Xbox One Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2016

Is FIFA in trouble?

The past few PES titles have slowly been building to becoming a real competitor towards FIFA, I always hoped it would reach the level of control and realism that I imagined it would, have we finally reached that milestone with PES 2016?
More or less, actually. PES 2016 is without a doubt the best in the series, the level of control you have over your players is nothing short of amazing, not only that but the game has become a lot more unpredictable thanks to the ball physics that can make each spin, bobble or ricochet almost impossible to predict, which is what the nature of the game should be about. Sometimes I scored randomly from a ricochet, something I’ve never pulled off in either PES or FIFA before.

Game modes are improved too with new additions to Master League, as well as changes to myClub including the introduction of Player Levels as well as exclusive players to the mode itself. Also introduced is a dynamic wide camera angle that gives you a larger field of view. Commentators can make or break a football game and this entry has new blood in the form of Peter Drury and Marco Hagemann, both of which have plenty of recorded dialogue for not only matches, but also goings-on in the transfer market when in Master League, as well as talks about player growth and overall team performance.
The FOX engine has finally found it’s feet here and the game looks superb and while the series still lacks licensed kits and team names for the Premier League (with some small exceptions) it’s still good to see licensed models of players.

I was reviewing the Xbox One version, but apparently the PS4/PS3 versions have an import image feature which allows you to customise kits, team emblems and even managers. I guess this would probably use the PS Camera, but I wonder why the Xbox didn’t get the same with Kinect?

The Verdict

PES 2016 takes the fight directly to FIFA this time and I honestly think it stands a good chance to topple it, this is without a doubt the best PES title to date and one that is worth looking at, even if you are already planning to get FIFA.

Score: 9.0