This review is written for the Xbox One version. We do not recommend playing the PS4 version because of problems with access to the server — unlike the Xbox One version, PES 2019 on the PS4 cannot connect to the server — because of this, it’s not possible to receive a refresh of the trains, play over the network, and also run one of the main modes – MyClub. Konami is aware of the problem but has not fixed it yet. Having got rid of a number of technical problems a few years ago, the Pro Evolution Soccer series began to develop more smoothly, even in those aspects that would need to be paid special attention. The developers try to devote much more time to the gameplay than the other elements of the game. Each year, the animation becomes better and more realistic, and the physics of the ball – more natural. PES 2019 was no exception, and the improvements are noticeable from the first match. Specialists refined the physics of objects, due to which more inertia appeared in the movement of football players. Players feel more alive, and the difference in dimensions began to feel much stronger than before. Most football players cannot quickly turn around their axis, and simply laying sharp bends at speed is quite difficult, so you need to plan your actions more carefully and place the body more accurately when stroking or striking the goal.
Together with the updated physics, the characters received new movements and improved artificial intelligence of the team. Players competently adapt to the ball bounce, less likely to make gross positional errors and try to secure each other. They always try to catch the ball when he flies past them. This forces close attention to short and medium gears near the opponent. Now, every thoughtless pass risks leading to a dangerous counterattack at their gates. Of course, the players will not always be able to intercept the flying gear, but the high probability of such an outcome makes the game more believable and tense. Pro Evolution Soccer has always been famous for the fact that much depends on the playing skills than on the characteristics of the team. Before the start of the first half, you can sit for a long time and configure various tactical schemes and strategic installations for the match. And during the meeting – to actively make adjustments to the process, for which the game has four special blanks, which are included with a special key combination and crosses. Thanks to these moments, there is always a chance to replay a strong team, due to a more thoughtful strategy and competent management. One of the innovations of PES 19 is quick replacements. Their developers borrowed from FIFA, and now during standard positions, you can change a player with a couple of clicks. As in real football, the correct substitution at the end of the match can have a strong influence on the outcome of the competition. Players have become more tired, which is noticeable in their animation, so the fresh striker will be more agile compared to the already tired defenders.
The developers allowed to customize not only the tactical component, but also the weather, and even the height of the lawn mowing. These factors affect the movement of the ball and players. For example, in rain or snow, the ball becomes more viscous and slow, and its bounce changes. All this makes more variables in the gameplay. In addition, you can adjust the pace of the match, but the acceleration is not great, and even with an increased pace, the game is always as close to real football as possible, allowing you to control the situation on the field as carefully as possible. As for the modes, then here at Konami, as always, everything is very modest. “Become a legend” and “Master League” have not changed much. You can still be a club manager or play the role of an individual player. Developers allow you to select an existing club or character, or create them from scratch. The MyClub mode has been upgraded – at first glance, it has become even more similar to the FIFA Ultimate Team. However, if you dig deeper, then apart from some cosmetic changes and minor adjustments, nothing has changed globally. It all comes down to a random generator. Building a team according to the idea of the player – with specific players and tactical settings – is still not the easiest task. For example, a forward of a ram-type may be necessary for a team, and each time when choosing the agent responsible for the attackers, players of any other role may fall out.
Features and Graphics
Tactics and strategy settings in this mode remained unchanged. The team cannot be adjusted at its discretion, you can only hire a coach with preset parameters. This aspect of the game always turns into an insane grind, since it is impossible to accumulate in-game currency and immediately buy someone who is needed. The list of trainers is small and updated from time to time. Moreover, even in this list, you can immediately buy a strong coach for real money. And if you do not want to spend money, then strong mentors open only after weaker options are purchased. The catch is that after purchasing the right card, the next one will open only after updating the list. This is aggravated by the fact that if cool players came to the team, then when the level of the coach does not match them, The coach can be pumped, but even so, most often you have to sift out good players until better times. And yet, some innovations have made this mode more pleasant. The developers have tried to beautifully issue the issuance of football players. Each time from the MyClub logo, ribbons fly out in the colors of the league, from which you got a football player, and flying around a stylized world map, they are drawn into the outline of the designated state. After that, the resulting player appears on the screen, who in a couple of seconds will pose in the form of his new club. This all looks much more interesting and much more spectacular than the roulette of balls in the previous parts.
Since the players are now marked with cards, as in FIFA, you can take them immediately with a pack and save some in-game currency. If the same player was caught three times, then it can be exchanged for another, but in reality, for all the time I only had two identical characters. In addition, the same footballer is represented not only in its standard form, but also in the pumped one, or vice versa in a weakened state. At each match, the team is awarded experience points and with a new level of players, the characteristics are increased. If you get a weakened famous footballer, then do not be in a hurry to get upset – in time he may become significantly stronger than his standard version. Konami could not hold the “Champions League”, “Europa League” and get their hands on the German championship, but the Japanese bought licenses for less popular tournaments. And if the presence of the Turkish “Super League” and the Scottish “Premier” in the game is of little interest to us, then the exclusive presence of the Russian Premier League can please fans of domestic football. Unfortunately, since the contract with the Russian Football Union was signed rather late, not all football players are well developed and look like themselves. Moreover, domestic stadiums are completely absent. All the missing elements, the developers promise to later add to the game patches.
It is also worth noting the traditional opportunity to put homemade patches that add the necessary licenses from the memory card. Experienced players a few days after the release of the project handed out files with the corrected names of the teams, the added Bundesliga and the updated equipment of the teams. It is a pity that it is impossible to play online for clubs created from scratch, thus taking, for example, Bavaria is possible only in local fights. The developers did a good job with the graphics. If you forget about some Russian football players, the faces and tattoos of popular players, as well as the details of the lawn, ball and other attributes, look very natural and realistic. The game looks especially good in 4K resolution. On standard consoles, there are noticeably more ladders, but even there the PES 2019 looks nice. As I noted at the very beginning of the review, PS4 users faced a huge problem. From the start, players do not have the ability to connect to servers, so playing in MyClub or online is not possible. Konami is aware of this problem and is trying to solve it, but at the time of this writing, there were no changes on this issue.