Gameplay: 8 / 10
Graphics: 8 / 10
Replay Value: 10 / 10
Sound and Music: 8 / 10
Soccer is arguably the most popular sport in the world today. With millions upon millions of fans passionate and dedicated to a specific team, it’s no wonder that they feel the same way about their videogame counterparts. The scores are in on the close title match between EA’s FIFA and Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer. The two football videogame champions have gone head to head for nearly two decades, both sharing an equal amount of victories along the way. Although, PES has been largely eclipsed by FIFA in recent years, mainly due to licensing struggles, Konami made huge strides in 2011 to get back in the game. While Electronic Arts’ FIFA might have reached full maturity, with only minor changes each year, PES continues to grow into a more challenging opponent.
Make no mistake about it; we live in a FIFA era. Most gamers flock to stores to purchase the game, dismissing PES as a cheap imitation, without even giving it a try. Pay attention FIFA-heads. PES is slowly making its way back to the top.
Over the years FIFA has established itself as the “game to get”, thanks to its smooth graphics, official licenses and its perfected presentation. PES has struggled on all three aspects with their soccer game, but things looked up when PES 2013 announced the Copa Americana and UEFA Champions League tournament licenses. This allowed PES to improve all aspects of their game; graphics, player attributes, gameplay, sponsorships and presentation. Sadly, casual gamers will probably take one look at the games menus and lack of polish and turn away.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is by far the best effort of Konami to date, a really great soccer simulation game. Unlike previous years, developers seemed to step away from the arcade style of the game, refocusing it to a “real life” experience.
There have been major improvements made to the game since last year’s offering. Graphics are much improved, with players looking much more realistic and accurate to their real life counterparts. The game’s cover star, Christiano Ronaldo, has been 3D modeled to perfection.
The new Full Control system includes full manual passing and shooting. It improves the mechanics by giving you more control of the ball and shot accuracy.
Artificial intelligence has also been greatly improved. Teams inhabit most of their real life attributes, ie. A defensive team plays defensive and an attacking team plays attacking football. Furthermore, PES’s Player ID helps to make individual players stick out more. Again, players like Ronaldo, Messi and Hulk have custom/unique styles of play. They run differently, shoot differently and dribble differently.
The ball movement in PES seems more authentic than its competition. Some might find it erratic and unpredictable, but isn’t that a more accurate representation of real life? Those who like a more predictable game of soccer should stay clear of PES, as it’s developed to be less forgiving than FIFA.
While PES 2013 has focused its attention towards gameplay, FIFA, the bestselling football game ever, stood back and rather found new ways to interest players. Those new interests include a long list of gameplay modes to keep players busy for a long time. It makes perfect sense considering the pick up and play ability the game has already established.
If you’ve played any of the previous FIFA games you’ll be right at home here. FIFA is slick and smooth, and does do a lot of things better than PES, mainly licenses, online play, animations, commentary and tutorials.
A great new addition to FIFA 13 is the new mini-games which appear before the start of a match. The mini-games, which include dribbling threw beacons on field, shot accuracy challenges and a host of others, serve as good fun and also help players come to grips with the skills and controls of the game.
The main focus of the game is the Career Mode. Career mode allows you to progress and take control of a player or a manager‘s career, or several in-game seasons. Other useful features in FIFA include GameFace, which allows players to upload their own faces into the game. It’s a system that fun and works well, and has been used in many of the other EA sports titles over the years. FIFA 13 also introduces the First Touch Control system, enabling users to take more control over the ball and the character’s movement.
Another new feature, although fairly pointless, is the addition of the Kinect and Move functionality in the game. With the Kinect functionality players are able to call out commands verbally, like giving instructions as a manager. The PS3 Move can be used on offense for pinpoint passing by aiming at teammates, and players can use the wand to “paint” paths on the pitch to send teammates on runs. In addition, twisting the Move wand will apply spin to shots.
Electronic Arts continues to smash records year after year. They recently announced that FIFA 13 had sold over 4.5 million games across all platforms in just five days, making it the biggest videogame release of 2012. While some might say that you can’t argue with the numbers, I somehow feel like PES 2013 has been cheated. Both games are equally good, and both deserve equal recognition. The 2013 releases are too close to call, even though I’ve found myself playing Pro Evolution just a little more. In my opinion, they both get equal scores on all accounts.