I’ve never been quite sure what sport “pro evolution soccer” consists of. Most people playing the beautiful game on this planet call it association football or football. Somehow the original Japanese title “Winning Eleven” seems more poetic and accurate.
Playability: Fumbling with the ball
There is something confusing and unnatural about PES 2016 that made me occasionally scratch my head as if I had never watched a football match or played a quick game of footie in the park with friends. You can quickstart PES 2016 but you’ll feel the nagging itch to consult the online manual sooner rather than later. The PC port of this Playstation native game requires a controller to play. Keyboard and mouse won’t work. The controls are far from intuitive and you quickly find out that scoring goals is actually hard.
Annoyance: Sluggishly waiting for a red card
PES 2016 plays rather slothfully on PC. There seems to be a general lack of balance between ball tricks, pitch freedom, inane referring, zombie goalkeepers and cut and paste supporters. The game is not much fun to play and only slightly more fun to watch. PES 2016 is neither a proper sport simulation nor an endearing frantic arcade game. Because of licensing issues, some of your favourite clubs and stadiums may not be featured.
Beauty: Something is off, and it’s not an offside
Football players are not expected to look like fashion models, they are only expected to go out with fashion models. With a few exceptions, the best players are on the homely side rather the comely side. PES 2016 somehow manages to make football stars look seriously off. You certainly can recognise all the big names on your screen but there is something off putting about their rendering. Yes, that’s Lionel Messi alright... from afar... and Critiano Ronaldo... doesn’t look like he’s having a good haircut either... Animations compete with Mr Robot and the players have a tendency to eerily glide forward or sideways on grass that looks more fake than green.
The Old Video Gamer's Prattle: A game of footie with the lads in the park is more fun 50/100 points
The PC port of Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is no match for FIFA 16 which I’ve enjoyed reviewing and playing. PES 2016 is a slog through wet turf on a freezing day. The game doesn’t look good (it’s not ugly but it’s certainly graphically off) and the arcane controls don’t feel intuitive. If I want a real football game, I’ll just meet some friends after work and if I feel like cosy arcade fun, there are better gaming options than PES 2016.
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