Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 review
William Thompson


New AI, new visuals, same great gameplay

Football games through the ages

I love a good football (soccer) game. Ever since Five-A-Side Soccer, which I played on my Commodore 64, I can happily say that there has always been a football game located on my PC or on all the gaming platforms that I owned. I certainly have had some favourites along the way, including Kick-Off and Sensible Soccer on the Amiga 500 and FIFA 98 Road to World Cup on PSX. I was a big fan of that last one, as at the time, my friends and I used to have competitions to see who could make it all the way to winning the World Cup. Then a friend informed me that there was another series of football games on the market and a pretty good one at that: Pro Evolution Soccer (Winning Eleven). And although it was the new kid on the block, it had potential.

Well, now the latest version has been released, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (hereafter referred to as PES2008). And of course, with it come new features. The main addition being the much-lauded AI system called Teamvision. It is said to be more adaptive, working out new strategies as you play. And after playing for some time, the opposition does try and cut out your favourite avenue to goal, whilst at the same time attempting to find gaps in your defence. Unfortunately apart from Teamvision, there seems to be little difference from previous incarnations of the series.

Thats not to say that newcomers to the series would be disappointed though, as the game runs remarkably well. The players run fluidly and minor details such as gripping at opponents shirts when tussling for the ball give PES2008 that extra realistic touch that the PES series is noted for.

Game modes

There are a number of game modes available to play. The usual is single match mode which you can play if you only have a short period of time for gaming. Or for those with a little extra time on their hands, there are the tournament and cup modes, which span over a number of matches, depending on the competition selected. Besides those options, there is the Master League, which is the meat of the game.

The Master league includes playing through a season (or number of seasons) as well as letting the gamer have some management functions such as organising transfers and player training. This is nowhere in the same league as the Championship Manager or Football Manager games, but gives those management fans something nonetheless.

One disappointment (evident in most PES games) is the lack of full team lists. The English League consists of Tottenham (which is OK for me, a Spurs fan) but gamers will be disappointed if they want to play as the mighty Manchester United, because there is no such team in PES2008. Instead, teams like Man Red take the place of many English Premier League teams.


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