Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 – Review
Follow Genre: Sports, Simulation
Developer: PES Productions
Publisher: Konami
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: Graphics and mechanics
Bad: storymode lacks 'story
User Score
9.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Over the years PES has proved itself to be a great competitor of EA’s FIFA. While Konami’s franchise still lags behind in terms of licensed teams, PES is still a series that stands tall thanks to its realistic mechanics, its decent visuals and overall proper amount of content. While Konami is doing a whole lot of nothing these last few years, as they’re killing of many of their franchises, it’s fun to see that they’re still investing a lot of time in this strong sports simulation title. We were up for the task of seeing how good our footy skills have evolved since the previous instalment.

Story

Become a legend (BAL) is the story mode in Pro Evolution Soccer 2019. The name of the story mode didn’t change over the last years and we are excited to play with our newly created football player. Sadly, there isn’t much of a storyline to be found in the story mode. You can get better and get interviewed as a player, but that’s about it.

The flow is nowhere to be found, the only thing you can say is that you progress in your story by winning or losing and if you become the best, you can get to better clubs and this season after season. In our opinion, you easily lose interest after the second season.

Graphics

PES 2019 surely looks the part as the character models are amazingly detailed, even though some facial features when zoomed in might look a tad awkward from time to time. Overall the game looks impressive and fairly bright, making sure your eye is on the ball at all times. The fields look decently detailed, with many realistic touches, such as shading from the stands, the cheering fans and the otherwise lively atmosphere. The fans do look great and are proper 3D models, but if you pay some attention to them, you’ll see the same model over and over again, and the stands in the back feel more like 2D models than those on the sides. It has to be said that the recaps after every important event feel very realistic and they are clearly animated with an eye for detail(s).

The game sports a simple UI which doesn’t clutter the screen too much. You’ll have a proper isometric view at all times, with a small map in the bottom middle part of the screen. This map will give you a decent overview of your team and the opposing one’s players at all times.

Sound

Paying proper tribute to a football/soccer game is not an easy task, and we feel that Konami this a proper job in terms of the sound design of their latest PES title. The commentators feel lively, but they don’t go out of bounds too much, and there isn’t a constant spam of commentary which is actually quite nice, as some lines will not repeat as much as they would in FIFA for example. It also feels like there are more random commentaries, about the match, or the outcome, during the actual match, which is also fun, as it’s more than a play-by-play scenario.

The background soundtrack in the menus is properly done with some adrenaline-inducing music, which will certainly get you in the mood to kick that ball around. Overall the sound design is very crisp.

Gameplay

Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is a sports simulation game that revolves around soccer. Each year the mechanics, story mode and graphics get a little rework. There are a lot of different ‘modes’ in this game to make it fun and exciting even after playing it for the millionth time.

Whether you play offline or online the game revolves around soccer, in certain scenarios you can choose your team and in others, you’ll start from scratch to build up your dream team. Right before the start of the match you can position them to your liking and maybe rearrange your players and substitutes some more.

When the match starts, it is the goal to win the game. Some modes do not require you to win, but you’ll get points equal to how good you played that match. If you are required to win the game, and you don’t manage to get past an equal score there will be extra time or penalties.

Offline it is possible to play a story mode which is called ‘Become a Legend’, in this mode it is your goal to become better as a (fictional) player and manage to get as far as possible in your soccer career. You can also play separate matches with the team of your choice or play a (self-made) tournament.

Online it is possible to battle against other players with, again, a team of your liking. There is also a mode where you can create your dream team, here you can receive or buy packages and start your collection of professional soccer players. While you create your dream team in the MyClub mode, you can start off duelling against other players‘ dream teams in several modes. Whenever you play a match with your team, you earn GP which can be transferred into the help of a scout or are used for buying players of the market. Also if you have not the patience or time, you can invest money to buy some more advice from certain scouts and attract players from them obviously.

One of the most important parts of the game is handled very well. Most of the players today look for realistic graphics and realistic mechanics while playing a sports simulator. In PES 2019 they treat us with nothing less. They first let you choose between which playstyle you like most. In a match, you can feel the intensity and the realism of the controls. The game is therefore not that easy.

Although they keep improving their licences, they still lack a lot of big teams in PES 2019 which can be a turn-off for some of those hardcore soccer fanatics out there. Big team names you will definitely see in PES 2019 are Liverpool FC, FC Barcelona, Arsenal FC and FC Schalke04.

Conclusion

Although Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is standing tall against its nemesis FIFA19 it still has a lot of flaws. The ‘story mode’ is a bit too basic and the licensed teams are still a minority. What PES 2019 does well is its realistic mechanics and very decent ‘cutscenes’ after goals or after fails in a match. Also graphical wise it is nearly the same or maybe even better as FIFA19 which is an achievement on its own.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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