PES 2010

PES 2010 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCiPhoneWiiPS2PSP

Claiming to be the most challenging, realistic and satisfying PES to date.

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7Out of 10
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PES is back, but has it closed the gap on league leader FIFA?
PES is back, but has it closed the gap on league leader FIFA?

PES is back, but has it closed the gap on league leader FIFA?

The gulf in class is widening. PES 2010 is a better game than PES 2009, but not significantly so. PES 2010 is an enjoyable, satisfying football video game, but FIFA 10 is the best football video game ever made.

It had been hoped that Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka and co at Konami would do what EA did four years ago and invest in a completely new game engine, employing a revolutionary start-from-scratch approach. Unfortunately those hopes have been dashed. Bar the addition of a few new animations, a slight slowing down of pace, some new officially licensed teams, and team tactics and player ability features that are destined to be cast aside unused by the vast majority of players, PES 2010 is PES 2009.

Playing and reviewing FIFA 10 a few weeks before PES 2010 does the latter game no favours. In comparison, PES 2010's players feel sluggish and unresponsive. PES has always felt this way to a degree, but it's never been so pronounced. The ball moves with minimal realism. Run animations are as robotic as ever. Cross field passes often trigger kicking animations that defy the laws of physics. Shooting motions fail to convince.

Take, for example, basic wing play. In PES 2010, directional changes and actions are "buffered" into the game. This is how most sports games work, but here a change in direction will often see your player frustratingly run the ball out of play a second after you've inputted the command. The same problem causes comical own goals, with defenders running balls into their own net as you helplessly hammer the opposite direction. PES fans have long accepted this mechanic; FIFA has shown it to be unacceptable.

For all the changes Konami has implemented, traits that have marred the series for years have been frustratingly ignored. Keepers can quickly underarm roll the ball to defenders, but, seemingly uncontrollably, sometimes they will annoyingly bounce it before throwing it out. Konami has slowed down the pace of the game in an effort to make it more realistic, but the ball still zips about as if bouncing around a grass covered pinball table. 360 degree dribbling allows more control over player movement, but the animations that come with it aren't convincing. It's easier to successfully nail slide tackles, but they often send recipients flying off in silly directions. Keepers are vastly improved shot-stoppers, but they still parry shots into onrushing strikers' paths with annoying regularity. It seems that for every minor gameplay improvement Konami has implemented, there's a frustration denting its impact.

The new Playing Style Card system is an odd mix of RPG ability equipping and Panini stickers

The new Playing Style Card system is an odd mix of RPG ability equipping and Panini stickers

This is no more apparent than with the new Team Style and Playing Style Cards features. Team Style, theoretically at least, allows you to tweak the way your team plays. You're able to change the degree to which players switch positions, how compact the team stays and the defensive strategy, to take three examples. The default settings of the more famous teams will make sense to most football fans: Manchester United's Position Switch is set to 80, meaning players will switch positions regardless of favoured positions. Chelsea's Pressing is set to 75, meaning players will chase down and try to dispossess opposition players at any distance. Arsenal's Support Range is set to 70, meaning players will provide close knit support for the man in possession.

In theory, the concept is sound: with it you should be able to affect off the ball movement to an unprecedented degree, forging an identity in much the same way the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal have. The problem is, in an actual match it's incredibly difficult to see that it makes any tangible difference. There's nothing in-game to explain the feature, or to show the impact of your changes. As a result most won't even realise Team Style is in the game. And of those that do, only the ultra hardcore will spend time with it.

It's a similar situation for the confusing new Playing Style Cards system. There are three types: Attack Level Cards, Playing Style Cards and Skill Cards. An Attack Level Card lets you set a player's inclination to attack or defend. You're able to choose between Attack minded, Defence minded or Balanced. For example, Didier Drogba has an Attack Level Card set to Balanced, meaning he will look to strike the right balance between attack and defence. But you're able to change this to Attack Minded if you want him to join in the attack whenever possible. As with Team Style, the Playing Style Cards system is better in theory than it is in practice. It's a system that you'd never know existed unless you went searching for it. When you do find it, it's convoluted and difficult to grasp. And, again, its benefits are not immediately obvious.

And yet despite all these frustrations, PES 2010 still retains an odd addictive quality, one that's fuelled by a strange sense of satisfaction experienced whenever you score a goal. This has perhaps been PES' greatest strength down the years. You could happily play PES 2010 for hours, enjoying its more comical, arcadey moments totally oblivious to the sky-rocketing bar that's being set by the competition. Indeed, if you've stuck steadfast with PES in recent years, PES 2010 will no doubt impress. Playing it, especially with friends, is fun. The only problem is you could be having more realistic fun elsewhere.

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User Comments

alibehroz's Avatar


Changing very bad players designed. Davar game is a little difficult.'s Worst on difficult combination in this version is not stored
Posted 21:43 on 30 January 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ hecnob90

Sorry, there is no Argentine league.

But it does have Boca Juniors and River Plate.
Posted 16:14 on 30 November 2009
hecnob90's Avatar


can anybody tell me if ps 2010 has the argentine league in it ?
i live in us , here they have fifa 10 and it has the f..... mexican league ...can anybody help me pleaseeeee....thanks
Posted 16:02 on 30 November 2009
Kiroquai's Avatar


To be honest, all the points you mentioned up there about FIFA (particularly the dumb AI and the scoring from the half way line) went out the window years ago.

Any reviews that score FIFA higher than Pro Evo have simply come to the conclusion most people have: it's better.
Posted 15:16 on 21 October 2009
hangar18's Avatar


JamesB you are correct - FIFA is awful.

How on earth anyone can think its better than PES (with all its flaws) beggers belief. FIFA is not a soccer sim, end of story. The poor ball physics, jerky camera action, unrealistic tackling mechanics and easy exploits (e.g. scoring from the half way line) make FIFA rather inept as a soccer game, and lacking in challenge from the CPU. The dumb AI helps the CPU only to the point where you realise what not to do, and instead learn how to exploit the AI against the CPU. The challenge stops here even on top player mode.

Any review that provides FIFA with a higher rating (or even a high rating) than PES has alterior motives for doing so, or knows little about football.

If FIFA were advertised as a headless chicken soccer caper, captured by a camera man with an advanced form of parkinson's then it might be worthy of 9/10 but as a soccer sim.... pah... dont make me laugh.
Posted 01:51 on 21 October 2009
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ wyp100

If by gods, you mean Martin O'Neill and the boys, then yes, the football gods have indeed punished you.
Posted 13:18 on 19 October 2009
da_nik69's Avatar


People who don't like or watch football think FIFA is 'realistic' because it is slow and slightly dull?

I love football and watch it every week and i can assure you i know what the players should look like so your argument has no legs to stand on.

FIFA to me is easily the most realistic football game that has been created.
Posted 12:38 on 19 October 2009
JamesB's Avatar


FIFA is painfully awful.

I know this, because I bought it. Somehow, the reviewers neglected to point out that FIFA's ball physics are completely wrong. Over the course of 10 days, I didn't score a single goal that looked remotely like something you might see on MOTD.

People who don't like or watch football think FIFA is 'realistic' because it is slow and slightly dull. They don't realise how poor the player likenesses are, because they don't know what the actual players look like.

I've been playing footy games for 20 years, so I don't really need reviewers to tell me what to think. That said, FIFA went back to the shop yesterday as a £25 trade in. Did I get £15-worth of fun out of it? No sirree...will be picking up PES on Friday...
Posted 11:52 on 19 October 2009
wyp100's Avatar


Gah. With that woeful away loss to Villa, clearly the football gods punished me for the last line of the review.
Posted 14:57 on 17 October 2009
bencrosaby's Avatar

bencrosaby@ wyp100

Thank you. :) PES plays completely differently on Wii than it does on 360/PS3 y'see.
Posted 10:07 on 17 October 2009
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ rbevanx

Can't use Blues - It says there was Flashes of Brilliance - LOL!
Posted 11:05 on 16 October 2009
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100@ bencrosaby

We'll do our best to make it happen :)
Posted 10:55 on 16 October 2009
Ghost_Dog's Avatar


I still think that Shingo "(kick his ass) Seabass" Takatsuka will pull it back next year.

I also think that the default camera in PES is better than FIFA's, which makes everything look too small.
Posted 23:41 on 15 October 2009
bencrosaby's Avatar


Will you be reviewing the Wii version?
Posted 18:22 on 15 October 2009
El-Dev's Avatar


If FIFA 10 is Manchester United, then PES 2010 is Liverpool. Despite flashes of class, only one team is capable of winning the Premier League.
Posted 17:17 on 15 October 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
PES 2010
Out of 10
PES 2010
  • Fun, arcadey football
  • Better Master League
  • Team and player strategy features miss the mark
  • Unrealistic animations
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/10/2009
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , iPhone , Wii , PS2 , PSP
Developer: PES Productions
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 1,329 10
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