"Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win." So quipped Gary Lineker, an English international, after losing to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup. As in life, so in art: Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, sometimes subtitled by its traditional Winning Eleven moniker, is also a simple game.
At the very least, the latest incarnation of the Pro Evo franchise is a familiar game -- it has a manager mode, called "Master League"; a handful of tournament modes; "Become a Legend," in which you guide one player through his career; and standard online play, buttressed by remarkably stable netcode.
The game sports a glossy, polished sheen and an elegant and intuitive UI that I wish more sports games adopted, but it's unfortunately marred by character models and animations that tiptoe, with great trepidation, toward the uncanny valley.
It is, more or less, the logical continuation of the Pro Evo series as we've come to know it over the past, oh, four or five years.... read more