Really, it’s easy to feel sorry for the PS2 version of Pro Evolution Soccer. Its release used to be one of the most eagerly-awaited events of the year; now - with all eyes on the PS3 version - it looks a bit sad and neglected. This has to be expected, but it’s sad that, in terms of gameplay, PES 2008 is almost identical to last year’s game. None of the ‘improvements’ of the PS3 version - such as the diving or set-piece organization - have been implemented, and there are no noticeable new animations or graphical improvements.
If you’re looking for difference it’s in the match modes, as now there’s a Community option that allows you to create a place online for your mates and regular opponents to hook up. Then there’s the odd World Tour mode, which has you globetrotting with your chosen team, playing in matches and completing certain objectives - such as scoring a specified amount of goals. Both interesting additions, but neither suggests that PS2 PES is doing anything but trying to die with dignity. We can’t even recommend people buy this for all the new team line-ups, because they’re already out of date since the January transfer window.
But even though it lacks licenses and giant leaps forward, the fact that at its core Pro Evo 2008 is still the most complete and sophisticated football game we’ve ever seen counts for something - it’ll still have you punching the air in delight at last minute winners and pounding the floor at unfortunate defeat. So cherish Pro Evolution Soccer on PS2 - you’ll miss it when it’s gone.
March 27, 2008