Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 myClub was released as an F2P (Free-to-Play) game on PlayStation 4 this week, essentially making online play available without the need to purchase the full game…

But, is PES 2016’s myClub mode worth downloading?

About myClub itself

Without modes such as Master League, the F2P myClub edition is a glorified demo. It contains Exhibition Mode, Training, and myClub itself.

myClub is what it says on the tin. You choose your team, sign players, hire a manager, and build your squad. Target promotion – or avoid relegation – from each division by getting the best results possible. If you are aware of EA’s FIFA Ultimate Team and how that works, it is similar here.

That is, when you can access the myClub interface, after waiting 10 minutes for it to load.

Loading Screen

Your biggest victory in myClub will be making it through the gargantuan loading screens

Getting down to business

For those who already own the game, GP, coins and squad transfer from the full game. For those who are playing PES for the first time, it isn’t great starting from scratch with a poor squad.

Same as the full version, users are able to sign a high-level squad member on loan (Gareth Bale). This is for a limited number of games, rather than a permanent deal.

The rest of the squad will be terrible, to say the least. As the game has been out for three months, it is an uphill battle for first-time players. Those who have played more matches will have a higher-level squad.

When the contract of the ‘star man’ expires, users will have a squad with no exceptional player. Furthermore, formations and tactics cannot change. These have to change via a manager, bought with GP or myClub coins. Users have to take into account the style of play wanted, to get the best out of the squad.

Other features include levelling up players match-by-match, adding an RPG-esque element to the game. Whilst players in any sport become better as time goes on, it is pointless grinding to level up. It is much easier to buy better players.

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Poor Control

No words can explain what happened here

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Gameplay experience

After finishing the forced tutorial match, users start in the lowest division. Users match with opponents of similar squad strength, but take this with a pinch of salt. The strength of opponents seems to be random, whether their team is superior or inferior.

If an opponent has a better manager and squad, then it is fair to say one is in trouble already. If matched with somebody of a similar squad rating, then there’s at least a chance of winning.

The core gameplay of PES 2016 is generally solid, but not without many flaws. Sloppy goalkeeping, refereeing and most finesse shots beating the goalkeeper are just three issues.

When online with this game, the input lag is a game-breaker. Depending on the quality of connection, it can take around two seconds to execute a pass or shot.

In the case of passing, a competent opponent will know where the ball is going to go, and the move will break down. The same then happens when they are on the ball, resulting in a game of ping-pong in the centre of the pitch.

Other issues include freezes, disconnections, and being unable to select players at critical moments.

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Clearance

It seems even the players in-game have had enough of the online experience PES 2016 has to offer

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Is it worth it?

The biggest issue with a lot of online free-to-play games is that they need ‘investment’. This is both financial,  and putting time and effort into the game. It takes several matches to buy an 80+ rated player (and there is no guarantee they will have a high rating).

Upon completing a match, users will net around 1500 points on average. This means 6-7 matches just to be able to buy a half-decent player. It will take 100 matches to have a solid starting eleven, plus depth on the substitutes’ bench.

Is PES 2016’s myClub worth the download? Not at this stage. Konami’s poor servers – resulting in poor connection quality – means that the game unplayable. This is a massive shame, as it doesn’t convince those who want to move over from FIFA.

Those who want to get their PES fix should at least try the Exhibition Mode that comes with the F2P myClub mode. PES 2016 is a great single-player experience when it comes to offline modes. The online experience, though, may remain broken for the foreseeable future.

Konami Stadium

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