Gaming

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 – The King is back

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First Impression

PES v FIFA is the gaming version of Android v iOS. PES enjoyed its glory days back in the day when PlayStation 2 was the most advanced gaming console. Somehow, Konami\’s football franchise could not create its magic on PlayStation 3, and with English Premier League\’s worldwide popularity, FIFA zoomed way ahead in this race. With PES 2015, the franchise managed to claw its way back, and looks like this year, Konami and PES have finally nailed it. PES won the ˜Best Sports Game\’ at Gamescom second year in a row and we know the reason why.

 PES 2016 Arena Corinthians

Review

Arkham Knight begins a year after the events of Batman:

We were all impressed with PES last year, and this timearound Konami had to just put the finishing touches. Pro Evolution Soccer franchise was celebrating its 20th anniversary this time around and their anniversary edition couldn\’t have been better. From the minute you start playing your first game, there is a sense of playing the closest thing to the real game. Whoever loves fast passing and quick interchanges will feel at home with PES 2016. The lovely feeling of playing PES 5 or 6 returns here. It feels smooth and fluid and that feeling is constant.

Unless you really lunge into a leg-breaking challenge, referees will allow play to continue. And that is the beauty of PES 2016. Everything that happens on a real field is simulated in the game. The collision system is a welcome change. If Real Madrid and PSG play in a Champions League game, you won\’t expect Luka Modrićto outmuscle Zlatan Ibrahimović, and that is what happens in the game. A midfielder like Yaya Toure can bulldoze his way past people, while someone like David Silva will have to glide past them. Everything feels so real, so lifelike. You always see different animations of stumbling or slipping players, which all look convincing. All the credit here goes to Konami\’s proprietary FOX Engine. Having made its debut last year with PES 2015 and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, this engine was a powerful platform to build PES 2016 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The engine also affects the different conditions that you choose for a match. On rainy days, the grass looks beautiful and you can actually see soaked player kits. PES 2016 also brings an option to celebrate each goal differently. Every player has 4 celebrations which can be executed with press of a button. The developers have also done a decent job with the crowd at stadiums.

AI is also much improved in PES 2016. When a player has possession, his teammates will make well-timed runs to create space. Similarly, if you fail to switch players while defending, the AI reads opposition moves well to prevent glaring holes in the defense. When you play against AI at Superstar level, they will rip you apart with clever runs and dazzling footwork. Also, the AI will put in those last-ditch tackles to avoid conceding. All in all, the AI highly contributes to this beautiful game.

As usual, English Premier League licensing is absent in PES 2016. But that is never a problem as PES community always comes up with patches for real kits and teams. However, PES 2016 does have licenses for most other popular leagues and teams. They also have acquired rights for UEFA Champions  League and Euro 2016. Playing online in PES 2016 is a smooth experience. You really test your mettle here against good players across the globe. MyClub has also seen some impactful additions. If you are patient enough, your players\’ level will increase slowly but surely. MyClub feels as though it\’s been truly innovated upon. Konami knew this mode needed work to compete with FIFA\’s Ultimate Team, and have delivered in a big, big way.

While, PES 2016 is one of the best football simulation games out there, it also has a few shortcomings. Most important is the player roster. New signings are not embedded in PES 2016 and we had to wait till end of October for a patch. Also, most of the popular stadiums are missing, most notably, Real Madrid\’s Santiago Bernabéu. Again, we will have to depend on the PES community to come up with innovative patches. Lastly, the commentary is definitely disappointing. In spite of getting Peter Drury on board, the chemistry between him and Jim Beglin goes haywire. However, these deficiencies do not take away much from a beautiful experience that PES 2016 is.

VERDICT

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is the best football game out there. Konami\’s development team has got a lot of things right like on-pitch physics which is very important in a simulation game. Also, the intelligent AI makes things easy and difficult at the same time. Though it is not perfect in every way, PES 2016 makes every minute spent in front of the television enjoyable. If you are not a fan of the beautiful game, then PES 2016 will take you on that path.

 

Rating 4/5

Platforms & Price ₹ 999 for PC | â‚¹ 2,499 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 | â‚¹ 2,999 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Publisher Konami

Reviewed on PlayStation 4

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