game even better, but when a football game makes you feels as though you?re playing football rather than a videogame, all that stuff becomes more irrelevant.

PES 2015 is a flawed masterpiece. It has the heart that has died in FIFA, and although there are plenty of things to moan about, they all become completely forgotten once you start playing a match. That?s why this year, I?ll be stepping away from FIFA for the first time in seven years and making PES 2015 my football game of choice this season.

+ Exceptional Gameplay
+ Player movement
+ New game modes

- Presentation
- Lack of licenses and compatibility for user generated option files.

SPOnG Score: 9/10
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Games: PES 2015

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