PES 2015 Review (Xbox One)

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For the past few years Konami’s PES franchise has been playing catch up to EA’s juggernaut FIFA franchise. EA have a lot of resources at their disposal which helps them secure deals that makes their franchise a lot more attractive to people. While FIFA hasn’t been making much strides as far as the gameplay is concerned, PES has been improving year after year, and the latest iteration on the next-gen consoles is a force to be reckoned with.

The game runs on the FOX Engine, which no doubt many people are familiar with now. It is Konami’s next-gen engine which powers games like Metal Gear Solid 5 from Kojima Productions. PES 2014 also ran on the FOX Engine but wasn’t able to make a huge impact graphics-wise due to myriad of reasons.

However, PES 2015 changes all that. There is a great amount of detail and player models look highly realistic. Pairing that with realistic animations and a solid physics system makes the game highly enjoyable to play. In fact, the graphics on Xbox One is something that grabbed my attention immediately as I started playing the game.

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PES players always swear by the series’ gameplay which they believe towers over FIFA. I agree with that as well. In fact, PES 2015 has a lot of new additions and has been refined to give a great gameplay experience. FIFA may be the big budget football game that allows all types of players–from hardcore to casual–to feel like a pro footballer, but PES makes you earn it and that in turn raises the satisfaction level a lot when you grab a hard earned victory.

The AI in particular behaves a lot more aggressively. They will pass faster and make a run for the opposite goal and it provides a great challenge considering tackles require teamwork rather than using a player to simply outmuscle the player who has the ball. The physics system in particular is quite admirable and collisions seem to have a lot of impact.

Where PES falters is where it has always faltered. Licenses. While PES has caught up to FIFA in the technical department and having an edge in the gameplay department–the lack of high profile teams and players is a real sore spot.

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However, you can’t really blame Konami here considering EA has most of the licenses. The German Bundesliga which is considered a top tier league is completely missing and there are only three German teams available when you select tournament play. If love playing in the Italian league, there are a lot of licensed teams there.

If you are a fan of Manchester United then you are in luck since it’s the only licensed team from the English Premier League in the game.

Personally, all that shouldn’t really matter because I’ve always maintained an opinion that gameplay trumps everything especially in sports games such as these. If you love football, the PES 2015 gameplay will capture your heart. It’s that good. But if you’re into superficial things like teams and stadiums, then you are better off sticking to FIFA. However, it wouldn’t hurt buying both the games because you don’t really have a lot of options to choose from.

There are eight real life stadiums in PES 2015, which is fairly low, but you already expected that, didn’t you? They are all rendered realistically thanks to the FOX Engine which really shines on the next-gen consoles.

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There are also your standard career modes like Become a Legend and Master League, and this is where the lack of good licenses hurts the game.

PES 2015 is a great game with well tuned gameplay. Football fans would be wise to choose this game instead of the other one because it makes you feel like a professional footballer and the advances on the technical side will make you appreciate the gameplay a lot more.



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