Pro Evolution Soccer 4

Pro Evolution Soccer 4 - PS2 Review

Pro Evolution Soccer 4 - PS2 Review

Every one at the Contactmusic offices has been sat with itchy fingers and sweaty palms ever since Konami announced the release of Pro Evolution Soccer 4. The undisputed king of football games is back and, as unlikely as it may seem, has been further improved for 2005.

For those of you who haven't played any of the ISS soccer games where have you been, and I urge you to read on.

A good comparison for the game would be England's own boy wonder Wayne Rooney. The playability stretches further than the looks. Its not as if the graphics are bad. The players definitely look more like their real life counterparts and the animation of the players as they twist and turn flows beautifully with the game. Together with players real names results in a marked improvement on previous instalments. However other football titles such as the FIFA have a larger emphasis on the games graphics and licences. But who wants an Aston Martin

  Pro Evolution Soccer 4 - PS2 Review

with a Fiesta engine? It's all about playability and playability is what you get with PES 4 (and Wayne Rooney).

To succeed in PES 4 you have to think like a footballer. You cant just run up the pitch in the hope of scoring. Intricate passing and careful build up play is the only way. Even more so now as the AI of the computer controlled players has been greatly improved. Your teammates now make intelligent runs off the ball and deceiving the defence of the opposition is more challenging and ultimately more rewarding.

Another marked improvement is the control on the ball. The skill levels of players is much more obvious and individual. For example, when you play a pass to a low skilled player it will take him time to get the ball under control and you will need space to turn. A more skilled player can stop the ball dead, hold off a defender and turn on a sixpence.

The dribbling system has also been tweaked allowing greater control when going one on one with a defender incorporating step overs and sidesteps to skin your opponent while more accurate cut backs, through balls and crosses can be made.

New options for set plays are now available for free kicks and corners as well as the forever cheeky chipped penalty.

The inclusion of an on field referee is a nice touch and even he hasn't escaped an AI improvement making for less dubious decisions than in PES 3.

The Master League mode has been improved so that along with buying and selling players you can control their wages and training. The multiplayer options are as good as ever, you can create custom leagues and tournaments for some great nights in with your mates and the edit mode allows you to create a player from scratch and put yourself into the game.

Its hard trying to think what lets the game down, possibly the intricate but intuitive control system may take a bit of getting used to for the ISS new comer and the game commentary is a it feeble.

Overall, I'm sorry but its time to put all your other footie games in the bin and it is likely the only game to top this will be PES 5. For sheer playability, realism and fun there are no rivals; this game should not be overlooked. BUY IT!

10 out of 10


Click Here to View Pro Evolution Soccer 4 Screenshots