I quite like PES 2016 for now, having played some 20 games when my wife wasn’t watching. As you probably know already, I only play Master league. Here’s what I think is different in comparison to 2015, which was fun, but also very frustrating for me.

#1 Referees. On the first glance, they’re brilliant. Not every foul is now a card, they seem to have a great ‘feeling’ for advantage (and stopping the play when you don’t use it). If anything, they may be a little too lenient. But hey, I’ll take that any day over PES 2015 referees.

#2 Goalkeepers. They are definitely different than in PES 2015. Some will say worse, some will say more realistic. The fact is that some keepers (and I’ve only played Spanish 2nd league so far) are a bit too bad, they can’t seem to stop some very easy balls. This is very problematic when you play against big teams who will dominate and shoot much.

But, I think I’ve found a partial solution to this (besides not letting them enter your box). It seems that the keepers with a red arrow are far better than their counterparts with green or yellow, no matter their Overall rating (this is just a feeling based on 2 games when I’ve put in my reserve goalkeeper with a red arrow instead of a better one with green).

#3 Collision system. They weren’t lying about this one. There is no animation that has to be finished before you can take the ball from your opponent. Try doing overhead flick when the defender is stationary behind you – he’ll now head the ball away very easily. Also, this reduces the amount of bad referees decisions, they now don’t call for foul when you’re first on the ball but rough up the opponent in the process. At least I didn’t notice it so far.

#4 Passing. The most important of all. You can now actually pass the ball around and score from a nice passing game, insted of playing hit-and-run counter attack game with lots of high through balls. Very long high through balls are now not as effective as they were.

#5 Tactics. I think that the game has made a step forward in this area. Your opponent adapts to the result and won’t let you pass around with no intention of attacking, if they’re losing, like they used to in 2015. This also gives you big advantage when you’re in lead. You can leave your opponent to dominate and counter attack to finish the job. On 2015 this worked best when playing stronger opponents. Now, even weaker teams will attack when losing and you’ll get to use that.

#6 Shooting. Long shots are not as strong as they were. But, the lob shot and the popular R2 (RT) shot didn’t change – they’re as effective as they were. Your attackers will also, FINALLY, try some attractive shots. I’ve had mine try to score an overhead kick. I almost forgot what that is playing PES 2015. But I do hope there won’t be too many attractive goals. I still remember vomiting when I saw a viral video of FIFA 15 player scoring a scorpion kick from 20 meters out.

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