FIFA Parody PES 2015 Has A Demo

Republicans vs. royalists.

I know what you’re thinking: “Hey, that looks like FIFA!” I thought the same about PES 2015 when I noticed it out on Steam, but let’s not jump to conclusions. Yes, it’s shooting for the same sort of real-time tactical action which I found in FIFA, but playing the demo that arrived a few days after launch shows it’s quite different. While the FIFA demo was heavy on lore, pomp, and flash, PES’s demo skips the fluff to create a more slimline, irreverent, and slightly retro take on the ritualised combat of goalzones and bombwarders. Kinda.

The name itself, PES 2015, is a wink to ye olde games set in the then-far-flung future of the 21st century, but here the future’s within arm’s reach. The menu music’s a flashback too, calling in ’00s rap-rockers Linkin Park. I’m just not sure this nostalgia reaches back far enough to pull this off. Look at the graphics: they’re less fancy than FIFA, but not retro enough to really pump nostalgia glands; they just look scruffy. I found this problem across the PES demo.

This lack of commitment, this unwillingness to really follow through on the idea, is in the humour too. The team selection suggests you’ll be chortling away, with some great names. One is named Athletic Club – because they run around, geddit? And I dig the idea of Spanish city Madrid split in two, resolving a civil war in ritual combat. The republican AT Madrid’s crest is all stars and stripes and, inexplicably, a bear scrumping apples, while the royalist Real Madrid (not like those frauds AT) top their crest with a crown. Yet these jokes don’t carry over into the ceremonial combat.

Kicking!

Combat is very po-faced in PES, beyond the men sometimes cantering like they’re pretending to be horses. Just like FIFA, it’s a melee-only take on Bombing Run. You have a squad of eleven warriors but only control one at a time, with an AI babysitting the rest. You’re trying to kick, headbutt, and shoulderbarge a defused bouncing bomb into the opponent’s goalzone to score points. Most points at the end of 90 decimal minutes wins. But that’s the problem: PES follows the same rules as FIFA. No subversion or even playfulness, it follows the exact same rules.

It even has special moves with names like ‘flip flap’ and ‘boomerang trap’ but they’re mostly other ways to kick the bomb. Just imagine: Real Madrid (the real ones) could call in a cavalry charge of the Guardia Real (that’s Spanish for Royal Guard), while imposters AT Madrid might unleash their cider-drunk bear mascot to rampage across the battlefield. It has nothing like that.

No, of course his lava boots don't give him cool special flame powers. That'd be too creative for PES 2015.

I think the PES demo suffers from lacking the pageantry of FIFA too. It has no narrators, its cutscenes are bland… what kind of parody is this? Imagine if they had someone like – heck! – comic relief character Alan Partridge from what I assume was a FIFA movie adaptation. The FIFA demo’s final cutscene with the winners erecting a stage to award themselves a trophy seems ripe for parody, but the PES demo’s battles just end.

PES wanted to be Dungeons of Dredmor to FIFA’s Dragon Age: Origins, but lacked the conviction to properly follow through. In the end, developers PES Productions fell back on repeating the things they were supposed to being parodying. Maybe this is because it’s the demo, maybe the full version has more wit and more soul, but I certainly shan’t be buying it to find out. The demo’s on its Steam page if you fancy a crack yourself.

They even drop the ball on a comical scene where Batman receives a police caution.

34 Comments

  1. Synesthesia says:

    oh, i always thought pes had the crown of foot to ball. Most of my friends who love football play this one.

    • NicholasTimothyJones says:

      Most of my friends who play football games seem to flit between PES and FIFA year-by-year.
      I, however, have not played a PES game since 2009 and before this year, had not played a FIFA game since 2004.

    • Stardog says:

      No way. PES has not had the crown since 2006. They were both poor until FIFA 09, and FIFA has been ahead ever since.

      I get both games every year. Unfortunately, PES has had the same basic gameplay for too many iterations now. That would be fine if it was close to perfect, but it’s not. It has way too many frustrations compared to FIFA.

      • Premium User Badge

        Sihoiba says:

        Put of sheer curiosity why do you buy both every year? How long do you play each of them for? It is a collector thing, or are you just comparing them every year to play whichever is best.

        I’m not a football fan, so I don’t buy or play football computer games – I think Italia 90 on the MegaDrive was the last one I really played, so I’m just curious as to why someone would.

      • DrollRemark says:

        They were both poor until FIFA 09

        My good sir, that is utter heresy. PES 4 and PES 5 are still two of the finest foot-to-ball simulators ever created.

      • felsenmeer says:

        Nay. I’m a veteran of several hundred Fifa wars but I crossed over to Konami this year. Maybe I’ve played Fifa too long but I’m over it for the moment; it’s still about going end-to-end in 5 seconds, and, dammit, Johnson, i want something more! The PES demo won me over this year and I chucked down. Not regretting it at all. Will pick up Fifa in the Origin fire sale of 2059, though.

  2. Palimpsest says:

    Back in the early days of PES it really put FIFA to shame. From what I understand/remember FIFA eventually just copied the PES model and went from strength to strength. Thanks to the usual mass myopia nowadays people think PES is and always was just a FIFA clone. Not played either for years though.

    • Nuno Miguel says:

      FIFA never copied PES. They play completely different from one another and always did.

      • Palimpsest says:

        Claimed by Konami I know but…
        link to digitalspy.ca

        I’m talking PES 3 days here. Around this time FIFA still had the ‘scripted’ goals and gameplay style which was rightly mocked by fans of PES who valued its more organic play.

      • Stardog says:

        They did copy PES. They took the control scheme (choose Alternate when you load the game) and mechanics (finesse shot, x/square to make a teammate pressure), but the key is they actually improved it – added right-stick to switch players, L1 to force a teammate to run, and remember they were the first to do 360 analog stick movement when PES still had 8-directional.

        PES dropped the ball completely. Their finesse shot which they invented is completely weak and hopeless compared to FIFA’s, and has been for years now. They only just added right-stick to switch players FINALLY. And to force a run in PES you have to hold L1 and move the right-stick which is not as simple as FIFA. It’s a combo that shouldn’t be in a fast-paced football game.

        I won’t even get into how shit Master League is these days. PES needs a rethink, but I think Konami have given up. They won’t give PES a new dev team to try and compete with FIFA. It makes $X per year and they’re happy with that.

        • DanMan says:

          There’s nothing to win in competing with Fifa. They need their own identity. What’s the point otherwise?

          • TheManintheHat says:

            I was talking about this over lunch with a friend today, I totally agree with you.

            PES really should stop trying to compete with FIFA and find a different, unique identity.

            PES’s licensing sucks, doesn’t it? Why not just drop them completely and work towards a fantasy football game, perhaps with some RPG elements? Heck, even some JPRG flavour to it?

            I mean, they seem to get the gameplay right again…so just drop the rest which is just a lacklustre and try a totally different approach.

      • DrollRemark says:

        Like Stardog said, FIFA basically copied all the things that PES did well, and then bested them.

        Once upon a time, FIFA was a game where the ball itself was essentially stuck to the foot of whichever player was deemed to have it. PES had actual physics, and was a revelation.

  3. Makariel says:

    I’d stop takin’ the PES

  4. thekelvingreen says:

    You know, an Alan Partridge commentary track on a footie game would be a brilliant idea. Someone should do that; not EA though, as they lack humour glands.

    • Kerr Avon says:

      Haha! …….yes. If you’re reading this Coogan, do it. Get your mic out and release it as a community mod (or even sell it? I’d buy!) Speaking of which, there’s already a ‘commentary mod’ for PES 13 where Martin Tyler’s FIFA 13 performance was cut and pasted into PES and sounds good! I think it was PES 13 or it might have been 12, can’t remember. Anyway it was much more tolerable than the Champion / Beglin routine. Anyone know if the same modders updated it for 15 yet? With that + the yearly ritual team and uniform-edits done, the new PES should be perfect. BTW, you PES grandmasters should already know it’s nice to hear all the other selectable language commentaries in there… a bit more immersive while playing/watching a German, Spanish, Italian or South-American team, eh? Still, if Partridge ever did it, I’d never turn him off! I mean.. um…

  5. DanMan says:

    I played PES the last time years ago, still on PS2 I think. I liked it better than Fifa, which I never really liked. But then again, the best soccer game to me is Sega Worldwide Soccer, and that’s very arcade-y.
    Just like Virtua Tennis is the best tennis game.

    edit: I’ve just tried the demo and I can’t even run it in fullscreen, let alone choose the resolution. WTF? Game itself is ok – I’ve barely scratched the surface, of course.

    edit2: There’s a settings.exe in the game folder that lets you change graphics options…

  6. DuncanIdah0 says:

    The bear is not eating apples but madrones, so Alice I am afraid there is no cider induced alcoholic rampage for the bear… However, you will be happy to know that a liquor is produced with the madrone berries.

    By the way, the Bear and the Madrone is the symbol of the city of Madrid and thus the reason it appears in the Athleico de Madrid crest.

  7. DrManhatten says:

    Parody? Don’t know on which planet you are lvigin but PES has always been better than that recycled bullshit EA is trying to sell you every year with just adding some new drawing animation and updating the players

    • Stardog says:

      Gameplay-wise, FIFA changes more every year than PES. What are the gameplay differences you’ve noticed between PES 2014/15?

      Your comment hasn’t been true since 2006.

      • Hex says:

        Maybe he means that even just by updating the players and re-drawing them, PES is still better than FIFA?

    • thedosbox says:

      I think you need to go read Alice’s writeup on FIFA 15: link to rockpapershotgun.com

  8. ikehaiku says:

    Is it me,or has it been a while – or maybe, never, that PES has been out on PC?

    edit: wow, actually they’ve were pretty much all released for PC…Guess that’s show how deep the PES franchise has fallen these past years

  9. dsch says:

    Oh look it’s this joke again.

  10. Shar_ds says:

    Real-time action spheroid chasing is one of the few areas where I abandon mother-PC and head off into the dark land of the Japanese console… Unless it’s an Unreal Tournament mod, PC just isn’t the best platform for these :/

  11. siread says:

    2 things. 1) This year PES is brilliant. 2) Do we have to suffer this tired football joke. every. single. time?

  12. Myrdinn says:

    I’m old and still play PES5 and it’s fine. Every season some guy(s)(gals) make an seasonal update and let me continue with the fun if needed. What would be my alternative? Some parody named FIFA 2005?

  13. halldors78 says:

    Fifa has licences, commentary and presentation better then pes, but the football is many times better in pes, fifa plays like pingpong not like football and still seems like its scripted. New pes is great as simple as that

  14. Banjo-Tuesday says:

    I used to love PES, but I found the PES 2015 (demo) to be dire in comparison to FIFA 15 (demo). PES presentation is abysmal: it feels like a step back ten or fifteen years, across the board. Only the animations I found barely acceptable.

    Of course gameplay is king. But FIFA gameplay (heavily tweaked sliders, mostly manual controls) far outshines PES 2015 IMO. I hate the lack of options and sliders in PES. You play it the Konami way or no way.

    And FIFA 15 on PC is a HUGE step forward with the new engine. It’s the biggest step forward in presentation I have ever seen in ten years of football gaming, while PES 2015 is the biggest step backwards in presentation. The pitches in PES look awful.