DISCLAIMER: As a true Brit, it pains and shames me to refer to the beautiful game as soccer when really it is called football, no matter how many Americans would have you believe otherwise. Nevertheless, in order to keep my place on Gamespresso, I must adhere to the rules of my American seniors who will insist on plaguing the sport with this foreign term. Bemoan in my direction as you please, for I have lost all sense of British pride and will never be seen in the same way again.
Look what you have done to me from across the pond.
With that out of the way and all respect lost, allow me to redirect focus onto the topic at hand. Will Pro Evolution Soccer finally become the go-to soccer *shudder* video game once more, having not held that reign for years? Soccer fans should be excited because it looks like the answer is a resounding yes. PES 2016 is out tomorrow and the reviews are already heaping praise on how the game feels to play, and I can vouch for them.
Whilst I haven’t played the retail versions of PES 2016 or FIFA 16 – PES’ most competitive rival, for the uninitiated – I can say with my hand on my heart that, despite favouring FIFA for approximately ten years now, I am finally going to make the switch because I had so much more fun with the PES 2016 demo than the FIFA 16 equivalent.
Many consider the golden age of PES to have been the mid to late 2000s, but the series fell from greatness as EA took huge strides in creating a fluid and enjoyable video game, with FIFA 09 being the beginning of the major revolution. In the years that followed, FIFA put the nails in the coffin and became the go-to soccer franchise for soccer fans all over the world. Of course, loyalists of PES stuck by their game and endured a few mediocre entries, but have finally been rewarded with a product that outplays its rival in almost every way.
The obvious fallbacks remain – PES doesn’t look as good in general and the menus are still overdue an overhaul, that’s not to mention that licenses have always been an issue – but nevertheless this year PES is a genuinely more enjoyable game to play. Not only does FIFA 16 improve little over FIFA 15, but the gameplay itself already feels outdated. Matches feel scripted and repetition quickly kicks in if playing over an extended period of play. That’s not a problem I’ve had with PES. In PES 2016 every match feels exciting and authentic, with each player accurately represented and providing multiple ways of going at the opposition. Scoring a goal on a hard difficulty feels fantastic, because PES 2016 is challenging whereas FIFA 16 is frustrating. Seriously, tackling the opposition on legendary difficulty on FIFA is nigh on impossible.
With all that said, will you too be making the bold decision to switch franchises this season? Even if the general audience doesn’t switch over this year, I think we will see PES become the go-to soccer franchise in the years to come unless EA Sports makes some serious and much needed changes.