Undisputed – PES 2018 kicks FIFA 18 into touch
The biggest battle in football kicks off as Konami and EA do battle for gaming supremacy.
The eternal battle between Konami and EA over who can best bring to gamers the “beautiful game” brings us the 2018 versions of their respective franchises.
EA has reigned supreme since 2008 with it’s innovation in game modes, simulation game play and a lockdown on most official licenses. But 2016 marked the release of what many considered as the best ever football game. Sadly for EA, it was Konami’s PES 2016.
Pro Evolution Soccer was undisputed king of the football gaming world with a series of breathtaking releases from 2000 up until about 2008, when it’s crowned started to slip and was eventually knocked off and stolen by EA and its juggernaut franchise FIFA. But ever since PES 2016, fans have been slowly looking beyond the issue of official licenses and focusinhg on PES’ historical strength – gameplay.
And the 2018 iteration builds further on the last few years’ advances. PES’ apparent flaws are beginning to look like strengths. Whilst FIFA’s gameplay is often formulaic and robotic, PES brings to the screen all the madness and mayhem of real football. Do the goalkeepers make shocking howlers when under no pressure? Yes. Do referees make inexplicable decisions that make you want to put your foot through your 50″ screen? Yep. Just like in real football.
While FIFA builds on its career mode to such an extent that you forget its actually a football game, PES builds on its core modes such as Master League with little tweaks that brings the experience of managing a top flight club to life. PES has also added a Random Selection mode where the computer randomly selects players for your team based on a criteria such as National teams or Leagues. It’s great fun in two player mode and you can even take the battle online.
The biggest downside to the PES franchise for most gamers has been the lack of official licenses. On FIFA you can take the field as Manchester United whereas on PES you’re turning out as Man Red. But PES has made great strides in tying up individual licenses so that the 2018 version has official licenses for Liverpool FC, Barcelone, Dortmund and Inter to name a few. Liverpool’s famous home Anfield is a stunning experience. But what about the other teams you ask? A simple option file available on most community gamer forums such as PESuniverse.com fixes that problem in 5 minutes. When you add to that PES’s lockdown on the UEFA Champions League and its South American equivalent, the licenses argument soon disappears and we are left with what should really seperate the men from the boys…gameplay!
It’s here where PES 2018 puts in a two footed tackle to put FIFA out for the rest of the season. The ball physics are amazing. The touch and feel of every pass is pitch perfect and the physicality of the game really makes you think about team selection. FIFA may have all the whistles and bells and marketing behind it, it will bring all the glitz and glamour of modern day football. But if footbal is still about 11 v 11 on green grass, then PES is still the purests choice.