PES 2016 Gamescom Preview

We at PESEdit had the chance to spend a few hours with PES 2016 on the Playstation 4 at Gamescom. In this PES 2016 Gamescom preview, let's take a detailed, unfiltered look at various aspects of the game.

My main concern with PES ever since it moved to the new engine in 2014 is the utterly obvious way everything looks like it runs on rails and is pre-calculated. Shots and passes severely lack variation, with the former standing out the most in their repetitiveness. It's almost impossible to mishit those in PES 2016 on default settings. And don't get me started on those curved, laser-guided long passes...

Player individuality is still a big doubt in PES 2016. While speed might be reflected better than last year, things like passing accuracy, ball control and shooting don't vary nearly enough between average and good players, resulting in a very repetitive and basic game. This applies to both manual and assisted passing settings by the way, with the biggest difference being a higher error ratio on manual.

Player individuality is still a big doubt in PES 2016One of the recent Pro Evolution Soccer games' biggest flaws, the absolute absence of any technical variation between different players, is still there in 2016. It just shouldn't be possible to run past opponents using random center backs, let alone goalkeepers.

Graphics & Animations

Graphically, PES 2016 is similar to 2015, including stuff like the scoreboard and game menus. There are a few nice details here and there, but a lot is left to desire. Kits just don't look right from up-close, especially in rainy matches, while lighting in night games appears to be too dark, for example. Anyway, having played both, the (gameplay camera) graphics in PES 2016 are better than in its FIFA counterpart.

Animations-concerned, PES 2016 improves on PES 2015's offering, with perhaps slightly improved button reaction times as well - they're not as fast in the old PES games or in FIFA, though. However, there are a lot animations, especially passing and shooting ones, that fail to transmit the urgency of real-life football and that don't match the speed the ball is released with.

PES 2016's refined collision system is one of its biggest improvements over last year, with much more variety and unpredictability than previously, although it could still be better in the way of interacting with the rest of the play through fluidity. A step in the right direction nevertheless.

PES 2016's refined collision system is one of its biggest improvements over last yearAs you'll have noticed on the loads of PES 2016 gameplay videos, the woeful freekick, corner and penalty systems have not been fixed either. Let's see next year, I guess.

AI & Tactics

Tactically, PES 2016 shows some nice improvements, for example in the way the team works better when out of possession. It's noticeable harder to pass out the ball from the back, once the opposing team has advanced more.

The team works better when out of possessionOn the downside, player support when in possession remains lacking, with teammates not showing enough support and being too static in general.

One of the biggest issues in PES generally, at least for me, is the 'leveling' or 'cheating', obvious peculiarly against the AI, but also in PvP and online contests.

In short, a disadvantaged team, be it through trailing the score, being down a man, or generally being the worse team, in the last few PES games receives an overall boost; stats, AI-support, intercepting passes, goalkeeping, and more, all get twisted in the worse team's favor.

Unfortunately, this element of the game is present as strong as ever in PES 2016, making it very frustrating at times. It might be to simplify balancing team strengths for Konami, but it's just a poor man's way to do it and displays the game in a bad light.


Generally, if you enjoyed PES 2015 on Playstation 4 or Xbox One and you are content with a moderate evolution of that game, PES 2016 won't disappoint you. If that isn't the case though, you'll have to wait another year, at least.

In the end, Konami fights to win back players from FIFAAnyway, to be fair, let's assume that Konami willingly didn't address PES 2015's glaring shortcomings in terms of tactics, game speed, stats-reflection or passing ranges. In the end, Konami fights to win back players from FIFA, so it only makes sense to cater to that audience and make the transition between both games as smooth as possible. It's just frustrating to see that so many aspects of football are represented much better in games released ten years ago.

What do you think about the points we've raised? Did you play the game or watch gameplay videos and disagree with some parts of our preview? Do you want to add something else or have a specific question? Let us know in the comments below.