Genre: Sports (Soccer)
Developer: PES Productions
Release Date: November 11th 2014
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Reviewed On: Xbox One
A copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
The Fizz Home Gaming Community is pretty big on soccer games. My nephew and brother both loved playing last year’s FIFA — my nephew plays soccer all year round, so the news that Uncle Fizz got to review PES 2015 was pretty exciting to the family. In fact, I wasn’t even the first one to get to sit down and play it.
When I did have the time, I thought I would just kind of jump in — I don’t know soccer or soccer games that much but I know the basics and I know the controls can’t be too terribly difficult. I just started off with a simple exhibition to gather my thoughts on the ability to pick up and play. I think this is pretty important for most sports games because often you are only sitting down to play maybe one or two games before moving onto something else. Knowing nothing about players or teams, I started playing as Real Madrid and played against Sevilla FC.
The controls seem simple enough, but there are nuances to how you should use them. My first instinct when I see a power bar while shooting a goal is to fill that baby up because I want to smoke one by the goalie. However, whenever I did this my shot would send the ball sailing far over the goal. The power bar on the passes seemed much more natural and intuitive.
My first game ended in a heart breaking 0-1 defeat as all my kicks on the goal were way too powerful and always sailed way over the goal. I soon learned that more power isn’t necessarily everything despite what Tim Taylor taught me as a child. The second game went a lot more smoothly while I felt like I controlled a lot less of the ball offensively, I actually came out on top all thanks to Christiano Renaldo one of the few names I know in soccer. I ended with a victory of 1-0.
One of my main issues within the game was that the options and menus seemed very slow and confusing. I noticed that there was definitely a certain terminology that I wasn’t familiar with. These were not just soccer terms — the main options were worded strangely. They all seemed to have a more European vibe to them, and I assume that was Konami’s intent. I wasn’t necessarily put off by this but it definitely confused me on first pass.
There seems to be no quick and easy or even forced way to do substitutions. I figured it out eventually, but in the first few games I noticed that all my players had been completely exhausted. I think in these instances, simple phrasing or simply a “substitution” option when you pause the game would help immensely. These are not any big gripes that ruin the game, but they were most certainly annoying for a newcomer like myself. I’m sure that a more seasoned soccer game enthusiast would have less trouble than I did.
The AI in this game though seemed pretty spot on from what I can tell. There seemed to be little to no exploitable strategies. The players seemed to always remain in place and anticipated play well as the game went on. The fact that I have little to say about the AI should really be thought of as a high point here. Every player seemed to play as a normal player would.
Where I did have gripes was in online play. And my main gripe is I couldn’t play online at all. I did some digging around and found that on November 27th PES announced across their social media, “Thanks to the server maintenance, we are happy to announce that most of the online issues have been solved. Sorry for any inconvenience!” However, I and many others still experienced issues, and on November 28th PES announced that some maintenance had been extended. On the Konami Online Portal website for PES it was stated, “We are working on the issue at the moment and this is scheduled to be fixed on Friday, 5th of December.”
Some PES 2015 owners have turned the online problems into a joke. When PES unveiled their official shirts, someone asked “where i can find: Pes 2015 Cannot find an opponent t-shirt?” Unfortunately, this isn’t the only problem PES is having — the game has been out a while now and owners of the game are complaining about not being able to buy MyClub coins or even play the mode at all. Kudos must go out to the staff that run the social media for the game because they have been active in responding and trying to help anyone who has had problem with the game. Hopefully, December 5th marks the day everything online will be fixed for Konami and PES Productions because I for one would like to see the game succeed and the fans be happy.
In my personal experience, every day I would try at least a quick match to get some sort of online play to talk about. Every time without fail, I was met with: “Could not find an opponent”. I tried various times in the day. I tried various online game modes. I could search for rooms to join (and there weren’t many) and play and they would all be filled up and I would never be able to find an opponent. There just seemed to be no one playing, maybe that will change in the future. But as of now I can’t actively review online play because I simply couldn’t play online, which doesn’t bode well at all. Hopefully, it was just me and the rest of the players out there had an okay time finding people to play.
I would recommend that if you decide you like what PES 2015 is bringing to the table, you should definitely look into the training options and learn the more complex controls. I found out through loading screens that while certain buttons are held down you do other actions better! Once I sat down and learned some of the mechanics it was a much nicer time playing.
I think the game deserves a 7.5/10. The atmosphere of PES 2015 is great, and you do get a nice feel of being on the field. “The pitch is ours” is what Konami is telling us. And I don’t know if I’m totally on board with that; however, the game has a very real feel and an immersive atmosphere — the in-game commentary is nothing to write home about, but after having heard canned commentary, maybe that’s actually a good thing. PES was admittedly harder to pick up and play as a casual fan of soccer. But I do have to say I had fun while playing it, whether I was taking the game seriously and strategizing, or trying to see how many slide tackles I could get away with.
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