Believe it or Not, PES 2015 is Pretty Great

By Ian Dransfield on at

I've been begging for years for PES to get back to the top form it had in the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube generation. On playing PES 2015 at Gamescom today, it looks a fair bit like it's closer than it's ever been.

I actually wanted to keep on playing the game as I was being told "no, Ian, you need to go and see the Metal Gear Solid V demo". That means it has to be doing something well.

While FIFA 15 feels like it focuses its changes off the pitch - aside from some goalkeeper animation updates and 'emotion' - PES is clearly going down the route of fixing that which needs to be fixed.

And not a moment too soon. Last year's game was slow and clunky, with players all feeling like they weighed 100 kilos apiece and possessing the turning circle of a particularly bad-at-turning tank.

I played four matches of an unfinished version of PES 2015, and it feels snappy. Movement is responsive and tight, players do what you want when you want them to, button presses feel like you're doing something rather than you're triggering an animation.

In short: it feels like a football game. Not 'it feels like football'. It feels like a football game. And that's made me very happy indeed - and I hope it carries over to an extended period with PES 2015.

Avoiding the silly buzzwords and marketing speak, there is a feature that I couldn't help but remark on as 'pretty bloody cool' - players have mannerisms just like those of their real life counterparts. Mesut Özil runs with what some might call a bit of a hunchback, Robin van Persie is all arms and fingers out, while Andrea Pirlo is the most refined gentleman ever to step foot on the pitch.

Or maybe the only gentleman, who knows.

It adds a little presentational touch that makes you smile - and makes players instantly recognisable, which is quite a feat. But it's not the main focus, it's just another area PES 2015 does nicely.

The main focus is the game. And it's only been a handful of games played so far, but I'm really looking forward to the next few (hundred) handfuls.

Watch out FIFA - PES is, actually, genuinely, (probably), back this year.