PES 2012 (Pro Evolution Soccer 2012) PS3 Review.
If you haven't played a soccer game for a few years, I would recommend that you check out PES 2012 because it offers both a sturdy single-player and multiplayer engine that has a considerably amount of longevity and replay value.
Review Date: October 2011
Reviewer: Peter Bourke
(Pro Evolution Soccer 2012)
There are two franchises that come around like clockwork
every year and each franchise has their fanboys and haters. The
franchises in question are Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) from Konami
and FIFA from EA Sports.
Impulse Gamer has been reviewing both these
titles over the years and needless to say, both games are
quite well made with more tweaks implemented every year. Although FIFA 12 is just
around the corner, Mindscape were first on the ball and soccer
fans... I now introduce you Pro Evolution Soccer 2012!
licensing, Konami has the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa
League licenses but unfortunately EA Sports have the licensing of
the more popular side of the sport with their FIFA series. However
it's good news for Manchester United fans as they are included in
In terms of new additions to the series, PES 2012 features the
following tweaks and improvements and although I did use the word simulation, PES 2012
does have the option to be played as either a mindless arcade
experience or for those that want more realism, a simulation soccer
– Recreates movement and team
ethic of real football. Players
will intelligently create space,
and make themselves available
whilst visibly calling for the
– Utilise player strength to win
the ball in one-on-one
situations. More realistic
animations show the challenges
between two jostling players,
with players falling depending
on how they are challenged.
Off the ball control
– Highlight any player at any
time to strategically position
your players. Goal kicks,
corners, free kicks and
throw-ins now let you quickly
take control of any player off
the ball, enabling clever runs
which create space for an
– Greatly enhanced to improve
decisions made and to ensure
fewer interruptions to play.
Refs will intervene only when
truly necessary, and advantage
will be played more frequently
in offside and free kick
– Choose from one of five
settings, from full support
right up to the full veteran
setting which switches off all
assistance so that the
direction, weight and speed of
every pass is at your disposal!
Check out the video for the
revolutionary new control of
For those new to the PES series and the new gaming mechanics of the
game, the title contains a Training Challenge which basically acts
as a tutorial and takes you through the variety of different soccer
manoeuvres or defences. Training Challenge also has a difficulty
setting and awards the player on their performance via trophies and
is definitely a fun and useful way to learn the system behind PES
In regards to the gameplay modes, the modes are still similar
to last years PES such as the licensed UEFA Champions League, Become
a Legend, Community and other fun soccer modes. I quite enjoyed
the Become a Legend mode which allows you to take a soccer player
through their sporting career which does add a sense of ownership.
But for those that want to manage, the Master League allows you to put
on the shoes of a manger as you take control of all management
aspects of your team from player drafting to tactics. This is
actually quite in-depth considering that this game was not really
designed for soccer management.
In single-player, the AI, depending on what level you play can be
quite realistic and does give you a run for your money. It's also
quite balanced without being overtly challenging or easy. It is
great that you can rely on your players (sometimes) to set up the
ball where it should be as they attack and defend against your
The new defence mechanism employed by the gaming
mechanics ensures that your team don't just stand around like
dummies and wait for the player to do all the work but rather, they
assist in the overall strategy, assisting the player either get the
ball or keep the ball.
However if you want more control, the gamer
can take control of their players through teammate assisted or
manual controls. Teammate assisted still has some AI influenced,
however for full control, manual is the way to go but is definitely
more tricky to master. This basically allows you to control an
off-the-ball player completely with the left stick moving the player
with the ball and the right stick moving the player off the ball. It
does take practice but if you can master this, you do up the odds of
Online modes offer both ranked and unranked tournaments and I'm
always surprised at how good some of these online players are. Apart
from the usual suspects of gaming modes, there is also an Online
Master League which allows you compete for money as you try and make
your players into an A-Team.
Controls, controls and more controls. Controls are an integral
factor to PES 2012 and the innovative control system of this soccer
game has been well mapped onto the PS3 DualShock controller. It does
help if you have a degree in the video games (kidding) because there
is so much options available to the player from a variety of
different bursts to dives and so much more.
highlight is the responsiveness and accuracy of your player and
their ball handling skills. As you use the analog stick to move your
player with the ball, it's fun attempting to dribble past your
opponents and then setup an amazing goal via the off the ball
control. Everything just seems to flow like a real game of soccer.
like the passing system of PES 2012 which uses a power metre and
gives a great indication of how far or high the ball will go. It did
take a little time in mastering the passing but the power metre
gives additional gameplay options. There are improved
defence mechanics as well that when you have the ball and by pressing R2,
you can perform a variety of soccer ruses and tricks via the right
analog stick that would even confuse Beckham with your fancy
footwork. Mastering the Feints and Tricks will definitely take a
long time as there are around 50!
Graphically, Pro Evolution is a decent looking game in FULL HD,
however it is missing that final polish that the FIFA series have
had for several years. This is not to saying that PES 2012 is a bad
looking game, it's just missing some of the final touches and
Player animation is smooth and they move with this
uncanny realism, especially when you get close-up to the action.
There are however times, when the animation seems to skip a move but
it's not that noticeable. Facial features like most games have that
"undead" glaze to their faces but even so, it all comes together
Ball physics are perfect and the stadiums look amazing with
some good attention to detail. Add in lighting and weather effects
and most gamers will be pleased with Konami's latest attempt. Sound
effects, music and commentary are just as good as previous games and
it seems that Konami has this down pat. Commentary does get a little
In conclusion, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is not an overhaul of the
franchise but offers some useful and interesting gaming tweaks.
Generally, PES has its fans as does FIFA and most fanboys will stick
to one or the other, unless the developers do something horribly
wrong. Thankfully Konami have not.
If you haven't played a soccer game for a few years, I would
recommend that you check out PES 2012 because it offers both a
sturdy single-player and multiplayer engine that has a considerably
amount of longevity and replay value. The highlight is the
innovative control system that gives you some amazing control of the
soccer ball as you kick your way to victory!