The PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER franchise has long been regarded as offering incredible realism and control, however PRO EVOLUT

User Rating: 1 | Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 X360
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2011 will reinvigorate the series with the most advanced set of improved gameplay additions, control options and to catch up with the evolution of the real-life soccer. Central to its total freedom of play, PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2011 introduces a power bar for each player that allows the user to determine the exact strength and placement of every pass and shot. Balls can now be spread absolutely anywhere with surgical precision, with long balls into space, short passes to feet, and intricate one-twos allowing the player to dictate play and control the tempo of a match
Players not used to Konami's title may struggle initially to make the game flow, due to the uncompromising sensitivity of the "total control" 360-degree movement system and power gauge, which offers negligible auto-assist. Errant passes are frequent, by over- or under-hitting the ball, while movement of your player and teammates can feel almost too precise and mechanical. This may offer better player control, allowing dribbling past defenders with ease, but can leave you out of position and looks unconvincing next to Fifa's seamless choreography. Defender AI has improved though, with improved player physics to enable jostling, blocking and deflections to give the game an unpredictable realism.

This blends well with the truly awesome experience of thunderous shots rifled in from 30 yards – moments unrivalled by Fifa – and the effortlessly cool tricks, feints and skills that make up for Konami's restricted licensing. But the sketchy online experience and occasion graphical glitch remain an irritation.

At the end of the day, it's a close call, so perhaps the question is: which will you still be playing in six months time? An edge that has to go to Fifa (see below) but PES is a vast improvement, which bodes well for a franchise that only recently looked like it was on its way out. The rivalry continues and football fans, who know a thing or two about that, are all the richer for it