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Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (PES 2012)


Great team A . I .   |  Nice, revamped career system  |  Improved from last years effort .

Lacking licenses  |  Unsatisfying gameplay  |  Not as detailed or deep as FIFA .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:




Value for Money

Difficulty & ComplexityAverage - suitable for most

LongevityVery good longevity

MultiplayerGood multiplayer functions

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox 360 version.
Review by Ben Nacca
(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BenNacca )
XBL GT: Darkeyes1991 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11

Once a great series that had FIFA playing in its shadow, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has hit a rapid decline in the quality and realism of football simulation in recent years as FIFA has sufficiently risen to the top as footballing sim king on consoles. PES 2012 is now here but can it stand to the innovation and quality that is displayed by FIFA 12?

In short, no. Though this year is a huge step in the right direction, whether this is due to the controls still being familiar, rather than learning the new tackling system of FIFA 12 or because the career has been revamped and new modes added, it feels like development has been made and PES are back on track.

Graphically, PES has always had the realism when it comes to graphics and with some incredible attention to detail in this year’s outing, and with the crowd to, it does look very nice but players still move a little robotically which is a shame. Although lacking FIFA’s impact engine, it is something that PES has always had the upper hand on anyway, but rather criticized for because the referees were too harsh. That said, PES 2012 brings a good balance of tumbling players and realistic fouls and if anything, has made the referee a little bit more lenient but still to a good measure that means the game is fluid and sleek.

Chants and hearing the footballers shouts in the game are the main sounds with the thud of a football and the referee’s whistle. It is a football game so these are a must but the commentary by Jon Champion is just nowhere near as cohesive or as entertaining as the FIFA commentary teams. It does feel bland and rather dull to listen to, especially when there is significantly less lines recorded but as far as commentary goes, it gets the job done.

A mere eleven tracks feature for PES 2012’s menus compared to the 39 tracks of FIFA 12 so after a while the music will begin to get repetitive but it depends if you like any of the songs that are on offer. With a revamped career mode, you may find yourself in the menus more often than you would think with the ability to create your avatar which you can then see on the touchline or behind the desk in the manager’s office, talking to your head coach about the next match and so on. The visual representation is fantastic and is much more immersive than previous instalments and FIFA 12’s career but it is a shame that the rest of the features, such as the training and negotiations are just not as slick or interesting.

Obviously, the sponsorships have always been an issue with PES, with only two teams in the Barclays Premier League actually licensed; Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Italian Seria A has all the teams licensed but the league itself along with the logo is not allowed and numerous international teams such as Wales for instance has an entirely fictional team of players that do not exist. The Spanish Liga BBVA is fully licensed as is the French Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie but for a football game aiming at realism and immersion, it just serves as a distraction.

Now, not only does PES 2012 offer Become a legend mode and Master League mode but also the new Club Boss mode, that lets you be the chairman of the club, choosing the right manager for the job and juggling finances. This has to be unlocked by playing the game normally but it is a nice breath of fresh air with the franchise although without actually playing the football matches, it becomes a bit like a watered down version of Football Manager. With all the UEFA sponserships active, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League are all present once more and can offer some extra gameplay for players with option to also take the Master League online.

One thing that does out do FIFA though is player intelligence. Your team mates now make intelligent runs, dummy the ball automatically sometimes if needed and you can set it so in certain situations, they automatically clear the ball, shoot, cross or pass if it is a one touch situation that is too quick to react. A fantastic idea and one that makes it so much more fluid but there is still that unsatisfactory feeling when scoring on PES. It doesn’t feel celebrated, it feels very average and is very underplayed.

Visuals 8/10

Good character models and some nice cutscenes in the career mode are welcoming as well as a slick and easy to grasp menu.

Audio 7/10

The commentary is not as diverse as FIFA 12’s but it gets the job done. With only 11 tracks of music on the menus, if you’re playing PES 2012 for the long haul, then it will get repetitive.

Gameplay 8/10

Really fluid and engaging with the players making intelligent runs by themselves and actually doing some actions automatically helps a lot with keeping the pace of the game. Lack of licensing can detract from the realism though and some modes feel slightly dated compared to FIFA 12.

Delivery 8/10

An array of modes including the new club boss mode and a revamped career mode. Plenty to keep you going and online as well is a viable option.

Summary 7.8/10

Does PES 2012 take FIFA 12’s football crown? No. Is PES 2012 heading in the right direction? Yes. Simply put although it isn’t as good as FIFA in terms of what is on offer and innovation, there is remarkable ground covered since PES 2011 and it looks promising but is not quite there yet. If you hate the current FIFA 12 though with the controls, PES 2012 may be a good option to go for.

This guide is the property of Ben Nacca and is for the sole use of www.lanraiders.co.uk, www.dooyoo.co.uk and www.ciao.co.uk. No copying to other websites or other mediums without written permission first.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (Xbox 360) PES 1 - Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (Xbox 360)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (Xbox 360)
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LadyValkyrie 15.10.2011 14:46

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Product details

Long Name Pro Evolution Soccer 2012
Publisher Konami
Genre Sports
Platform Xbox 360
Release Year 14th October 2011
Developer Konami
Age 3+

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