Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 Review

The Pro Evo series kicks off on next-gen!

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 14th January 2008

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

  • Developer: Konami
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: 27th October 2007

The release of the usual sports titles every year is about as predictable as the coming of the seasons, however what we need to ask is, when there as good as PES 2008 do we really mind?

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 features all the usual updates that you would expect to find in any seasonal sports title, all the updated league, team and player lists. This instalment in the PES series also features more licensed leagues and teams then ever before, with Newcastle, Tottenham, Spartak Moscow and Fenerbache joining the likes of AC Milan, Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona as licensed clubs. Unfortunately fans of most other Premier League teams will still have to play as Man Red, Mersyside or East London.

As well as the licensed and unlicensed teams there are also a number of custom teams available for you to edit and create your own dream team. You can control everything from player’s stats to giving them outlandish hair styles.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 features the usual modes that have become familiar to us over the years. Master League, Cup and World Tour are all present, and of course if you just want a quick kick around exhibition matches. These all follow the same format as in previous versions of the game so there’s no need to familiarise yourself with new modes of play.

The biggest (and best) changes in Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 come in the way of small subtle changes to the games AI and control you have over players. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 features a new learning AI called TeamVision that will learn how you play, what attacks you play and learn to counter them and exploit defensive weaknesses.

Konami have also increased the number of moves and tricks available, giving you more opportunity to get the ball past players. Slow dribble, step-over, sidesteps and stopping the ball as well as a number of faints are all at your fingertips in a bid to out wit opposing players.

PES 2008 changes the way free kicks are taken, you can choose to take a quick free kick before the defending team has had a chance to organise itself properly, a nice addition that first appeared in PES 6, but it doesn’t usually come to much. PES 2008 gives you more control on how you take set piece free kick and how you defend against them. For instance you can now specify how many players are placed in a wall.

Graphically PES 2008 has been improved over previous versions. Player movement is a lot more smooth and fluid, looking much more realistic and natural. The players themselves feature more detail, with full facial animation, that sees your players shouting for joy when they score a goal.

Stadiums are of the usual high quality and represent some of the world’s most famous grounds. The game also features varying weather effects such as heavy rain and snow. The weather also effects how dirty your players kit get during a match.

Commentary has been improved over previous versions and manages to keep up with play instead of lagging behind, it also describes what is actually happening on screen instead of the fantasy game that they seemed to comment on in past versions. Other sound in the game is pretty much the same shouting and cheering we have all become accustomed to from previous instalments.

While Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 makes no major leaps forward, the game does include lots of little enhancements and refinements, which improve what was already an excellent playing experience. With this, this latest instalment PES 2008 stays ahead of the game, and still remains the benchmark for all soccer games.

Review Score: 8.4/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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