Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is the latest version of Konami's popular soccer game for Windows. Although PES 2013 looks very similar to Pro Evoultion Soccer 2012, it includes some subtle changes designed to improved both gameplay and graphics.
The gameplay in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is more manual than the previous version, making it more like a proper soccer simulation, rather than the arcade-style action of PES 2012. Though some elements seem to be heavily inspired by FIFA 12, this is no bad thing.
The rather restrictive control system of PES 2012 has been given an overhaul for Pro Evolution Soccer 2013. Developer Konami calls the new control system, ‘PES FullControl’. There's a new dynamic first touch feature, where a player can trap the ball using the R2 button in order to gain instant control of the ball.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 offers manual passing, and manual shooting is introduced to the game for the first time, allowing you to modify the height and power of each. FullControl also improves dribbling, slowing down player speeds and allowing players to add various styles to their close control using the R2 button.
The manual control tweaks delivered by the FullControl system in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 definitely makes for an improved gameplay experience, which will delight experienced PES fans. However, novices will still be able to pick up and play the game without a problem.
The tactics screen from the previous version hasn't been added too - and it still feels a little puny. Having said that, the in-game strategy changes have been made a lot cooler by the fact that the coach appears in a little box in the corner of the screen to shout instructions when you summon him.
There are still some plays in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 that make it very easy to score. For example, you can still get behind a defense effortlessly with a long through-ball/chip combo.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 focuses on improving player likenesses so that players in the game behave like their real life counterparts - a system dubbed as 'PlayerID' by the developer. Famous players will run, turn, trap, move the ball and even celebrate like they do in real life.
In terms of player likenesses, PES 2013 is the closest to reality we've seen from a soccer game - better even than FIFA 12. The graphics as a whole in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 are fantastic, from the slick team entrances to the detail of the kits and footwear.
Unfortunately, player animation in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is patchy in places. The way players turn feels clunky and unrealistic and goalkeeper throw-outs are laughably exaggerated and jerky. In fact, the supposed improvements to the goalkeepers from the previous version seem to have not worked at all - actually goalies seem more calamitous than ever!
The Player Impact engine in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is quite impressive; you notice how players hang into each other and how that influences your (freedom of) movement. However, it still lags behind FIFA's engine in terms of the extent of the collision animations.
Those who were disappointed by PES 2012 will appeased somewhat by the changes made in Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, but there's still plenty of room for improvement in the game.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is a good quality soccer sim which looks great and now gives you more control than ever over the gameplay.