Each player now possesses a physical presence, too, with movement and decisions off the ball making a real impact on how matches progress.
We have to be quite plain here when we say that this is not an exaggeration.
Weather effects are another highlight, with little details helping to create a living, breathing environment, such as jerseys getting visibly drenched during rainy matches, causing them to hang off of players differently than games on warm, dry evenings.
Showing loyalty to a specific team helps to understand how certain tactical and formation changes affects a team and is a much more effective means of coming up with new ways to win without relying on new or better players.
Konami has also confirmed that there will be a total of seven teams that you will be allowed to try out in the PES 2016 demo through Steam. Again, it should be noted that this was also a complaint past year, but now there’s statistical proof that’s accessible to all. Since the 2012 edition I have been purely PES as I have always thought that they offered the slightly better gameplay, even if the graphics on occasion could be poor (I’m looking at you 2012 and 2013!).
Yet a misspent youth of Federation Internationale de Football Association doesn’t prepare you for the switch to Team PES, as one of the best footie games ever made can be a daunting sim for rookies. If your discard is a right-footed Brazilian defender and you use him to train your main right-footed Brazilian defender, the training is more effective than if you’d tried to get him to train a left-footed Croatian goalkeeper. Stadiums are represented in absolutely stunning fashion, with the lighting being a particular high-point, even if players can sometimes look a little plastic-like in close-up.
A reader looks back at over two decades of competing football games, and the changing fortunes of FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer. Switch to manual control and you also get what feels like a chess match on the pitch.
Of course, if you just want to play and have fun without needing to worry about transfer windows, ratings, money and the like, it’s easy to just jump into things. Gameplay is king after all and this is one aspect of the handsome game that PES 2016 nails.
Don’t roll your eyes at a soccer simulator (like I did) until you really give PES 2016 a shot. It’s more than just glitz when you thunder in a strike from 25 yards off the underside of the bar and the crowd roars its approval. As a result of these issues with the goalies and some strangely rubber-banded AI, PES 2016 features far more goals than any other game in the series that we remember.
The franchise has, in recent times, done a wonderful job of taking the way players move with the ball (the rapid, short steps of Lionel Messi, the swaggering hips of Eden Hazard) and dropping that likeness into the game. This is a very smart introduction to the game, adding a cut-back version of the hugely popular Ultimate Team for those who can’t commit the same playing hours.
Also going under the knife this year is Konami’s myClub mode. Jostling and angling for position is now just as vital as what you do when you are in possession. There is even an upgrade system, similar to an RPG title, that allows your club to evolve as you improve.
Ultimately, though, PES 2016 does its best where it counts, which is the action on the pitch. For anyone who doesn’t know, Master League is the equivalent to Fifa’s Career mode.
Before then Konami is on October 1 releasing a patch to add Live Updates, which alters an individual player’s stats in the online game according to their real-world form. Smaller stockier players have a better centre of gravity, ensuring they stay on their feet more and can muscle their way through, whereas leaner players have a harder time muscling through tackles but can weave in and out easier.
However, the one thing PES has over it’s counterpart is the license to the Champions League, Europa League and the Super Cup.