Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 review
Wasted Potential

The good:

Well as we have come to expect from the Pro Evolution Soccer series, this game is the closest you'll get to simulating realistic football. As ever, the gameplay is smooth and fluent, allowing you to express yourself with a variety if playing styles. Whether you like to hoof the ball up the field for your target man to nod on or you prefer quick passing movements as you progress up the field, the in dept tactical systems in PES 2008 will suit all.

The bad:

For a next generation game, PES hardly displays the finest graphics you'll ever lay eyes on. Aside from the general low quality player appearances and the extremely arcade like menu screens, you get the feeling that Konami haven't really put any effort into the graphics and this seems to be a running theme throughout a lot of the game.

Master League mode is virtually unchanged from the previous editions and after one or two seasons have passed you'll find it often becomes tediously easy. A similar story can be told about the league and cup modes with not a lot of detail involved in them at all. The network mode, which is the most important aspect of the game for many PES players, is so shocking it really isn't worth talking about.

As for the edit mode, this is regarded by many as the worst part of the game. Badges are no longer editable so you have to stick with the fake unlicensed emblems for all the Premiership sides. The selection for creating and changing kits is minimal, and because only eight kits can be uploaded onto the game, it is difficult to get many of the unlicensed kits to look remotely like their real life counterparts. Not to mention the virtually unworkable face importing feature we were all looking forward to.

Unfortunately there are far too many more flaws with PES 2008 to list them all in detail.


For such an anticipated title, Pro Evolution Soccer is really a big let down this year. Everyone was hoping for new features, game modes and improved online play but it seems that the series has taken a step backwards rather than forwards for 2008.

Konami may live to regret releasing a seemingly unfinished game as many fans have swayed towards buying PES 2008's closest rival FIFA and more are being encouraged to do so. Unless a virtually perfect footballing sim is released next year then it could be the final nail in the coffin for a once worshipped game series.

All in all, it is still worth trying out PES 2008 just for the gameplay itself. If you are looking to buy a game which has a smooth and detailed network mode with various detailed offline modes though then FIFA could just be the game for you this year.

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