Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Konami Tokyo 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Konami 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

If you are interested in European football, you'll likely not experience many licensing issues after all. Still, the European-centric feel of the title can be off-putting, especially if you enjoy national team squads and competitions; the U.S. men's Nats and the Mexican Seleccion are particularly poorly represented in-game, out of the box. However, unlike the nickel and dime approach of the competition, Konami gives users free base-build and online play updates, including additional licensed teams, updated rosters, and improved player likenesses, for free. All you have to do is go to the system settings options in the top-menu and download the latest build, which will then be automatically applied. Thanks Konami!

Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot

Gameplay is as high quality as ever, something the series has always been known for. I noticed that wing play is especially dynamic this year. In fact, delivering crosses and getting on the end of them with strikers in dangerous positions is actually far more intuitive than what's found in the competition. Also, teammate AI does a great job of getting into dangerous spaces, making diagonal runs, and coming back to give you quality supporting options. Interestingly, basic controls are nearly identical to that of FIFA 10 (i.e. very user-friendly), but advanced controls are another story altogether. Unfortunately, some of the button combinations that are needed to perform advanced moves are counterintuitive. While this won't slow you down while playing on regular difficulty, going up in challenge locally, or heading online to play against seriously technical players is daunting. I've got to believe that Konami can do a better job of mapping functions to a more user-friendly control scheme. As it stands, the learning curve is so steep it'll take you hundreds of hours before you can be truly competitive online.

Presentation is very good, but it is generally not quite as excellent as that found in FIFA 10. Player likenesses are accurate (for those players that are licensed), and the handful of available stadiums you can choose from are especially great to look at. The same can be said for animation quality, as players react to the ball and other players realistically; only keepers stand out as reacting artificially. However, time-keeping, radar, score, and player name graphics still look amateurish. Along those same lines, in the default view, players are quite large, which makes them look a bit too much like virtual avatars, whereas FIFA's withdrawn default view makes the game look more like a live television broadcast. . Similarly, the commentary crew of Jon Champion and Mark Lawrenson do a quality job relaying and coloring the action, but something seems to be missing from the overall presentation such that it feels like your playing a game rather than participating in a live football match. Crowd noise is decent, reacting genuinely to the action on the field. However, team-specific chants aren't prevalent, resulting in an audience that does little more than roar at goal-scoring opportunities.


PES 2010 is the best version Konami has put out for home consoles to date. The franchise seems to have matured over the last year, playing like it always should have. The online options are compelling and diverse (though suffer from a spot of lag), and the offline game modes have been refined significantly. While the lack of extensive licensing continues to keep the PES franchise firmly in the number two spot, players that are interested in a European-centric take on footie might not have many qualms in this regard.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

The game is much improved visually over last year. I especially enjoyed the much cleaner menu design and excellently rendered stadiums.
Controls are still far too complicated when you get into advanced play, but the devs did make the basic controls easy to pick-up-and-play.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Ambient stadium of effects could have been better, and the commentary is still missing some heart. Still, it's competent enough to get you into the game.
Play Value
Though the mode on hand are all old hat, they've been greatly refined. The online experience in particular is vastly improved.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Introducing Transcendent Visuals: PES will offer drastic improvements in license content, stadium atmospheres, player likenesses all the way down to the specific moves of the real life players. When you play as Messi, it will be like Messi is playing.
  • Evolution of Intelligence: PES will draw upon the real life excitement of soccer which relies heavily on intelligent defenses and offensive schemes. The AI is redone and will feature Teamvision 2.0 for a more formidable opponent. It will also help your offense to build attacks or to close down your opponents attacks. Gamers will be able to execute orchestrated attacks and defenses which involve multiple players at the same time.
  • The Power of Choice: In addition to the UEFA Champions League mode, players will have more choices than ever. They can choose any of the modes including an enhanced Master League mode enabling players to create and manage their team for a longer period of time. In addition there will be multiple cups to play for and an edit mode to further personify your team.
  • Online Reinvented: A new dedicated section of the PES production team is committed to improving the online side of PES 2010. More downloadable content is also planned. Konami has supported PES 2009 with the release of new licensed teams, transfer updates, etc, and this support will grow for PES 2010. Team and content updates are planned throughout the game's lifespan. These will make the game even more bespoke to the player's match day needs.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 screenshot - click to enlarge

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