Pro Evolution Soccer 2019

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 Game Poster Image
Polished soccer sim improves visuals, leaves gameplay alone.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is a soccer simulation designed to recreate professional soccer matches. It promotes teamwork, friendly competition, working towards a goal, perseverance, and sportsmanship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game has lifelike soccer players based on real stars. If these players are good role models in real life, they may be considered good role models in the game, too -- but the opposite is true, as well.    

Ease of Play

Gameplay's generally easy to pick up and control, even for newer or younger players, but some advanced moves may be difficult to master at first. The game's slower-paced than other soccer games, too, which may help the game's accessibility, but on the flip-side it offers more depth. 

Violence
Sex
Language

Online chat is unmoderated, which can expose players to inappropriate content.
 

Consumerism

PES 2019 has plenty of branding on players, billboards, and elsewhere in the stadium. Examples include Nike, Adidas, Red Bull, Emirates Airlines, and many others. There's also a special David Beckham version of the game for $20 more, and in-game purchases for real money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is a soccer simulation for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's appropriate for players of all ages, without any inappropriate content. Multiplayer matches are unmoderated, which could potentially expose players to inappropriate comments. There's a lot of advertising scattered throughout the game: players will find logos for Emirates Airlines, Nike, Rakuten, and more on athletes, billboards, and other places. There are also in-game purchases for real money.

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What's it about?

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER (PES) 2019 is a soccer game that leans more towards a simulation than a faster-paced arcade game. The focus this year was primarily on offering gamers more freedom on the pitch, slower play to allow for better ball dribbling, and more accurate, responsive player control. Personality and uniqueness are two areas highlighted as well, punctuated by something called Magic Moments. These are nearly 40 role-playing game (RPG)-like traits that are distributed across the roster of players to give them each some extra personality on the pitch. Fans will notice improved 4K graphics on supported TVs as well. Off the pitch, licenses and game modes have seen the biggest changes in four years, with new leagues added across the world, which gives more depth to popular modes like Myclub and Master League. Some legends have been added in, too, including a special David Beckham version of the game. Finally, player individuality was also a priority; the top players are recognizable via signature moves, skills and tricks that bring these stars to life.

Is it any good?

Whether you've played previous versions or are new to the franchise, you'll love the look and feel of this soccer game. Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is highly polished in the control and presentation department -- except for the menu screens. There's clearly been an effort to add some personality and individuality to many of the players (especially the famous footy stars you know and love). But it feels like this game features the most accurate depiction of these soccer players by their looks and animations to capture their style of play.

That said, not too much has changed in the league and mode selection -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing as last year's game was pretty solid. But some players may be disappointed that there isn't a whole lot new here. Sure, there are many good solo and multiplayer modes to choose from, including improvements to Myclub (an online mode that gives you the platform to build an original team from scratch) and the challenging Master League, but this year's game tends to focus more on player individuality, physicality, and emotion than on expanding how to play the game. Also, the commentary tracks aren't quite as good or accurate as rival soccer games. Still, Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is a solid game that gets most of it right. From excellent player individuality, amazing control (especially with accurate ball physics), and lifelike goalkeepers, this game is a worthy installment of its long running franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 compares to real soccer games. Are kids and their friends able to replicate some of the feats they see in games?

  • Does the player on-screen live a life you'd want to emulate? Why, or why not?

Game details

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