PES COLLECTION (previously PES MANAGER) is Konami's new free-to-play soccer management game. In it, you'll create your ideal squad and lead it to success. The game uses "card" style play that really reminds us of FIFA's Ultimate Team.
Create the squad of your dreams
At the beginning of the game, you'll have to choose your team name, colors and crest. You'll also get a list of available players, each with their own specific skill. Playing and winning games (and thrilling the crowds while you do it) earns you Game Points to spend on new players (via the Prize Draw, a random assignment system in the style of Ultimate Team), or lets you upgrade their abilities by purchasing Badges.
Beating their rivals improves your players' skills, earns you experience points, and gets you various rewards, like new players for your team. PES COLLECTION includes both real and fictitious players, with more than 1,500 licensed players with official photos.
Other assorted rewards can be earned by completing the achievements in Academy Mode or participating in the various Challenge, Skill and Special matches. Finally, PES COLLECTION allows you to participate in the League Contest, which pits you against other players around the world, climbing up the ranks to the First Division, the Supreme.
The game interface is rich in content, but initially appears chaotic and confusing. To get to grips with the mechanics of the game, you'll need patience, but the initial tutorial will give you a step-by-step introduction to the PES Manager dynamics.
The stage management is good and the variety of challenges available ensure varied gameplay. Improving the team takes time, but that's the beauty of the game. If you don't want too relaxed of an experience, you can purchase the best players.
On the field, you can follow your team's matches in real time, but the interaction is quite limited: you can follow the match, make substitutions, change location and little more. We would have liked more interaction, both technical and tactical in the wake of Football Manager Handheld.
In-game graphics could be better
Once off the field, the quality 3D graphics appear to fall short of expectations. In addition, the game doesn't seem well balanced in terms of speed, and animations leave something to be desired. In short, compared with the engine used in the classic PES 2014, PES COLLECTION has taken a step back. On the other hand, the audio is decent, largely due to sound effects and commentary creating a great audio atmosphere.
Konami's alternative to EA's Ultimate Team
The management aspect of PES COLLECTION has undeniable charm, the card system is well thought out, and if you love this particular type of management game, this game from Konami will satisfy you.
PES COLLECTION is a good game, with a gameplay system that needs practice to be fully understood. The wide variety of challenges keeps things interesting over time, but it walks in the shadow of FIFA Ultimate Team, which the game seems to have stake significant inspiration from. What's more, as well as gaps in graphics and animations, we saw a lot of lag during play (because of the constant interaction with the server), which in the long run, could turn players off the game.