There was once a time when the Pro Evolution Soccer series was where football players went for simulation of their sport.
But in recent years the rival Fifa series has improved so much that it provides accessibility for the beginner and great depth for the fanatic.
PES 2013 takes aim once again at the hardcore fans of football simulation.
Newcomers should steer well clear because of a high possibility of utter frustration.
The learning curve is the steepest I've encountered in any game and the often ambiguous tutorials do little to build your confidence.
The pace of gameplay has been slowed a tad to compensate, but still the deep end is very deep from the kick-off.
If you do have the patience and footballing knowledge to master the controls, the PES 2013 is about as close to the beautiful game as you can get.
The player has been given full manual control over almost all aspects of general play and is free to play in any style. This freedom has been matched by the improved artificial intelligence of your teammates. They read the game and give you great options with perfectly timed, defence-splitting runs.
While the on-pitch action is first-class, off the pitch is a different story. We have the same gameplay modes as last year and the tacky menu is just, well, Konami. Obviously, not all football games can claim official licences to all competitions, teams and players, and PES definitely suffers here.
But there is always someone out there dedicated enough to create and upload a team of your favourite doppelgangers.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
For: Xbox 360
Rating: 4 / 5