Game Review | Pro Evolution Soccer 2018

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT’S FINALLY HAPPEN. KONAMI HAS FINALLY, FINALLY DELIVERED US A QUALITY PES GAME ON THE PC. Year after year the PC community has gotten a mediocre product while their console brethren got a first-rate footy experience.

For the review I played both the PC and PS4 versions of the game, and so let’s highlight the differences between both versions as I’m sure some of you may be wondering what they may be.

Gameplay, the same, sound quality, the same, graphics, very similar. Similar meaning that the PC version looks visually the same, but can be enhanced, and scaled larger than it’s console counterpart if the system its being played on is capable of doing so. The PC version also has access to Nvidia Ansel, which allows the player to take screenshots of the gameplay during replays. This feature allows the player to navigate through a 3D space around the pitch, and take pictures of anything they desire, then digitally modify that image to make beautiful photo-realistic images of the game. It’s something new that I took advantage of during my time with the game, and will continue to use throughout the year for my Master League campaign videos that I’ll be posting on my personal channel.

Speaking of Master League, it’s back, and it’s pretty much the same as it was last year. Now though the main menu in this mode may be different, almost all the sub-menus are rehashed from last year’s game. Was this a deal breaker for me? No, I’m OK with it as long as the mode functions as it should, and for the most part it does. When you begin master league this year you’re presented with the option to play with classic or challenge difficulty. The difference between them being the difficulty you will encounter with regards to transfers, and keeping your job as manager. Everything else about Master League this year is mostly untouched from last year. Which kinda sucks when you compare it to what it’s competitor has on offer this year, but as someone who enjoyed last year’s Master League, I can’t say that I’m bothered too much by the lack of change.

As for all the other modes, PES 2018 off the pitch is almost identical to PES 2017. Meaning it shares most of the same pros and cons with its predecessors. I wanted to say it’s lazy of Konami for not updating the game even further this year, but by the time you see and experience the gameplay, and graphics that desire goes away immediately.

Konami have always stated that it’s primary focus with regards to PES is the experience players get on the pitch, and this year they have delivered. The passing game is simply magnificent. If you take away the HUD and leave the scores, chances are you could fool a mate into believing that he’s watching a real match. Ok, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but the game does look and play even better than previous years. The passing game is superior to any other footy game on the market, and the speed of play feels just right. Most players also look like their real world counterparts, and in some ways they play like them too. Players like Neymar will destroy a defense with their skill on the ball, while others like Sergio Ramos will impose themselves on the play, preventing most assaults with relative ease. If not for the lack of moving hair, and the lack of proper licenses for teams and transitions I’d be fooled 9 times out of ten into believing I was watching a real match while viewing gameplay of the game.

The weight of the ball, and physics in play are mind blowing realistic. I had a mate place a lofted pass for the first time in the game and pause, just to express how right it looked. The pace of the play has been sped up a bit and the transitions between animations have been improved quite a lot compared to last year. It’s such a step up that I’m able to place some amazing goals that would be impossible in PES 2017. As for the keepers, they are a bit inconsistent, leaving many openings for rebound tap ins, but I forgive them for that because of the improvements in other places on the pitch. I’m especially impressed by the different forms of distributions by the keepers. looking at it all in motion or playing it just feels so right. Dribbling is easier for me due to the way the game auto assists, and the improvements to close control, although I’m no better at skill moves than I was last year. Skill moves are probably the only category on the pitch where I believe FIFA has the edge. Everything else is all PES baby.

As for the modes I’ve found a new addiction in my clubs. Its my first time taking this mode seriously, and I’m impressed by how much more fun I’m having with it than ultimate team. This is because getting high quality well known players in PES My Clubs doesn’t take much time. My team already has Boateng, and Modrić, and they were acquired within the first day I played the game. In ultimate team it feels more like a grind to get good players, whereas in My club it feels like a good balance that doesn’t require the player to spend hundreds on packs just to get one or two decent players. I also like the fact that players improve in this mode. It gives them a sense of development that makes your version of a player feel almost unique from everyone else’s.

I can also attest to the quality of the multiplayer in this year’s PES. YEEEEES, I did end up playing some multiplayer. 3 matches to be exact. 2 out of 3 were fine, but the the third was a bit laggy with regards to the input. I think it was related to the ping between myself and my opponent, and it was noticeable immediately. In a way I knew it was gonna be a crappy match the moment the players started walking onto the pitch.

Licences are still missing this year, although, you can and should get the team and league patch immediately after installing the game. It’s free and we even did a video on how to install them, so don’t worry about proper teams and licenses. It’s a bit of a non issue if you’re playing the PC or PS4 version of the game. I can’t confirm if the XBOX ONE version shares the same fate, but if it’s like last year then that would be unfortunate.

Final Verdict

If FIFA is the iPhone of footy games, PES is the Android. What this equates to is a footy game whereby almost everything can be edited and changed by the end users. The game allows players to import their own teams, competitions, and other images that can be used to alter most other aspects of the game. Your favorite team missing? No problem import them. Your ideal competition nowhere in sight? We’ll just import that too. Don’t like the way a player looks, change them. PES 2018 is the most flexible footy game on the market at the moment. It presents the player with an almost genuine replication of the world’s sport and gives them the means to improve it even further. If you’re looking for an alternative to FIFA, look no further. PES 2018 is the place to be.

Copies of Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 for PS4 and PC used for this review were provided by it’s publisher Konami.

Qudduws Campbell

That messy hair bloke: Romantic, Food lover, Gamer, Sports Fan, Manga Reader, Tech Head, Podcaster... Pretty much do a bit of everything.