Review – Pro Evolution Soccer 2013

Across the pond and around the world, football (soccer) is arguably the #1 sport when it comes to fan support. Millions watch the matches from Liverpool to Madrid.

Did Konami’s recent release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 earn the endorsements of Ronaldo and Neymar, or did it go offisides? Read our review to find out.


As an American football fan, soccer has always been interesting for me to watch when the World Cup rolled around, but it’s not something I followed on a regular basis. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 with its in depth Master League, fluid game play and crisp graphics, may change that.

The first thing that surprised me was the attention to detail with the graphics and the player details and animations. Stadiums looked spectacular, with fans in the stands clearly celebrating, or in some cases bemoaning, their teams. Attention to detail on the stadiums stood out as well.

Stadium lighting was affected by the weather, and gloomy, wet days have a noticeable difference than sunny days. Shadows follow the player around properly and are very noticeable when the camera goes in for a close up after a scored goal. Camera angles are generally out and wide for the main game play, and do a great job or reproducing that TV feel for matches. All replays can be saved, and once the myPES app goes live for consoles, you will be able to be upload them to Facebook to share with others. PC gamers can already enjoy this feature.

Player detail and animations are equal or greater than most sports games on the market. From the main game play aspect, this isn’t all that noticeable. Watch a replay while changing up the camera angles and you’ll be able to see how much detail there is. Dribbling and fancy footwork is impressive. Seeing a goalie diving to his left or right, whether he gets the save or not, looks lifelike. If he doesn’t get the save, seeing the celebration by the shooter mimics real life players like Rooney’s slide for Man U, or the full body slides by other players. For those of you with a 3D TV, you’ll be enjoying this game nicely as well. The depth of the field in 3D adds immensely to the title.

If you’re fairly new to the sport, PES 2013 has a great training mode that can teach you all of the basic controls, as well as the more advanced techniques for those that really want to excel online and off. New this year is PES Full Control (FC). This gives you the ability to dribble, trap, or whatever you choose more freely and fluidly. There are twelve areas of tutorials ranging from dribbling and defense to free kicks and teammate controls. Even if you’ve played soccer games before, you probably should check this area out before getting too involved in the game. A good education is never a bad thing, and learning the controls can always help your game. Learning all of the aspects of PES FC can really make you a force to be reckoned with.

There are several game modes to choose from. PES 2013 has the official license for the UEFA Cup and tournament mode will have you either competing for that or the Copa Santander Libertafores Cup. Each tourney opens with group play and then proceeds to eliminator rounds and then the finale.

The Football Life menu section has Master League and Become A Legend modes. Master League mode has you pick a team to manage, and try to lead them to glory from practice matches, all the way through whichever league and cup you decide to go for, and also can be played online. Become a Legend mode has you either creating a new player, or reliving the life of a star player. Both modes will have you interacting with team management and the media, albeit through sub-titles and not spoken word for the most part. Still a great addition and great way to feel very involved and in the life of a football star.

The online community for PES is split into 240 cities around the world. This really shows how far reaching the sport of soccer really is. The match making system will pit someone of equal talent against you so need to fear getting your rump handed to you by going online. Still, taking the time to go through all of the tutorials should be a prerequisite before attempting online matches.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 did a fantastic job of recreating a fluid and dynamic game that can be enjoyed whether you’re a fan of soccer or not. The game play can be fast and furious, or can be slowed down depending on your style of play. The Full Control aspect adds to the overall feel of the game nicely, and gives you total ball control, which leads to total game control.