GAME NAME: PES 2013
DEVELOPER(S): PES Productions
PLATFORM(S): PS3, XBox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS
RELEASE DATE(S): September 25, 2012
There was once a time when soccer game purists would contend that PES offered the superior virtual soccer experience. PES 2013 nails home the fact that this is not the case any longer and hasn’t been for a while. From the graphics to the commentary, everything that PES does is similar to FIFA but without the polish.
When I first tried to play PES it took me a half hour to get through all the different setup components that you had to go through before you could actually get into the game to play. Right off they bat they did a good job of dampening my excitement for the game, Once I finally got into a game I felt like all my players were running in sand. The speed of the game is significantly slower than its EA counterpart. While that might make tactical game planning on the fly easier, it certainly drops down the intensity. I did find it easier to pick up the basics on PES, partially because of the slower rate of play though.
The one area that PES is able to successfully differentiate itself from the competition is in the ability to play the ball vertically. Bicycle kicks and mid-air kicks are common and add a nice dimension to an otherwise bland game. Doing these moves is not incredibly difficult but being able to do them accurately and the way that you want to do them can be challenging. I found myself staying away from them just because of the complexity of the button combination needed to do them.
The music is an eclectic mix of music, but unfortunately it is neither lively nor good. I found most of the music to be depressing and made me want to stop playing just to get away from hearing the same old songs again. The match audio is equally unappealing. The commentators rarely speak during the game. They generally just talk when a player shoots or gets flagged for a penalty and even then, the commentators don’t even seem to be all that excited about the game unfolding before them.
I didn’t run into any connection or lag issues playing online, but the game did a horrendous job of matching me up with a player of my skill level. Maybe that’s because the default skill level that you are given is an A. Each match does adjust your skill ranking though, so the more you play the better it should get at matching you up.
Playing in the UEFA Champions League and the COPA Santander Libertadores is a lot of fun. It’s nice to be able to take a team and make a run in these legendary tournaments. You can also play as classic teams with some of the greats from another era, so there is some good old soccer goodness to be had.
The game still has all the general modes that you would expect from a soccer game this generation. You can create a character and customize them into the beast that you wish you were on the pitch and play through a career.
Overall though, unless you are a master of mid-air soccer acrobatics, you are much better off spending that money on FIFA this year.