PES 2012 review

  • Master League is mad but great
  • Passing is much improved
  • Instant football fun awaits
  • Online players are still nails
  • Lack of licenses
  • Stiff animations are odd

So PES 2012 is better than FIFA 12? Not exactly. While the overall single player experience is far more rewarding and your AI chums will make the runs you'd expect, PES 2012 isn't without it's faults. Yes, the animations have been oiled to make them move more freely than before, but it still feels stiff, making for a real hit and miss dribbling game.

Speaking of dribbling, one of the reasons I used to love PES was the ease in which you could jink around players on route to goal, but Konami have gone down the EA trick-stick path that needs to be tamed to really make progress. It's not impossible, but it's not easy to master either. Goalies are still pan-handed rascals, often dropping the ball in front of attackers when a simple catch would do the job.

The commentary from Jim Beglin and John Champion adds almost nothing to the match atmosphere. Oh, and though it's no fault of Konami, you'll still be going up against PES playing robots when you play online. It's less a game of football as a race to see who can run down the line and hit X to square it for an easy tap-in. 

But for instant pleasure, a deep and meaningful career mode and constant fan-pleasing cosmetics, such as the little camera men turning where the action is, PES 2012 is back on song. Looks like there is room for two top football games this season after all. 

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Sports
Franchise: Pro Evolution Soccer
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending




  • VigotheCarpathian - October 14, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Jose Enrique in a fake Newcastle shirt says it all for me really. I can handle fake master league players and even the fake kits, to a point, but seeing they haven't put him in the Liverpool squad when the transfer happened months ago makes me feel like they don't give a sh*t. Also I think, FIFA, although much improved from the day's when PES was king, is still not the full package. Its single player mode lacks depth and little details like stadiums, crowds, and weather really matter to football fans. So here's what I want. A football game that has the depth of Football Manager, the licenses of FIFA, the best game-play elements of both PES and FIFA and the attention to detail that PES has. Don't tell me they can't do it, because if I'd just listed all the things I'd want in a Batman game before Arkham City, you'd have probably said they can't do that either AND when the devs tell you that they "couldn't do this or that" because of time/hardware restrictions don't believe them, because they're just saving those little extras for next years instalment. I used to love football games but now I just think they're one of the biggest scams in gaming. I'm never buying one again! thank you, I need a cigarette
  • PistonTwister - October 13, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    Hernandez looks like a zombie in PES, oh yeah and LOL at Rooney in both games. Such an unfortunate looking head!
  • bebl09 - October 12, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    I actually thought some of the FIFA faces looked better than the Pro Evo ones. Especially Danny Simpson, he just looked like some random balding guy on Pro Evo.
  • Jasman - October 12, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    I've always found career modes far more rewarding than head-to-head online play, so it looks like PES is going to be my football game of choice this year. I wonder if Minanda and Ximelez are still about...
  • rob619 - October 13, 2011 7:01 a.m.

    Haha, Minanda and Ximelez! The true legends of football. Minanda a skillful playmaker and Ximelez a great winger. They are the ones to get me in Master League main division over the years :)
  • Turboash - October 12, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    The newly enhanced 'take a dive like you've just been shot in the chest with a cannon' physics makes this one a must buy!
  • Teaspoon - October 12, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    The player faces in FIFA 12 look like zombies when put directly against PES' player faces - but be serious guys, who actually has the camera so zoomed in as so that they can actually see the faces? Not to mention - who cares? If I play a sports game, I play it for the likeness of the gameplay to actual sports games, not the graphics. I want realism - and frankly, PES' lack of licensing with kits/clubs/stadiums, fake player names and inhuman animations do not satisfy my need for a realistic sports game! If I wanted a football manager game then I would buy PES Manager or, dare I say it, one of FIFA's manager games. No-strings football games, for me, are dependent on gameplay only, so I just find all this Master League stuff nugatory - even if it is top notch. You haven't convinced me, sorry.
  • Mezolitik - October 12, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    The guy in the suit in the first screenshot reminds me of the guy with the briefcase in all those Garry's Mod videos.
  • Mooshon - October 12, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Same same. That stone cold killer rooney image will haunt my dreams. Looks like he's going to funk me and leave a signed note. Interesting how PES and Fifa have developed over the years. They've gone a bit too technical in my book, but loving the deeper career modes. Hopefully next year they'll tone it down a bit and develop the fun angle. ISS and Sensible had it right all along mate ;)
  • metalgatesolid - October 12, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    PES's downfall will always be licences. Online there are always the most recent kits you can download for PES so it isnt a major issue. Konami have never been able to get animation perfect but I do admit Master League is so addictive. FIFA has been the most improved or the past 2-3 years but i do think PES is more fun.
  • munkimatt - October 12, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    The Javier Hernandez from PES and Crouchy from FIFA look like they should be in Left 4 Dead. Christ. I'll have nightmares tonight.

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