Following a strong debut to the next generation systems (PS4 and Xbox One), Pro Evolution Soccer has been highly touted as the game to overtake EA Sport’s FIFA as the king of the soccer (or football) games. Here’s some early thoughts from the demo release of PES 2016.

When playing the game at first, you’ll notice a huge difference from FIFA 15(16) in terms of the speed of the game. In PES 2016, you’ll struggle if you fail to adjust your play system to fit PES’ speed. Long gone are the days of running down the wings and triple tapping in for a goal but instead, you must be able to skip the ball around the backline, using through balls and longer passes to get forward.

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Presentation is also very different. Despite not having licensing to the majority of the Barclay’s Premier League clubs, PES has made sure their presentation was on top. When I first played the demo, I was surprised when I saw the pre-match introduction as it looked like I was watching a real game. As well, the players faces look improved and look good overall.

One plus that I’m ecstatic about his goalkeeping play. In PES, goalies seem to attempt, and make, more saves then FIFA. For example, if a ball is blasted into the top corner, the goalie will at least attempt to make the save and knock it away.

Free kicks as well seem easier to name. One thing that puts PES ahead of FIFA for me is the addition of the free kick trajectory marker. The marker allows you to have at least an idea on where the ball will land, allowing you to aim a tad bit better. One learning curve that I experienced at first were controls. For example, skill moves are a lot harder to execute compared to FIFA 15. As well, shooting and crossing is reversed compared to FIFA.

Another thing is that it is definitely very different from FIFA. Heading is more realistic than FIFA. A player’s talent also seems to have a lot more of an effect on how a player plays. A player like Robert Lewandowski will be better at getting forward and knowing where the ball with and as well will be a lot more experienced on getting a first touch, which could be the difference between a goal and a lousy shot.

All in all, FIFA seems to have competition this time around. Both games has their differences and both have their positives. Though FIFA may lead the charts this year again, don’t count PES out just yet.

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Kevin Fielder
Gamer and Sports fan since birth. Kevin has dedicated himself to covering video games on each console and every genre. He is a major Franchise player in Madden, NBA 2K, MLB The Show, FIFA and the occasional game of NHL.