With PES 2016 releasing tomorrow, international websites and magazine have started to provide their reviews of the game based on PlayStation 4 codes sent out by Konami and local distributors. The first thing to note is the game has been pretty successful until now, reaching a Metacritic score of 87 and grades ranging from 80 (just one) and 100 (one), with three 85. What’s interesting to underline is that many of the website who were selected to receive an early copy of the game have not expressed a numeric vote until now. That’s why they were unable to test many of the online functionalities, and preferred to wait until they can do it before to provide a complete judgement about the new sports game from Konami.
Whether you like this solution or not, you’ll be better get used to it, as many authors, websites and magazines prefer not to corrupt their public images offering a grade based upon an incomplete test of the game.
Anyway, we’ve chosen five reviews that better suits our need to understand if PES 2016 is worth our money or not, and it looks pretty clear that every of the outlets we selected have found some reason to let us know that, yes, we should all buy the new iteration of the series.
GAMESPOT – 9 “SUPERB”
“Like with all recent editions of PES, a wealth of gameplay options await, with updates to modes such as Become A Legend, Master League, and MyClub (the latter was inaccessible during review due to the servers being down). Master League has been given a brilliant Football Manager-aping redesign, with a calendar view and news items all displayed on its home screen.
Yet there’s little worth in assessing soccer sims by the weight of their game modes, or indeed, the breadth of their official licences. All that truly matters is what unfolds in those virtual ninety minutes, either against a friend, an online stranger, or the computer. On that test alone, PES 2016 represents the best game in the series since the PlayStation 2 era.”
- New physics engine is a revelation
- AI sets a new benchmark
- Animations are outstanding
- Enhanced fluidity and control
- Underwhelming UI and character models
- Bizarre referee lenience
GAMESRADAR+ – 9
Some areas need work, sure, but PES 2016 still manages to play an incredibly enjoyable game of football. The improved Master League mode is a godsend, adding substance to the package and complementing the excellent gameplay. With the advanced collision system,
Konami has done in a year what EA has been trying to perfect since FIFA 12. The added physicality and increased number of animations has done wonders for the gameplay. The introduction of an excellent edit mode (see ‘edit it up’ for more details) to the PS4 version even makes the usual lack of licenses a relative non-issue. Only the drop in gameplay visuals and lack of AI fouls really trouble its relentless march towards greatness.
- Beautiful representation of the physical side of modern football
- Even better player individuality and team styles
- Responsive dribbling
- Master League is much improved
- Drop of visual fidelity in gameplay camera
- Low number of fouls by the AI is a tad unrealistic
GOD IS A GEEK – 10
It’s not perfect, of course: the crowd still looks terrible, and the commentary has had an overhaul which is successful for the most part, but also features some truly comical orgasm-sounding player names when they shoot. It wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s every other time you take a shot that has Drury screaming their name and it just sounds daft – imagine “ALEXIS SANCHEZ!” being screamed every two to three shots. There are also some explanations of menu options that feel a little awkwardly done (and the menus themselves are largely the same overall), but that’s par for the course with PES these days.
The only gameplay negative worth noting is the lack of fouls. It was a problem in 2015 and it’s a problem now. Obvious fouls appear to go ignored, and you can go multiple matches on the trot without actually seeing a break in play due to a foul. Of course you’ll get the whistle blown if you attempt to actually kill someone with a sliding tackle (though PES still has the best sliding tackle in a modern game), and a lack of refereeing is definitely better than a ref blowing every few seconds, but honestly, this part of the game should be better.
But when your biggest complaints are related to the crowd, refs, and commentary, you know you’ve a special game on your hands. Sure, it doesn’t have all the licenses, but on the pitch, where it actually matters, PES 2016 is phenomenal. You’ll have a day off from playing it and forget, but then return and remember how truly special it feels to just play football. It’s the best football game I’ve played in as long as I can remember (and I’ve just about played them all), and an utterly essential purchase. PES 2016 is the best there is, and the best there’s been in a very long time.
- Gameplay is just sensational.
- Significant upgrades to myClub.
- The animations and collision detection is top notch.
- Commentary is still hit or miss.
- Refs let