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FIFA 13 vs PES 13 – comparing and contrasting

Monday, 1 October 2012 12:41 GMT By Nick Akerman

FIFA’s gone straight in at the top of the UK chart, but this year’s battle with long-time combatant PES is a closer thing than EA may like. Nick Akerman compares the latest instalments of both series.

PES is unlikely to ever topple its competitor’s exclusive licenses, production values, and remains years behind when considering the physicality of the sport. Now the developer understands this, a new direction is taking shape.

September is always a month of change. The weather chills, kids go back to school, and gaming’s football elite reappear for another virtual El Clasico. Much like the performances of FIFA 13 and PES 2013′s cover stars, there’s very little to separate the two franchises this year.

Both continue to tweak away, etching towards a winning vision. As Liverpool fans will know, such promises must be given time. FIFA has enjoyed a generation of success, echoing the trophy-laden haul of Manchester United across the past decade. Critical and commercial domination has followed, leaving many questioning whether or not PES has the capabilities to compete once more.

As recent reviews suggest, Konami’s rebuilding process is going well. The game is finally embracing its arcade tag wholeheartedly. This realisation is an important one, as recent iterations have looked reluctant to fully-commit down a single path. PES is unlikely to ever topple its competitor’s exclusive licenses, production values, and remains years behind when considering the physicality of the sport. Now the developer understands this, a new direction is taking shape.

PES 2013 plays a more robust game than its older brothers. Passing, dribbling and shooting has received attention across the past 12 months. The addition of improved manual assistance alongside default settings ensures players of all abilities can compete. Executing a precise through ball or controlling secondary teammates while in possession might confuse casual players, but its a godsend for the hardcore audience. Akin to a beat ‘em up like Street Fighter IV, average gamers have the chance to play in a manner that suits them. Just because Ryu can pull off a Metsu Hadouken Ultra Combo doesn’t mean it has to be utilised for victory.

PES Productions continues to expand. A UK-based studio is in the works and should aid the development of the series. Perhaps Konami is issuing a direct challenge to the English-heavy EA Canada studio by planting a team in football’s back garden. New additions to the side have a difficult task ahead of them. Although PES 2013 is a step forward on the pitch, content and presentation often feels like you’re flicking through the crayon scribblings of a Wayne Rooney autobiography.

To put it bluntly, Konami must start learning from its mistakes. In a year that sees FIFA evolve its Manager Mode and add 11 vs 11 seasons to Pro Clubs, PES rehashes old experiences. Master League used to be the Holy Grail of single-player sports campaigns. This hasn’t evolved since the series made its Xbox 360 debut and has developed some irritating problems. Club information arrives in the form of lectures from your colleagues. Slow cutscenes contradict the tic-tac gameplay, adding fragility to the sturdy arms that have welcomed players so warmly over the years.

FIFA 13′s Newcastle launch. They’re all excited, divvent ye nur.

FIFA capitalises on such shortcomings, but does make its own howlers. Manager Mode continues to improve year-on-year and is finally introducing snippets of football away from the turf. Newspaper reports call out poor performances, start weightless rumours, and follow transfer sagas with vigour. From post-match recaps to live Soccer Saturday styled commentary, an emphasis is put on minor details.

Unfortunately, FIFA Ultimate Team doesn’t get the same treatment. The game is yet to release and EA have already had to deal with exploitations and hacking. Ultimate Team has the power to become an obsession whether you spend money on its collectible cards or not.

Although this mode has received single-player seasons and a smattering of new paint, problems continue to arise. Any player who has spent time building their squad will understand how addictive the process becomes. Time, effort and money is often sacrificed so the latest in-form player can be brought in to bolster struggling teams. For an entire year formations are altered, personnel swapped, and injuries received heading into vital matches. These hardships are overcome with skill and determination. How are players rewarded? The developer builds a loving relationship with an individual before dumping them 12 months down the line.

Ultimate Team players are dedicated to an EA business model that doesn’t care for them. When fans fire up the servers on release day they will be greeted with the familiar feeling of emptiness. Traces of what used to be are exchanged for cries of wasted time.

Of course, it’s only right players start each season with bronze cards. What isn’t acceptable is the giant chasm that sucks up the work of an entire year. I want my own Ultimate Team history book. I want to remember all the trophies I’ve accumulated, my entire club record, and all the other nuggets football fans discuss down the local.

Who is my club’s most prolific scorer? Who is my longest serving player? Which awful signing did I spend the most on in 2009? Not a foggiest. EA has so many options with Ultimate Team and must initiate some sort of tangible reward system for the next update.

With that said, the vast majority of FIFA 13′s content is spot on. Comparisons to PES in this department aren’t worth making. The most difficult argument arises when considering the style of each game. Both have major improvements that need to be addressed for 2014. Konami’s better performance should be welcomed by the opposition and will only serve to make both titles even stronger.

Fans will wage war as to which game is superior. This exercise is as pointless as rival season ticket holders arguing who supports the better club. With PES 2013′s greater sense of direction and FIFA 13′s methodical tweaking, there’s plenty to enjoy whether you’re red or blue.

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12 Comments

  1. viralshag

    At the moment and for the near future the best Pro can wish for is to be competitive. No matter how “close” they are, give it a month or two and everyone will be playing FIFA and Pro might be an occasional bargain-bin/pre-owned pick up.

    FIFA needs to have a shit year and Pro an exceptional one. As long as more people are buying and playing FIFA, their friends and others they know will too.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. PEYJ

    I’m glad PES made a comeback this year. Never really enjoyed FIFA as it mostly seem to be about the bling (licenses and applications). Not sure what is meant by the physicality of the sport? If we are talking about gameplay (passing and AI) I highly disagree, as PES in the past and now again with this version is far superiour to FIFA; too many animations in the latter one, though I haven’t tried the last FIFA version except for the demo which sucked.

    As for impact on changing your formation and tactics, I always found PES to be lightyears ahead of FIFA. I guess its the lack of real challenge from the cpu, a lot of bling and licences, that gave FIFA their massive lead. PES do have the Champions League license but apparently that doesn’t count for much. Odd.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dimaco

    Well as a long time fan of Iss Pro (that’s what I like to call it) I have to admit the last editions weren’t exactly superb… (I tried fifa, and didn’t like it either, though).
    Good for PES (and for us) that this year’s version REALLY feels better in all and every section, going back to that glorious feel of control you had with the best editions of the past… and that counts more than any license any other game could throw in.
    (for me at least!)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. GwynbleiddiuM

    Konami really did good by PES’s gameplay this year, sad thing though, Horrendous commentary is still there, Engine is so last gen, graphics also (a minor issue but still an issue), and again licensing! I don’t know why do they even bother with that! If you can’t get it all in there at least make everything fake, What the fuck is East London, northwest London?! Nothing annoys me more than that, each time they release I have to update rosters and kits through mod community. I mean you have all the year to develop your game and the rosters you put in there are for 2 years ago? What madness is that?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. GK

    Fifa kicks PES ass again.totaly boring and arcade football game can’t offer anything.like every year i try PES and every year is garbage.Fifa have no competition in football.every year they have to step up on them self to create even better football game.shame on PES

    #5 2 years ago
  6. GwynbleiddiuM

    @GK You strike me as someone who has no idea what he’s talking about, you’re obviously a FIFA fanboy. You have no idea how different the PES gameplay is compared to last year and it’s much better, although FIFA remains on top because they work is not focused on one aspect of the game, they produced an all around great product.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @6, Why do you think he is a fanboy because of that? If anything that’s the same reason I won’t bother with PES this year. It is an arcade football game and in comparison to FIFA really doesn’t have much to offer in terms of variety and options.

    It’s all well and good saying “Konami has done a good job this year” but that pretty much amounts to them doing a good job in the sense of releasing something that isn’t completely terrible.

    As you said, FIFA will continue to be on top because they release a complete package, an all round good football game. If Konami’s strategy is to improve one part of the game every year, considering all that is wrong with it, you’re gonna be there a long time.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. GwynbleiddiuM

    @7 Have you played it?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    @8, I played the demo more than a few times to get the feel of the controls but anything more than that, no. And I really don’t think I need to either.

    Going off what write-ups, what fans say, and the demo – I know that it is still a second place game and for me it’s clear the distance between the two is still too far for me to even consider Pro again.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. GwynbleiddiuM

    Did that playing through the demo felt as arcade as 2012? I’m not trying to convince you to buy it, I said it myself that it still comes short on every front. But the gameplay is not as arcade-ish as it used to be, wouldn’t you agree?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. viralshag

    Since PES6, the last pro game I loved and still own, my problem is they got lost trying to become more sim than arcade and that’s where it all suffered. I do think the game plays better than than the last five versions but overall the game just still feels so lacking.

    Maybe that’s because I’m too accustomed to FIFA, I don’t know. I would love for Pro to make a real comeback but until they really try to evolve parts of their game – such as the master league, which truly was superb back in the day – I just don’t see it happening.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. GK

    i never been any game fanboy,including FIFA.there are better games and not so good games.and how i said before,i try PES every year,because i searching the best.how i go from NBA Live to NBA 2K,maybe one day i gonna go to PES.but now it’s FIFA time.

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: lowdown on Inferno Crucible, Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]