Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 Hands-On: Master League and Edit modes

We check out the improved Master League mode in the next Pro Evo, as well as try out the new player edit features.

Last year's Pro Evolution Soccer 6 was the first Xbox 360 appearance of the venerable football franchise, and while it boasted similar gameplay to the PS2 and PC versions, it featured a relatively stripped-back Master League mode and strictly rudimentary editing features. Konami's aiming to fix that in Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 with both the 360 and PS3 versions introducing a new sandbox to play in with Master League and a comprehensive editing suite which will allow you to tinker with teams and players to your heart's content. We recently got to play with both, and we're pleased to say they will be welcome additions when the full game ships later this year.

As you can read in our PS2 and PS3 gameplay previews of Pro Evo 2008, the series' trademark attention to realism and sweet ball physics looks set for a return. You'll get all the usual gameplay modes as well, including one-off exhibition matches, full league seasons, and of course, the ever-popular Master League mode. In the 360 version of Pro Evo 6 last year, Master League only allowed two options--to take an existing team through the ranks or to take the "original" Master League list of players through. This year's Pro Evo offering adds another option--the ability to create your own custom teams. And this doesn't just mean creating a squad out of the players included in the game, as Pro Evo 08 will also allow gamers to create their own players and even design their own strips.

First things first--the Master League mode in Pro Evo 08 looks to be in essence the same as in previous years. Master League remains Pro Evo's career mode, in which players are tasked with bringing up a team through lower divisions in an attempt to become the best in the world. Along the way, gamers have to make decisions on squad development and player purchases and transfers to ensure their footballing dynasty. Pro Evo 08's Master League has undergone a menu facelift but remains the same underneath--gamers can still track their individual player's development progress via nifty graphs, set team formations, and initiate transfers and player buyouts. The amount you can spend is tied to your team's success, so there are obviously limits to the number of stars you can recruit in the early seasons.

Limited funds will also make sure you don't automatically start out with a team of superstars should you go down the path of creating your team from scratch in Pro Evo 08. When you first create a team, you'll be asked to base it off an existing team template, from which you can then change the name, strips, and players as much as required. The low fund base from which you'll start means you won't be able to have a Ronaldinho, Crespo, or Rooney all in your team at once thanks to the high value assigned to these superstars.

The level of team customisation available is impressive--as well as items like the team name, home stadium, and even crowd cheers, Pro Evo 08 allows you to tinker with the team strip to a high degree. That means fine detail such as font spacing, colour, and positioning, as well as alternate strips. What's particularly exciting, however, is the ability to insert your own team logos by taking snaps using the Xbox Live Vision Camera.

The Xbox Camera can also be used to add your own face (or your friends) to player created characters. Pro Evo's face mapping tool is one of the best we've seen on a console game, resulting in players which look eerily similar to their real-life counterparts. Once in the game, the scanned faces are endowed with some nice movements, such as mouths opening in excitement after goals. Pro Evo 08 allows you to max out your created characters' skills right from the word go, although higher skills obviously translate into a higher value when you want to put your player into your own created Master League team.

We know plenty of Pro Evo fanatics out there, and we're sure that the added customisation features set to ship with Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 will be something they'll readily latch onto. Check out GameSpot for more previews and a full review of Pro Evo 08 soon.

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RandolphRam

Randolph Ramsay

Randolph is the managing editor of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

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34 comments
ov3rdance
ov3rdance

i believe what i see. i will buy try pes 2008. the graphic have major improve.

rayray345
rayray345

Never really been a soccer fan so I could realy care less. The graphics look pretty good though. : /

GTAfan88
GTAfan88

the classic players have real name or not???

whittam17
whittam17

iive always bin a pro evo player itsmint cant w8 to get this on xbox 360, fifa is a bag of ****, pes all the way !!!!

isoplus
isoplus

I'll prolly end up getting it for PC again... Who has the patience to wait for it to be released in the U.S?

Seifer_Almasy_1
Seifer_Almasy_1

im a pro guy, but Fifa is creeping up on Pro in terms of gameplay, year by year it gets closer to pro, and the new fifa 08 has got some great additions to the game...i dont know about you guys but it just seems like people behind pro are lazy, the level it is at now is not good enough, it should have really been at this level of customization etc in pro 5...if the pro people dont bring something new to the table i might have to try out Fifa 08

ari90
ari90

there are new new commentators on pes 2008, they're jon champion and mark lawrenson. at least they'll be better than last uear's commentators.

mx2118
mx2118

it looks fantastic but do all the clubs have silly names like manchester red and london north? i see ronaldo and kaka have their real names, will everyone else? that was my problem with the older pes games, the lack of licenses. have they fixed that now?

mkg150
mkg150

this game better be good the last 1 for the 360 was realy ............. well uno totaly crap

isfn2009
isfn2009

I cant waite for this game to come out! I love it way better then fifa 07 for the xbox. Everything is all spred out and there or no moves!!! PES has all the moves and better and faster game play! Just need to fix the commentary a little bit. FIFA 08 needs to take some notes from PES

firstspar
firstspar

can not wait for this. but its obvious we wont be able to play with real teams online - MAJOR draw back in my book.

steveosaysyes
steveosaysyes

sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. how good is it that you can take a photo of a badge and put it on a kit. haha im gonna buy a camera just for that!!!

DrunkenShaolin
DrunkenShaolin

it good the live cam i in use now...can now have proppa logo and name to arsenal instead of north lonon.... just hope u can take your custom teams online

wenbin09
wenbin09

really cool features to add on to! cannot wait!

360gamerz
360gamerz

iI hope thi sis better then the previous version (even tho i still loved it) I love football games and thi sis gonna be the cream de la crop!!

ethermay
ethermay

yeah.. cool beans. me wants. just hope it doesn't play like last years 360 version. all of it seemed so distant from the great PS2 version's gameplay.

SoulKillah
SoulKillah

Nice:D This will be my first PES game on the PS3...can't wait!!!

karan7
karan7

can u also edit stadium??

Delongman
Delongman

Konami has answered our prayers!!!!!!!!!!!

anthony1983
anthony1983

I didn't bother with last years, purely on the basis that it was like a freshly laid turd compared to other versions. I may well be forced to get this one though. The Vision element is exciting too!! I can make my old football team "Waggon & Horses" and use my mate's faces! WOO! Shame I have the Red Ring Of Death, though and won't get my console back til the next one's out. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT!

akif22
akif22

finally, a proper pro evo on 360 .. i was a bit disappointed with the previous one

Phil_E
Phil_E

Having played it in Leipzig, I'm not convinced that there is anything more than minor tweaks, the reinstatement of features that were already available in previous iterations of the game, and a lack of fixes to issues such as AI overloading and "auto-tackling." And with the Master League virtually the same as before, I have no interest in bothering with Minanda and his group of inepts for the, like, hundredth year in a row. That said, there's still dev time left, so fingers crossed.

mattiasmak
mattiasmak

This will be swell! :D I love Pro Evo! Last year's edition for the 360 was a bit stripped down, but now it seem they're getting their act together. And rumours say that the 360 version looks better then the PS3-game ... O_o

345669
345669

Preeeeeeee ordered ... Dont Screw It up like last year Please. . .

Galzakian
Galzakian

Awesome! Can't wait for Pro Evo 08 on the 360; some cool new features on what is already a top-notch soccer sim