Not long ago I was the biggest PES fan around. Not by size, but rather by my love for this series. Some of the best sports games during the Super NES and PS1 era were winning eleven/PES related, so my love should come as no surprise. But recently with FIFA taking over, my loyalty has shifted. FIFA 11 which I played nonstop for a couple of weeks now was superb. But this year PES simply started from scratch, or at least that is what we were told. New engine, new graphics, new sound effects and new menus were all included and promised. Was that enough to renew the fan’s loyalty though? Read on and find out.
So the game is completely new. You will figure that one out from the very first moment you insert the disk. Leaving aside the graphics and sound, the game was altered massively. Thankfully all the change is to the better. The flow of the game is a lot smoother now. Passing is very impressive and effective, which is supported very well by the way players make runs down the field. The best thing about FIFA is how smart the players on the field are. PES seems to have learned that trick now, and players will run across the pitch to open up for a pass instead of just running straight forward pointlessly.
The shooting game seems to have improved as well. If you look at what people online were complaining about in PES 2010, the shooting mechanics would have topped many lists. This year it is easier to aim and shoot. The ease of scoring also fully depends on the quality of the player you are controlling. Aiming to the top corner to register a goal is very much a possibility now and the way keepers watch the ball sail across is also rather impressive. A negative Gameplay issue however is refereeing. I have no idea if this is linked to the animations in the game, but many clean cut tackles are being called as fouls this year. That could prove to be frustrating in a tight and highly tempered game of PES with your friends.
The game modes are the usual suspects. The Champions league mode comes back with the authentic music and graphics from the biggest competition in the world. Added this year is the South American club cup competition too. Master league is where you will be spending the majority of your time however. You will develop your players on long term bases and in no time you will be looking forward to the release of PES 2012. Master league has a new online mode now, where you will earn money to spend on transfers based on your online performance. In a nutshell, value for money is defiantly a plus in this game.
Graphically this game is good, but not as impressive as some people might lead you to believe. Most of the player’s models are close enough but still not as good as FIFA. What I still do not like about this game however is the animations, defiantly something that needs to be fixed for PES 2012. Everything about this game changed expect the animations it seems. To understand what I mean, try shooting in both demos of FIFA 11 and PES 2011. The PES shooting animation will look very similar to what you have seen in older PES games. But in FIFA it all depends on the player, the direction you are running in and on what leg the ball is. All of that will result in a different shooting animation.