Pro Evolution Soccer 2013

The Other Guy On The Pitch

Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is the Man City to Man United. Oh wait, that doesn't work anymore!
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: November 6, 2012
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To celebrate the start of the NBA season TotalPlayStation is taking a close look at three of this year’s premiere soccer simulations. That’s right, we reviewed both FIFA 2013 and PES 2013 for the PS3 and the Vita version of FIFA 2013 so you can make the most informed decision possible when trying to fit in with the European crowd.


Pro Evolution Soccer (or Winning Eleven depending on your region) has long been the foil to EA Sports FIFA juggernaut, at times besting the goliath but lately finding its dominance on the wane. If nothing else, the series exists to push both franchises to continue to innovate. Much like their EA counterparts, Konami sometimes takes a year off from the innovation to refine on the existing game and this is one of those years with PES 2013.

Longtime series fans will recognize that PES has always been the serious cousin to wild, arcade-y FIFA. Over the years FIFA has made great strides to close the gap in the realism department while PES has stagnated a bit. Still plucky though, PES remains a solid contender not settling for being relegated to the second division. This year’s entry is the last using the existing engine so unsurprisingly there aren’t a lot of innovations in this latest version. So how does it stack up against its main competitor?

First and foremost, the on-field action is as tight and well-paced as ever. The amount of control you feel like you have over the ball is unparalleled and the variety of moves rivals and probably bests even the plethora you’ll find in FIFA. With a little practice you’ll be breaking the defenders ankles before buttonhooking and bending a shot around the goalie. Whether you are controlling your own creation or you favorite superstar you are IN THE GAME. Don’t feel like you have to embrace you inner Pele though, as you can get by with just using basic commands and playing like this is a 90’s soccer game.

You aren’t going to find the wide range of modes you’ll see in FIFA, but all the old standbys are here like exhibition, seasons and cups (limited mainly to UEFA Champions League and Copa Santander Libertadores), Be A Legend mode and Master League where you can build your own tournaments. That should be more than enough to satisfy most players. While you won’t quite find the variety of leagues and clubs as you do in other games, every major team you can imagine is there. Sort of. See, one of the things you’ll notice is that Konami was unable to secure the rights to quite a few leagues and teams. A few stalwarts like Manchester United are there, but the rest of the premiere league requires you to make educated guesses about who Man Blue and Merseyside might be. For the most part, the players are there too, although once again, some teams are filled with renamed players that baer more than passing resemblance to real life ballers. Is it something that affects the actual gameplay? Of course not, but the problem is it DOES draw you out of the realism quite a bit, especially if your favorite team has been bastardized.
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