PES 2018 – Xbox One Review
PES 2018 may be the best one to date
I can`t say I`ve properly got into a PES game for the last couple of years. I think the last PES game that really got me hooked and digging my heels in was PES6 (The one with Adriano and John Terry on the front of the cover) and every year since, my loyalty has lied with the FIFA titles. Why? I`m not sure why I`ve veered away from PES. I think perhaps it was something to do with the lack of licences and the fact that FIFA was the stronger title over a period of time. However, I have tried to get back into the last few titles and every year they do tend to be improving. Over the past week or so, I`ve had the opportunity to get my hands into PES 2018, the newest instalment to the franchise by Konami, and with FIFA releasing this week, and PES a few weeks before, was PES 2018 going to be a game to make a statement this year? Well, it`s a very good addition, and I must admit, I think it`s going to run FIFA very close this year.
PES 2018 is developed and published by Konami, and is the 17th instalment to the PES franchise. This year has seen more teams licensed, and the return of the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and AFL competitions for you to get stuck into in the game modes (Which for me is a big one – I love the fact that you can play the Champions League as its game mode, which you`ve been able to for a while on PES as they`ve always had the licences for the competition) aswell as playing career modes, and the master league, something that I`ve always quite enjoyed playing throughout the PES titles.
Straight from the off and into a game where I took on the team of Liverpool and Dortmund (Two of the licenced teams within the game) and watching the players come out at Anfield to the sound of You`ll never walk alone you`ll notice that the game is incredibly detailed, and is probably one of the first PES game that I`ve sat there and thought corr, this looks good. Some of the players faces look incredibly realistic, and it`s something that you`ll notice near enough straight away from jumping into a game. PES has been confirmed as an Xbox One X enhanced title too, so I`m really looking forward to seeing how it looks on the X because even on a S console, it looks fantastic.
After changing the controls of the game (I always have the controls on PES to mirror the same controls that I play with on FIFA – because otherwise it all becomes a bit mental when switching from one game to another with another set of controls) it`s time to play the game, and the gameplay feels good. Nice and fluid, and I love the way that the players move and react to different positions. Balance and composure is going to be key, and if a defender`s composure is awful, then you`re going to be in for a difficult task when the winger or striker skips around them. It felt very realistic and it`s nice to see a real focus on the balance within the game. A few titles in the past haven’t quite felt right and it`s nice to see PES 2018 make a good early impression after one game. It felt fluid and the balance was good, and it was nice to see. The only thing that for me lacked a bit of consistency throughout the game was with the keepers. What`s going on there? Some-times they`ll let in very close goals and goals that you`d expect to be saved, and then they`re pulling off a Manuel Neuer every time. It`s the one thing that FIFA don’t seem to have gotten too right in the last few years, but this seemed to be very sporadic throughout. It`s not a huge issue, and not one that`s a real biggie for me but it did seem to be inconsistent. Perhaps a fix might sort that.
Next up was to jump into the UEFA champions league, and after turning up the volume on my sound bar, starting the mode and listening to that famous music whilst standing up with my Arsenal shirt on looking up into my ceiling (I wanted it to feel real, and being an Arsenal fan it`s the only time I`ll get to hear the song this season) and it was time to jump into some more gameplay. Again, the game feels good and fluid throughout, and I was really enjoying my time with it. Some of the names you`ll come up against and think who are they (Don’t forget that PES don’t have awfully lots of team licences meaning lots of the names are generic- but you`ll get the jist from the player names) and although I can`t take anything off the gameplay for PES, that for me is one of the only things that really stop PES from being up there with FIFA. The lack of licences for clubs within the game. Yes, they have the Champions League and Europa League, but it`d be nice to see actual official clubs and stadia make their way into the game. Will we ever see that? That`s another question, but I`d love to see it happen one day.
Overall, PES 2018 has been a game that I`ve really enjoyed so far and am loving. It`s made a real good step in the right direction, and the gameplay within PES is truly something that`s really good and enjoyable to play. The Balance between it all is excellent, and for me will be up there with FIFA in terms of its gameplay, and that makes up for the lack of licences within the game. All the favourite modes that you`ll have played from before such as the Master League, Career and UEFA modes are all back, and they do offer something that`s different to FIFA (In that FIFA do not have the UEFA licences). Graphically you`ve got an outstanding game, and I mentioned earlier that the title is Xbox One X enhanced, and I cant wait for that come November to see what `s already a visually outstanding game. But, it`s a fantastic addition to the footballing world and gaming community and will be up there this year with FIFA in terms of its game play. I just fear whether the lack of licences might be a put off, but if you can look pass that, then take the time and invest in a copy, because it`s the best one we`ve seen for a few years.
Many thanks to XCN for the review copy.