Konami's latest Pro Evolution Soccer game is promising big this year, designed on the all-new FOX engine, which is also being used on the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V game. Pro Evo has been completely reworked from the ground up, but does this new engine create more problems than it solves?
A long rival of EA's FIFA series, PES has always been a fan favorite to some degree, and even though they still haven't got the license to use every teams' real name they still manage to work around these foibles and produce a charming football game that not only looks great but plays incredibly well. You can edit the names of all players and teams, and when you load up the game, it will automatically load up these modified names. At first I was a little cynical about the implementation of the new engine with this franchise. Sure, MGSV looks great, but could this really translate to a Football (Soccer) game? The short answer is, just about.
The first thing you will notice is the new menu layout, it is better designed this year, with a cool dynamic section to the right that displays your last match's results and even screenshots of the last goal scorers. A brilliant little touch that I think they should delve into a little deeper going forward. It is still just as easy to jump into an "Exhibition" match as always, and selecting your teams and planning out a game plan is a little more organized than before. However, after hitting the button to start the match I did notice how the load times were doubled in this game when compared to prior iterations. You can wait up to 30 seconds for a stadium to load, and then a further 35 seconds to skip the introduction, and there doesn't appear to be a way to turn it off this time around. So, the new engine has potentially ruined the quick "Jump-in, jump-out" nature of Pro Evolution Soccer to some degree. In addition, there isn't even an option to install some data to the hard drive to speed it up.
Pitches and characters look great, and the lighting is probably the best it has ever been, but the difference is minute, and only those who play this game religiously will notice. The frame-rate is steady throughout the match, and it is a nice touch when the ball goes out of play and a "throw-in" is required, because it will automatically decide whether or not to "cut" the gameplay and quickly load the throw in layout, or to keep the play in motion and if there is a member of your team close by, he will simply pick the ball up and throw it with your say so of course. It's a small touch that adds a great deal to the fluidity that has proved to be a winner for the series in the past.