TSC Gaming’s Fred Richani reviews Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2019: David Beckham Edition game and puts it to the test!
Watch our Pro Evolution Soccer 2019: David Beckham Edition Review or scroll down to read it!
Full disclosure: We were provided an Xbox One game code by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is Konami’s annual major sports release and continues to give EA Sports’ FIFA franchise stiff competition. Let’s dive in!
The first thing new and old PES gamers will notice is the still outdated menus straight out of PS2. Fear not though, as there are plenty of fun options to make up for it. Want to play a quick game? You can do so in an exhibition, start a league season and compete in a tournament. Want to test your mettle against gamers across the world? Hop online for a ranked match, unranked match, or team up in the 3-on-3 mode back last year’s game. You can also play locally with friends and/or with and against the computer.
The cornerstones of PES are also back. MyClub, which is Konami’s version of EA’s Ultimate Team, features new playable legends available including David Beckham and Diego Maradona as part of David Beckham Edition (Legend Edition). The special edition also gives you 1,000 MyClub points, a premium agent to negotiate for high quality players for 30 weeks, three extra player contract renewals for 30 weeks each, and a selection of other legends.
Much like Ultimate Team, you have the opportunity to build a dream squad by completing a series of offline and online challenges. This isn’t my favorite type of mode in any sports game, but I do like the options of hiring scouts, agents, managers, and juggling loans — which you can also do offline in Master League.
Master League allows you to manage an existing squad and build the next football dynasty as a manager. Unfortunately, much like MyClub, it remains mostly unchanged from last year. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the manager customization still has way more options than Head Coach customizations in Madden NFL 19. However, I’m not sure why Konami couldn’t create an option in a PES app that allows your face to be scanned much like other sports games in the market.
The same can be said for Become A Legend. It’s a fun mode to play as an existing talent or create your own player from scratch, but a face scan option would be nice.
Again, the menus aren’t the most user friendly and can be a bit tedious to navigate sometimes, but the good news is that it’s all worth it once you get to the gameplay itself. And this is where PES in my humble opinion, has greatly shined in comparison to FIFA, let alone other sports games in recent years.
The sights, sounds, and overall presentation of each match gets you primed for the exciting yet tactical action on the field of play. That’s not to say you can’t just pick up and play this game if you’re new to the series, but I’d recommend the ridiculous amount of helpful tutorials if you’re used to playing FIFA. This year’s PES contains a greater emphasis on defense, cardio management, and makes your life easier with quick substitutions.
I’m not going lie. I had a harder time scoring goals in 2019 than I have in previous versions, but hey, it makes that elusive goal or two or three or four all that more satisfying when you finally get the job done. Just be sure to manage your stamina because the days of endlessly sprinting up and down the field without consequences are gone. Good thing those quick substitutions are right on the edge of your screen because they come in handy.
Now here are the biggest turn offs for potentially new and returning PES players. The lack of team and league licenses has always been an issue for some gamers, but never more than this year with the loss of UEFA Champions League rights to EA Sports’ FIFA. While I’ve personally enjoyed this series despite the lack of licenses, I can understand why some would like to play as every team in every league.
If you can get over that elephant in the room, I mean in the Xbox One, I think you’ll have a heck of a time playing PES 2019. So what’s the verdict?
Graphics, I give PES 2019 an 8.5. PES continues to be one of the nicer looking games on Xbox One and in my opinion, gives you a more realistic football match presentation compared to recent FIFA games. My only real presentation issue is with the commentary, which is either inaudibly nonexistent or of no substance whatsoever. Good thing there’s the sounds of the crowd going wild for each score, save, and questionable foul.
Gameplay, I give PES 2019 a 9. I just love the feel of PES games and this one is no difference. The improved defense makes the game all that more challenging and truly rewarding. In PES, defense wins championships and a great defense creates a great offense and a great time had by all. Well, except for your opponent.
Content. I give PES a 9. I wish Konami would have added additional features to PES to make the modes standout from last year, but there’s still plenty to do. You can easily sink hours upon hours of gameplay into PES as the hone your skills and learn new tricks along the way.
TSC Gaming gives PES 2019 on Xbox One – 9/10.
PES 2019 is a great game. With some more than doable improvements to the user friendliness, commentary, and existing modes, this franchise could — and should — reach another level. We’ll be waiting, Konami.
Check out our interview with PES 2019 Brand Manager Lennart Bobzien!
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