PES2008 – The Review

Originally Posted: 18 Oct 2007 

Well it finally arrived after what seemed like the longest wait imaginable – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008.  8)

First off let me get the bad stuff out of the way.

1) I don’t like the new replays, they seemed jumpy and were jittering all over the place. However this isn’t a massive problem – for me its about the game itself, the better the presentation (replays/commentary) is the more enjoyable the all-round experience but I often skip the replays anyway.
2) Keeper Mistakes – this is more of a potential concern. I played probably around 8 matches and had two goals scored where the keeper shouldve saved it. For the first a long range effort hit the palms of the keeper and deflected into the goal and the second one the shot actually spilled through his hands and trickled over the goal line. Now I’m all for realism and have often said the keepers in PES seem to have a superhuman grip on the ball but I really hope this doesn’t happen too often. Twice in eight games is just about acceptable in my opinion.

I think really the above were my only major concerns. So let’s move on to the good stuff.

1) Long free kicks work at last! Its fairly easy to float in a cross and get a header on the end of it. Finally! In the old games they seemed a waste of time as the only option was to play it short.
2) Long goal kicks don’t immediately surrender possession – yay! Its now a lot more possible for your players to header on or take down and control goal kicks.
3) The new animations are great – like the fact that when two players jump into each other trying to head the ball its now possible for them to both be knocked away stumbling. Saw some new foul animations – making everything look a lot more realistic.
4) Slide tackles are now a lot shorter – meaning the animation – so you really have to time your tackles, go in too early and you won’t slide into your opponents path as in previous games; you will stop short and the opposition will saunter past – leaving you on your ass.
5) The commentary isn’t too bad! Now Brooking has gone it all seems a bit more professional – Mark Lawrenson’s sarcasm can be heard dripping from each sentence. Jon Champion is also a step up in my opinion.
6) Seemingly none of the old tricks work – this has to be a good thing. If you’re running alongside a defender and press back to turn, nine times out of ten he will stick a foot out and tackle you. The pace of play is different, the game feels the same speed but you need to think about your options more, assess your passes etc.
7) The AI is a big step up. The computer isn’t as predictable as before and I often found myself caught out when it did something I wasn’t expecting. Everything feels a lot more individual – every player feels different to control. It sounds odd to finally say it but its true. After all this time Andy Johnson feels different to Mark Viduka. Johnson gliding past the last defender and slotting home – Viduka bundling past the last line of defence and smashing the ball home.

I haven’t had the inclination to try diving yet – it requires a press of L1 L2 R2 all at the same time. I haven’t had the opportunity or the manual dexterity to give it a shot!

So overall a big improvement – albeit not the next gen perfection I was expecting. But get rid of the stuttering replays and this may have been the greatest footie game so far on the home consoles.

GregHorrorShow Rating: 9/10


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