Gaming

PES 2015

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First Impressions

After living in the shadow of EA\’s FIFA, Konami\’s Pro Evolution Soccer is making the right noises this time around. Riding on Gamescom 2014\’s ˜Best Sports Game\’ award (Yes, FIFA was nominated too), PES 2015 released a demo just a week before its rival\’s launch. The demo is available on PSN store and Xbox for free.(PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360). The demo for PC may arrive at a later date.Having chosen FIFA over PES all these years, I was still very excited about PES 2015.

Preview

PES 2015 demo gives you an option to play as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, Bayern Munich or Athletic Bilbao.

As expected, the popular English Premier League teams do not feature in this demo. PES does not acquired the licenses for the English teams. But that shouldn\’t be a factor that pushes you away. Usually, a few days after the game\’s release, patches which include FIFA-esque stadiums and kits are released by the PES community.

The game time is anywhere between 7-10 minutes. You also get to choose between ˜Regular\’ and ˜Superstar\’ difficulty levels. Surprisingly, there is no commentary during games. The usual commentators, Jon Champion and Jim Beglin, are both absent. Will the full version throw a surprise when it comes to commentary? We shall wait and see.

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Gameplay Pro Evolution Soccer is known for its realistic gameplay and this latest offering is no different. After a terrible campaign with PES 2014, it looks like PES has gone back to basics. PES 2015 gives the player complete freedom to express themselves in this virtual world. Ball physics and dynamics have vastly improved too. The behavior of the football is natural specially while shooting. Passing the ball around on PES 2015 is delightful. Special mention to the amazing through balls from Iniesta to Messi, Neymar and Suarez. PES 2015 shows drastic improvement when it comes to gameplay and ball physics.

GraphicsVisually, PES 2015 turns your living room into a stadium. The lightning looks great and the pitch looks wide. I must mention, you play every game in Konami stadium only. Spectators are active participants in the game with their chanting.In addition, the cheers change from team to team, showcasing which team is playing in their home stadium. Even the banners on the sideline give the impression of watching a real game. I also love how the camera turns to the celebrating fans just like real life. These small things make PES 2015 the closest thing to real football.

Player resemblance on PES 2015 is breath-taking. I have to mention Neymar and Suarez. Features, expressions, hair, beard is brilliantly reproduced with a lot of attention to detail. Suarez\’s stance while standing over a free kick, his reactions and of course, his celebration is recreated very well. Hopefully, we will also see him biting a few opponents in the full version.

In PES 2015, everything seems more natural, even goalkeepers. They have improved significantly, especially when they\’re outside the box, anticipating shots from strikers much more intelligently. Then you have then animations that you see in the stadium, like when players\’ momentum takes them off the field, in danger of falling over the ad hoardings.

 Verdict

With PES 2015, the Pro Evolution franchise has gone to a different level. There are no two ways about it. The game has come on leaps and bounds this year. This is the second year that we see Konami\’s proprietary, FOX Engine in a PES game. And this year, Konami have learnt a lesson or two from last year\’s shortcomings. If you have money in your pocket to buy one soccer video game, I would suggest this is a good year to buy Pro Evolution Soccer, especially PC gamers. The game will be available in physical form for just Rs 999, significantly cheaper than FIFA 15. The game will be out on all platforms on 13th November, which gives Konami plenty of time to further enhance the game.

Rating : 4.5/5

 

 

 

 

 

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