PES Club Manager is Konami’s free-to-play foray into the football management genre. Although at first glance it may seem to have taken a little too much inspiration from Football Manager 2015, PES Club Manager offers enough of a twist on the formula to both entertain and surprise.
PES transformed into a manager
We thought PES Club Manager was just a lazy copy of Football Manager 2015 when we started playing. And this comparison wasn’t without reason, just look the key objectives: create your own Dream Team from humble beginnings, create strategies to win games, manage your players, and send talent scouts to poach players from rival teams. I could go on, but doesn't that sound familiar?
Differences begin to appear, however, when you start your first game. The most striking of these differences is that PES Club Manager has a powerful graphics engine that provides a detailed simulation of the on field action – letting you watch your hard work play out in glorious 3D. Plus, if the 3D is too much for your device (or simply not to your liking), you can still watch everything from a more traditional 2D view.
The second major differentiator between PES Club Manager and its competition, is that it retains the essence of PES. It is a series known for its unpredictable games; rarely do you find yourself facing off against a similarly skilled team, and that forces you to adapt. PES's reincarnation as a management game retains this uncertainty, forcing to switch strategies on the fly if you are to have any hope of leading your team to victory.
Easy to use, nice to look at
In truth, we would be happy to pay good money for PES Club Manager, but at the moment we are restricted to a free-to-play model that feels a little pay to win. Put simply, you will find both your time and choices within the game limited unless you are prepared to part with real money regularly.
As a management game, you do not directly control your players in PES Club Manager. Instead you direct their training, and are able to influence them by suggesting tactics and strategies. It may sound complicated, but it is actually made simple thanks to the games well designed interface.
Leading by two goals? You can pull your team back and implement a more defensive strategy with a few taps. See a few of your players are getting tired? Just grab your substitutes and swap them out in moments. And, if you are struggling with the pace of the game, you can even slow down the simulation to give you more time to plan. Thanks to the range of options, and simple touch interface, controlling your team both on and off the pitch is simple.
A game that deserves full price
We only have one problem with PES Club Manager, it’s free-to-play hooks. These slow the game, and rob us of our desire to keep playing. Bar that, the game is spectacular, with hundreds of teams, the unpredictability of PES, tournaments, options, strategies, and the graphics. Not only would we not mind paying a premium price for this management game, we want to.