Pro Evolution Soccer 10

There was a time when Pro Evolution Soccer was an innovator. There were often more polished and more complete football games, but Pro Evolution Soccer always gave us something exciting and new. That changed several years ago, and each subsequent edition was more stagnant than the last. FIFA became the standard-bearer, and it became increasingly difficult to compare Pro Evolution Soccer to it.

With that in mind, we were not expecting much from Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, but what we found surprised us. It is clear that the designers are prepared to change what needs changing and even return to the games roots in cases where the alterations were a mistake. Is this a good game, and does it compete with EA Sports’ FIFA? No o­n both counts, but what it does do, is give us a glimmer of hope that FIFA will have some real competition soon.

The first thing long-time fans will notice is that the game is returning to its simulation roots, which is a big win because this is where the game first started to lose its way. The second big positive is that they slowed the game down a lot. It no longer feels like an arcade game, and it really takes advantage of its simulation base. Lastly, the facial detail of the players is stunning. This is normally where FIFA excels, but Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 easily steals that crown this year.

So what prevents this from being a game worth playing? For o­ne, the game still lacks complete licensing. Hopefully, as the game improves the developers will be able to afford that. Two, the controls are still wonky and the animation is inconsistent. There are also some incredibly odd quirks such as in the player card system. All of these factors combine into a deal-breaker that makes the game far less fun to play than FIFA.