Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 - PS3

Game Description: Konami's latest installment in its critically acclaimed soccer simulation franchise features a host of new upgrades designed to make the game the best iteration yet. Improved controls, updated visuals and animations, reactive crowds, smarter AI, and a deeper online experience are just a few of the new additions that will make this the soccer simulator to beat this coming season.
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 Hands-On Preview

Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 Hands-On Preview

By Sterling McGarvey - Posted Sep 01, 2009

Once the reigning champ of soccer games, the Pro Evolution Soccer series has made a bumpy transition to the current era of consoles. On the heels of two regressive seasons of footy (at the exact time that EA began hitting a sweet spot), it’s hard to imagine what Konami can do to regain its status as the hardcore soccer sim that ardent sports fans play. Judging by what the publisher brought by the G4 office last week, I’m still not exactly sure that Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 will beat FIFA 10 this year, but this year’s improvements could mean room on your shelf for both games.

Konami has made the claim that it’s working on a more newb-friendly experience for its highly-technical sim. How? It’s all about tactics. Besides “I could go outside and play a sport if I wanted” or “real gamers don’t play sports games,” gamers tend to condemn sports titles as being too inaccessible. PES 2010 addresses that issue with its approach to tactics. Our Konami rep said, “It’s not a yes/no question of whether you want help; it’s a question of how much help you want.”

You might have seen the recent video laying out the new approach to formations and play styles a few weeks back. Essentially, PES 2010 will explain every step of the process. Can’t tell the difference between the reliability of a 4-4-2 and the attacking trident of the 4-3-3? The game will detail why each tactic works, depending on how you want to play. Is the idea of a counterattack kind of fuzzy and complicated? There’s a detailed explanation that shows how it works, plus you can tweak exactly how much or how little you want the AI to help you (on a 1 to 100 scale) in various departments. Plus, the explanations animate those little square player icons to demonstrate how each formation and tactic functions. It’s a really novel approach to explaining how the game works (minus tedious tutorial mode), yet it allows vets to decide the minutiae, like whether they want to spread out player positioning, or protect the ball carrier like Secret Service.

Strategy aside, the action on the pitch feels different. Because you have the ability to tweak the amount of AI help that you want, you don’t have nearly as many instances of your CPU-assisted teammates running out of position and getting you unwanted yellow cards, a problem I encountered as recently as last week when I went back to revisit PES 2009. The shooting feels much more precise and accurate than last year’s game; Konami’s Tokyo team has really refined shots so that a gentle tap no longer sends the ball into the ultras section of the stadium.

Konami’s big coup last year was the acquisition of the UEFA Champions League license. The irony was that the publisher snatched up those rights, but still lacked the club licenses for virtually every English Premier League team. Unfortunately, for PES 2010, it doesn’t look like North London will magically become Arsenal, nor will Manchester Blue become Manchester City. That said, the publisher claims it has some big news regarding some clubs and stadiums shortly. I managed to at least squeeze out some information that previously unlicensed clubs will be debuting with PES 2010.

I’m not sure that Konami’s long-standing claim -- PES’ depth overcomes its lack of licenses -- holds as much water after EA’s two years of exceptionally deep gameplay and licensed clubs with FIFA. That said, from the 3-0 drubbing I gave the Konami rep in a Roma – Juventus match (hardly indicative of the real-life results this past Sunday), I get a strong sense that with Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, the Tokyo-based team is finally sculpting a better soccer experience for this console generation. The shooting system feels tighter than the past two years, the AI got itself fewer yellow cards, and the visual menus really help with explaining complex ideas. I’m not sure it’s going to walk away with the championship, but it could at least qualify for a slot on your shelf.

Comments are Closed

  • osmaniaristondo27

    Pes 10 was released on Nov. 3 and I have yet to see a review, and fifa 10 got reviewed before it was even out. I take your reviews into consideration when buying a game so please give it a full blown review.

    Posted: November 8, 2009 12:54 PM
  • dozerx8

    i will probably most likely go with fifa 10 solely because i already got used to their controls and style of play. but if i can 5 finger discount my way to a copy of this i'll play it for fun. but fifa has me buying their games every year.

    Posted: September 1, 2009 8:12 PM
  • dwbr23

    Thanks for the review!! Great job on this release. Thanks for going into details about the AI help as it was something that annoyed many people.

    Could you please elaborate on the game play side of things.

    Do you feel that licences aside, does PES have an upper edge as far as simply game play and fun factor?

    Its great to hear that the shooting is more polished! Is the free kicks more polished? Passing? Crossing? Is scoring back to being VERY satisfying? what about dribbling?

    Once again thank you and best regards

    Posted: September 1, 2009 7:56 PM