It is perhaps unfair that Pro Evolution Soccer is always in the shadow of FIFA games, but Konami is looking to change that this year with PES 2019. It’s gone all-out with Philippe Coutinho and, oddly, David Beckham as the cover stars.
Becks is appearing as a modern version of himself after a trailer that recreated some of his most famous footballing moments. This boost is sorely needed after Konami lost its decade-long UEFA rights to use the Champions League branding in PES – losing it to EA’s FIFA 19.
PES suffers from its lack of other licensing rights, and therefore has few real team names and recognisable player likenesses, but its gameplay is often superb.
Here’s all you need to know about PES 2019 - and check out the E3 trailer for the game at the top of the page.
When is the PES 2019 release date?
PES 2019 was released on 28 August 2018 in the US, followed by the UK and the rest of the world on 30 August 2018.
What platforms is PES 2019 on?
PES 2019 is now available to play on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Steam) – but not for Nintendo Switch despite FIFA moving to the platform.
Where can I buy PES 2019?
PES 2019 has an RRP of £54.99, though as usual will go down in price quickly post-release.
You can pick up PES 2019 for PS4 and Xbox One from Amazon (£39.05) in the UK, while those who want to play the game on PC should head to Steam. It’s also on sale from the PlayStation Store for £49.99.
In addition, there’s a £57.99 David Beckham edition that gets you the loan of Beckham to your chosen team and 1,000myClub points.
Finally, there’s the £64.99 Legends Edition that bags you the full Legends access and more goodies.
PES 2019 gameplay features
Players and leagues
While Coutinho is the cover star for PES 2019, PES doesn’t have the license to many famous teams. Liverpool will feature fully, but former mainstay Borussia Dortmund is gone.
In fact, without Champions League and Europa League licenses, PES 2019 will have to rely on the gameplay changes it brings to entice players. In fact, the headline leagues don’t include the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A or Ligue 1.
David Beckham will also star, particularly in the Legends Edition where other greats like Maradona, Cafu and Cruyff will be playable alongside Becks.
There will be improved player movement, an aspect of PES that is already debatably better than FIFA, as well as new shooting mechanics that better take into account the set-up of the pitch, player and ball position.
A new Visual Fatigue mode will impact players more and encourage subs and tactical changes, while the FOX engine used makes the in-play animations and player expressions even better.
Add to that 11 new skills like no-look pass, controlled chip and dipping shot and we are faced with the most advanced PES game ever. If you are here for the gameplay and don’t care so much about official leagues, then PES 2019 should be your choice above FIFA 19.