The perennial battle for football dominance in the gaming marketplace has kicked off with both FIFA and PES releasing their latest iterations last month.
Regular readers of my blog will know that after a decade of PES I switched to FIFA last year and have not regretted the decision.
So how do the two compare this year? Here’s a breakdown of areas so we can see them side by side:
Graphically PES takes this one. While FIFA11 is an improvement on last year’s FIFA title, Pro Evolution definitely trumps it in the looks department.
A fairly even one here, with both games giving you the ability to slide or block tackle and both games doing it well.
Both games have similar shooting mechanics and it’s possible to score some great goals in both games. I feel FIFA’s shooting has been refined nicely and PES’ has been improved on since the last game.
FIFA11 starts to come into its own as you delve into the deeper gameplay aspects. Passing is superb and you truly do have full control over where the ball goes. In PES they have finally introduced a power bar for through balls and given you more control but it doesn’t quite match up to FIFA’s freedom.
Sadly AI is where PES falls down completely. Players not making runs (or worse starting one then stopping just as you’ve passed it to them) and defenders standing redundant as attackers breeze past are just two of the problems. The goalkeepers in particular are still a bit unpredictable and while FIFA’s AI isn’t perfect it is certainly believable.
Overall then FIFA11 just feels like a better game, the range of freedom is too great to dismiss. It’s not perfect but it is one of the best football games I’ve ever played. PES 2011 is the game 2008 should’ve been. This is essentially the first proper ‘next gen’ PES. An overhaul was needed and that’s what PES got – now they need to tweak the formula. I suspect next year will be the closest battle between these two for a while but currently FIFA retains the crown as king of the football games.
PES 2011 – 7/10
FIFA 11 – 9/10
So big strides forward this year for PES but not enough to close the gap completely on FIFA. Next year should certainly be interesting though, especially if PES continues to improve over the next 12 months.