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3DS  header logo

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D

For: 3DS

Strength in depth

Product: PES 2011 3D | Publisher: Konami | Format: 3DS | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
PES 2011 3D 3DS, thumbnail 1
With several pubs offering the chance to see live football in 3D, the virtual version of the beautiful game has fallen behind.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D seeks to close the deficit, bringing virtual football into the third dimension.

The question is, has the game has been improved in any significant way with the addition of stereoscopic 3D to its team sheet?

Short answer: yes.

It’s a game of three dimensions

In terms of taking advantage of the 3DS, Konami has done a much better job than you might have expected.

Although the traditional 'wide' playing view is available, with the 3D noticeably improving the depth for the cut-scenes during breaks in play, it’s the new ‘player’ perspective that really impresses.

Focusing pretty much directly behind the player that you’re currently controlling, this perspective lets you see the pitch sprawling out in front of you.

Of course, the 3D screen is what makes this mode work – without it, judging distances is very difficult indeed. If you’ve ever struggled watching a live football match from directly behind the goal you’ll know what we're talking about.

Attacking in particular works very well. Spotting a gap in the the opposing team's back line, dashing through it, and cracking a shot into the top corner is an incredibly immersive experience when you’re viewing it from right behind the player.

It would be overly generous to say it's like actually being there, but this option really does demonstrate how 3D can improve games.

Sadly, it's not a complete success. When you switch from attacking to defending the camera has to swing right around, which can leave you disoriented and unable to find your defenders.

As a result, you may prefer to play the majority of the game with the traditional wide perspective.

A seasoned professional

Fortunately, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D has some solid gameplay to back up its 3D trickery. All the 3DS’s face and shoulder buttons are used to pull off a variety of passes and shots, as well as a host of defensive manoeuvres.

The controls offer a level of complexity that's arguably equal to, if not higher than, that in the current home console Pro Evolution titles.

Coupled with the realistic player animation and movement this makes it one of the deepest portable entries in the series thus far.

For example, the game requires you to time passes and shots with players' current positioning and speed in mind. If your striker is in mid-gallop, don’t go expecting him to hit a volley anywhere lower than row Z.

Options on the bench

For the matches themselves, there are three options for the solo player. You can take to the pitch in a one-off exhibition game, attempt to win a Champions League campaign, or sink hours into building the perfect team in the excellent Master League mode.

The game features 60 national sides, and there are 170 club teams to choose from, even though most of the latter are unlicensed and therefore given obscure made up names such as ‘Booktale’ (Blackpool). Players names are thankfully intact.

Despite all this, the game is still guilty of some notable omissions.

Long answer: mostly yes

The lack of an online mode is the biggest loss, especially when you consider that the DS Pro Evolution iterations included this feature.

You can swap your Master League statistics with StreetPass, but it’s a huge missed opportunity that the only multiplayer option is a two-player wi-fi mode (which requires both players to own the game).

More evidence that Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D is less than a finished article can be found in the fact that the Become a Legend mode from the home console games has not been attempted.

Hopefully, the inevitable second 3DS entry in the series will address these missed opportunities and become a real champion. As it stands, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D is a more than adequate short term stand in.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
Reviewer photo
Simon Reed | 30 March 2011
The 3D adds much more than you’d think to an already pleasingly deep version of the beautiful game, but it’s a shame there's not enough content to back it up
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