Pro Evolution Soccer 2012
Smooth, complex, but thin on proper content
- The soccer itself is smooth and complex enough for soccer fans to really get into
- The social/multiplayer structure is down to a fine art
- The content itself is very thin compared to the competition (FIFA 12)
If you’re a serious fan of soccer, this is probably the better game compared to FIFA 12, especially if you can organise a social league with friends.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
In recent years, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) games have struggled to compete against the FIFA juggernaut. First, it was a matter of unlicensed, fake player names (the bane of all footy fanatics) against FIFA's 'real' players. Now, they’re licensed — just not as many. FIFA 12 has an astounding number of leagues and teams to choose from, where PES focuses almost exclusively on a handful of (major) European championships.
And where FIFA has aimed to be accessible to all — at times flirting with being an arcade experience rather than a simulation at all — PES games have been skill-heavy titles for the hardcore soccer fan. Predictably this has relegated the game to the benches in terms of sales.
It’s likely to be a case of history repeating itself this year; I just can’t see PES knocking FIFA 12 off its lofty perch. That’s a pity in many ways because, though developed on a clearly smaller budget, PES is in many ways the better football game.
It’s all about the on-the-field action with this game. Player movement is smooth and slick. The sheer range of ball control movements and tricks requires an encyclopaedic knowledge of buttons that rivals a fighting game. And the result is, when you pull off a perfectly timed through ball to open up an easy goal, an incredible thrill.
Indeed, if the crowd wasn’t so ugly (a constant reminder that this is just a game), then the atmosphere of PES 2012 would be something special. The sounds of the fake crowd and the ball bouncing around the pitch are amazingly authentic.
Even the commentary is reasonable. Though Konami seems to have given up in trying to match up the comments made with what is happening in the actual game, at least they're not obnoxiously enthusiastic like we see in many other sporting games.
It’s just as well that the on-field action is so much fun, because the menus and game options are rather thin. There’s also only a pittance of international teams available, so if you don’t follow the European leagues, you’re immediately left behind in terms of finding a team to relate to.
There’s also no real manager mode with the same depth of a FIFA game, which says a lot, because the FIFA management modes are themselves casual-orientated and threadbare. There’s really very little sustained content in the game to engage with.
Redeeming this for the sake of replayability are the game's online modes, which are robust and quite entertaining. There’s solid matchmaking, so newer players are unlikely to run into the OCD-level talents of PES’s best players. It’s worth playing one of those once just to realise they make South Korea’s Starcraft players look like Just Dance party gamers, but after that it’s nice to know you can settle into something that won’t result in 10-0 losses.
Then there are some neat Facebook applications to build custom leagues with friends and stat tracking. That part of the game is wonderfully addictive, and the more PES-owning Facebook friends you have the better.
So big props to Konami for really upping the ante with the social side of Pro Evo '12. FIFA 12 will still be the single player’s game of choice, but for the committed soccer fan, the rewards really are there this time around in PES, which in this humble critic’s opinion is a big step forward for the series.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Kogan Agora 4G Pro review: the final word on Kogan's best smartphone
- 2 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 3 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 4 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 5 Lenovo ThinkPad T550 laptop
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Rising Thunder is a PC-exclusive robot brawler built by Street Fighter talent
- Nintendo's President Iwata's death comes as firm tries to move to mobile
- Batman: Arkham Knight (PC) review: Holy squandered potential, Batman
- Batman: Arkham Knight: How bad are the issues? Pretty bad.
- Sony doubles PlayStation 4 storage ahead of big game releases
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTDesktop Engineering ManagerNSW
- CCInternal Communications ExecutiveNSW
- FTAccount Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager & Account ManagerVIC
- CCLead Generator - Software SolutionsNSW
- CCMarketing Coordinator - World's largest search engine!NSW
- CCAccount Strategist | Sales Executive | Global Search EngineNSW
- FTDevOps Consultant - Microsoft Experience - Digital ConsultancyVIC
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW