The best soccer game just got better
- Teamvision feature develops AI
- Gameplay changes are subtle
In 2001 I played my first game of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). It was against my friend Aaron and I won 1-0. Then I won 2-1, then he beat me 1-0 with a lucky goal so I won the next one 6-1. He didn't actually score, I gave him the goal on a piece of paper. Since then every year on Earth has meant a new and improved experience of watching Aaron's sad and aging face. So I like PES. I like it a lot.
There are two kinds of football gamers, those that want an authentic footballing experience, and people who play FIFA. Pro Evolution Soccer won the hearts of the former with their first release, which managed to make you feel like you were playing a game of football that you could have been watching on television. They got so much right in that first game that subsequent releases have been bemoaned for their lack of 'big' developments. But we have had faster gameplay, more subtle ball control and some great set-piece changes. Now in 2008 Pro Evolution Soccer has 'Teamvision'.
'Teamvision' is the big news of the latest edition of Pro Evolution Soccer and involves the computer's players owning a kind of 'artificial intelligence' that allows them to adapt and react to your gameplay. So much so that you now need to play in true Kenny Dalglish-style as a kind of player-manager with one eye on winning the match and one eye on making sure your tactics outwit your opponent's. Defenders and goalkeepers are more responsive to danger and attacking players make more intelligent runs off the ball, which is now a special blue Pro Evolution Soccer leather number four if I'm not mistaken - it does seem rather small. Plus there are some nice manager and dug-out shots during the games and goalscorers celebrate with the subs. You also get extensive editing options if false names still annoy you.
The retail version of Pro Evolution Soccer came out in November 2008. You can beat all your mates and rest happy for another year.