Name: Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Released: 30.08.2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose

Every year it is the same discussion, FIFA or PES? And this year it has gotten even harder to figure out, as PES is the best it’s ever been, according to Kim. I obviously couldn’t let him have all the fun and got my hands on a copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.

Graphics

First and foremost, PES 2019 looks amazing – the players all look realistic, and the licensed stadiums is absolutely breathtaking! The pitch too looks magnificent and so does the audience. Most important of all though is the fact that the game runs very smoothly. Not once during my time with the game I had any noticeable lag/framerate issues – which I honestly was a bit surprised with, based on my former experiences with the series (although not since 2014).

Personally I still have some issues with liking the UI. For me it feels a bit cluttered, and I’ve yet to learn the structure of the menus. Of course, that might have to do with me not playing PES since the 2014 edition. One thing I find a bit annoying is the lack of licensing, and the lack of right colored kits for the non-licensed teams. Misunderstand me correct, I get that you can’t have all the licenses, but I don’t grasp why for example Man Red (Manchester United) have burgundy home kits?! The players are all licensed, so everyone knows it’s Manchester United – the kit not being red is utterly wrong!
9/10

Gameplay

As usual Konami has gone for a more arcade-like style with PES 2019, compared to EA’s FIFA series. This (and the licensing) is the key difference between the series’ – both which have their own strength and weaknesses. What I must say however is that this year’s edition feels a lot more natural than the last time I played PES. Yes, there are still some weird physics here and there. As Kim mentioned the “First Touch” mechanic is a bit wonky where the players couldn’t really control the ball the first couple of touches. But it’s all so much better than my prior experience, so I’m willing to tolerate those few issues.

PES2019_Schalke04_Stadium_1535011878

As usual you can play Master League, which might be the best thing to do, at least playing offline. If you’ve played PES before you’ll know what this is, for those of your who haven’t, though, I’ll give a quick summing up; you accept the role as a manager for a team of your choice. This means you’re not only playing the matches, but also making sure players get the right training. New contracts when that’s needed. As well as negotiating transfers. The mode is yet again evolving from last year, with an improved negotiation system and the addition of “News Feed” – where you’ll see videos from press conferences when a club has signed a new player for example.

The game also features myClub, which is PES’ counterpart to FIFA’s Ultimate Team. Unfortunately, my experience with this mode was very limited, as the servers was seemingly down for most of the time. This also meant very little online testing in general. What I did get to try while the servers were up and running was a pleasure, and I will surely return once the servers are more stable.
8/10

Controls

To be honest there aren’t that many possible ways to control a soccer game – you clearly need a button for sprinting, one for shooting, one for tackling (and so forth). If you’ve played PES before you’ll definitely recognize the controls already, as nothing major has changed, as far as I could see. For my own part I’ve yet to get how to control the dribbling and one-on-one situations with PES’ control system, but I’ll take the blame for that myself, since I haven’t been playing that much PES during my life.
7/10

Replay Value

Evidently the replay value is high, since it’s a soccer game. That’s what soccer is, you play a match, and then you play some more. I preferred playing the manager mode and stuck to that one save (both because of the time limit with the game and the fact that I wanted to build a team from the ground up) – so I can’t really say how that part of the replay value is. When it comes to the replay value for matches though, I can surely say it’s all good. Every match feels like its own “story, and no match is equal.
8/10

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Overall
8/10
8/10
  • Graphics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Gameplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Controls - 7/10
    7/10
  • Replay Value - 8/10
    8/10
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Verdict

All in all PES 2019 represent a steady improvement, and is the best game in the PES series I have played so far. The game looks simply stunning, and there are more licensed teams/leagues than ever. Unfortunately, Konami has lost their licence to UEFA Champions League, and that sorely missed by yours truly. Luckily the game still offers lots and lots of fun, and all of you who possess an interest of soccer will undoubtedly enjoy PES 2019. If you’ve ever thought about giving Konami’s soccer series a go, this is definitely the year to do so, ‘cause PES has never been better!

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Great career mode
  • Every match feels unique

Cons

  • Lack of licenses
  • Not the best physics

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