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6 Things PES 2016 Needs to Fix to Beat FIFA 16

PES 2015 was a colossal improvement on the mess that was PES 2014. Fans loved it, critics lavished praise on it, and for many football game fans it pipped EA's FIFA 15 as the best football game of the year. PES is back on top and it needs to stay there.

In 2016, EA will be looking to bounce back strongly, so the PES team simply can't afford to rest on their laurels. Someone much smarter than me once said: 'if you don't move forward, sooner or later you begin to move backward', and that certainly applies here. With that in mind, here are six things that could be improved for PES 2016.

1. A realistic Master League mode


PES 2015-1

For a game that is all about simulating the beautiful game on the pitch, its main offline mode is quite the opposite. Like FIFA's Career Mode, Master League is supposed to make you feel like a manager in between playing matches, but that couldn't be further from the case.

Instead you're greeted with an archaic calendar system that lets weeks pass without allowing you to do anything. There's also an illogical transfer system that consists of smiley faces. It's living in the past, relying on its quirky charm to mask its shortcomings. We're not in 2005 anymore and it's time Master League offered something substantial. 

You know, kind of like FIFA where you actually feel like you're managing a club. Sometimes, it's ok to borrow ideas from the competition. After all, FIFA has done the same in the past.

2. Real ball physics
Ok, so the ball physics in PES 2015 aren't terrible, but the way the ball moves needs looking at. At the moment, there's little variation - you can almost predict the trajectory of a pass or shot before you've let go of the corresponding button. It's something you'll notice the more you play PES 2015.

Like I said, it doesn't ruin the game, but real ball physics and data would certainly help cement PES 2016 as the football connoisseur's choice. A tricky one to get right without messing things up, but if Konami manage it, it would be a glorious.

3. A proper collision system


PES 2015-2

As it stands, there isn't a proper collision system in PES 2015. The way players collide and interact is basic, akin to a couple of action figures coming together. It's not particularly natural and doesn't make PES feel like a proper simulation.

As a result, fouls are given when they shouldn't be, or you get away with grievous bodily harm. It's usually one or the other, resulting in immense frustration.

If I'm being realistic, I don't think we're likely to see a sophisticated collision system in PES 2016. It's a lot of hard work and something that can't be implemented properly with just a year's worth of development time. Just look at FIFA!

When EA introduced their system it came with bugs (and unintended hilarity) galore, only settling down to something decent the next year. Fingers crossed Konami has been working on collision for a couple of years then, eh?

4. Animations, animations, animations!
More animations please, Konami! It's as simple as that really. There was definitely an increase in PES 2015, but still not enough to satisfy the masses.

Goalkeepers were more reliable between the sticks, but their animations were limited to say the least. Play a few matches and you've seen them all. Not only that, some weren't particularly realistic, with even some of the best shot stoppers in the world diving and saving with the wrong hand.

Keepers aside, the game in general could do with better, smoother animations. Right now, the transition between animations can (in most cases) be pinpointed. For PES 2016, that needs to be ironed out for a superior, fluid gameplay experience.

5. Improved presentation
For the most part, PES 2015 delivered great visuals, which should come as no surprise given that it took advantage of the fantastic FOX Engine. That said, it seems like the PES team are struggling to get the best out of its lighting system, particularly during evening matches. It was a problem in PES 2014 as well; under floodlights, the game failed to show off the impressive player models and stadiums. After another year with the FOX Engine, here's hoping Konami have figured out how to make the most of it for PES 2016.

And then we have the audio. Commentary, need I say more? Repetitive, boring and lifeless, it's been a problem in PES for many years. Come on, Konami… Sort it out this year. Please! Oh, and some of the menus could look better, too!

6. Better CPU AI
Again, viewed as a whole, the AI for both teams and players in PES 2015 is very good; a combination of good programming and statistics. However, there are areas where the AI can improve.

It would be great if the believability/quality of the AI could trickle down to some of the lesser known teams and players, not just the well-known ones. Also, while team's playing styles are decent, it would be great if the AI crossed the ball now and again. I could probably count the number of times the CPU has crossed the ball against me in open play on one hand. Last time I checked, Bayern Munich players do cross the ball into the box!

Finally, referees… Every foul shouldn't result in a card. That said, weirdly enough, playing against the CPU, you're rarely fouled. Tweaks to the AI are definitely required for PES 2016!


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