Football is certainly the world’s most famous sport, and the opportunity to live through a superstar’s life as our favorite players are only intensified with the realistic mechanics of PES 2019.
Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer has long withstood being under the shadows of FIFA— but when it comes to the controls, mechanics, and physics of being in the pitch, then PES is still miles ahead. And while FIFA is known for its storytelling, PES features the football culture more closely.
The menu itself has a number of gameplay options to choose from—either online or offline—most notably MyClub and Master League. It also marks itself as a great party game with its co-op 2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3.
I, however, could not go into online matches with MyClub due to the feature requiring PS Plus. But sports games, such as this, should thrive in online gameplay more so than its offline features — this goes especially for PES with its beautiful graphics, spot-on physics, and the feature to also include the 3 vs. 3 matches.
Meanwhile, Master League is a simplified version of MyClub as it puts you as the manager of your own custom league or an already existing league, which has 12 in total. As a manager, of course, you traverse through the seasons and win as much gold as you can while cultivating players in training.
The control that you have is mostly centered on how you coach your team and the multiple options you have on what strategies to take during matches. This means a careful organization of your players’ abilities and current statistics (which can be raised overtime).
With that, what I appreciated about the game is its live updates involving real-life players. This creates a more realistic projection of the league in real life towards the one you are experiencing through your screen.
Besides managerial duties, I have spent more time in Become A Legend than anything else. Just like Master League where you may customize your own character to be manager, Become A Legend presents you with the opportunity to create your own athlete.
The character customization itself features a variety of ways to create an entirely new person or recreate your own features or a celebrity’s. As a woman who simply loves sports, but also adores Ryan Reynolds, I constructed my guy to look almost like him.
Becoming a football legend close to even the likes of Lionel Messi is slow. Though playing matches are definitely exciting, the off-pitch dashboard is bland. You have little to no control of your training besides dividing “focus points” unto different aspects, so you will have to endure many matches sitting on the bench and waiting for your turn on the pitch.
Due to this, it’s best to play in a league that doesn’t house a star player to up your chances of starting. Initially, I had no problem with being benched for an entire season and only starting during the 2nd half or on the 65’ mark, but it becomes frustrating to wait as you will have to see the entire game play out.
The lack of a skip to simulate the minutes grows tiring, even when you fast-forward, thus it doesn’t help to make you stay trying to “become a legend.” It’s at that point you’ll realize that PES’ specialty is a football simulation directed and focus at its managerial feature.
However, as I’ve mentioned, that the experience on the pitch itself is breathtakingly beautiful. The controls are easy to master in a short amount of time and soon enough playing a match becomes a smooth rhythm. The realistic approach of how the ball bounces as you pass and shoot is also amazingly rendered and matches the gorgeous graphics that can be witnessed at the overall look of the stadium and the players’ movements and emotions.
Disclosure: This review is based on a review code provided by Konami. Read our review policy to know how we go with our game reviews.