PES 2016 could be the best football game ever made.
To explain why something is a challenge. The improvements do not easily lend themselves to snappy soundbites back-of-the-box. I can not point to one change or addition that makes all the difference. Rather, it is a game that has been refined in dozens of small ways, all of which have a positive cumulative effect. This year, the PSE shook the last remnants of PS2-era rigidity, offering faster play, more responsive and more fluid football. I’m always a little reluctant to make direct comparisons to FIFA – not least as I only played the demo version of the EA Sports game – because the handle in these two very different ways. For my money, while FIFA specifically recreates the look of the sport, PES is the game that best capture the feeling.
For starters, there is a much stronger sense of physicality this year. It is more obvious when players are jostling for possession (and, indeed, for the position). Before, it often felt like the results were binary, but it is quite predictable. Context is everything: if you win or lose the ball in a challenge depends on a number of factors, taking into account the competence of actors and their position relative to the ball and another. A clean paraphernalia blade is particularly satisfying: contingent on dynamic player, they are among the most tangible manifestations of your ability to read the game and your opponent. Referees are fortunately more lenient than in real life: you can barrel in a challenge to speed, drive cleaning and win the ball, but as long as you make contact, it will not automatically draw a fault. Similarly, if you jab repeatedly X when running with an opponent side to attempt a tackle rule, rather than waiting for the right time to intervene, then you are bound to concede a free kick.
The attack game has changed, too, and it is here you will initially noticed Konami effort invested in individualize players. Anyone with a low center of gravity – as Alexis Sanchez, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero – is a joy to control, because these players have to jump balance challenges, sometimes stumble when clipped, but always seeking to stay on their feet .