PES 2018

PES 2018: Does More of the Same Mean More of the Best?

You are controlling Mbappe as you sprint down the flank and see that Cavani is waiting for you in the box, waving his hand in an attempt to suggest that you should send in a cross. That’s what you do just before the opponent performs a sliding tackle. Cavani jumps in front of the defender and puts the ball over the net. What follows is the incredible noise from over 50,000 fans thrilled that you managed to qualify for the Champions League semifinals. You are on the edge of your seat full of adrenaline because that’s how good PES 2018 is.

Welcome to the Next-Gen 4K Football!

Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is the best-looking football game from Konami so far. Yes, we are also talking about the PC version, which was finally received to the top tier when it comes to graphics. 4K support, 3D spectators, real-life like player movements, and fantastic graphics – all that waits in PES 2018. There are no glitches or other issues; everything is running smoothly at 60 FPS, which is why the PC version deserves a special mention. Both PES 2018 and FIFA 18 took huge steps this year when it comes to graphics

As for the Xbox One / 360 and PlayStation 3 / 4 versions, they are not that big of an improvement compared to the previous installments in the series. But in this case, more of the same means more of the best. There are still enhancements, such as the fact that there is an increased sense of body weight. That makes changing your direction and collisions with opponents trickier and more realistic.

The Beauty Is in the Details

It’s getting harder to figure out all the small changes Konami makes as they might not be apparent. However, each of them is carefully analyzed and applied with the idea to make the entire gameplay mechanics better. For example, when you are getting a pass in PES 2018, it depends on the position of your body whether you will succeed to put it under control.

PES 2018 Main Menu Interface
PES 2018 Menu Interface

AI seems smarter, but just like earlier, experienced players can immediately consider switching to hard difficulty settings. A total of six levels are available, from beginner to superstar, and you feel a difference between each of them. Lower levels are a festival of goals, and you shouldn’t have a problem outplaying your opponents. Although it might seem like the AI is cheating on higher levels, there is no comparison to the atmosphere and the tension those matches can create. It’s the essence of football captured in a football game!

Can We Defend the Goalkeepers?

There were some improvements to how the goalkeepers are performing, but there is still that feeling that there is some work to do. In one moment, your keeper will make a breath-stopping intervention to save your team, but in the next, he will punch the ball that he could have easily caught. It can get annoying when a harmless shot from a distance is deflected directly into the forward who can then score.

PES 2018 Penalty
Executing a penalty

Fortunately, this doesn’t often happen in PES 2018 and doesn’t cause a problem when you are dealing with a weaker opponent. But if you are playing against a friend for a pizza, it can lead to breaking your joystick. Some might say that goalkeepers are not perfect in real-life either. We agree, but there is a difference between occasional mistakes and things that don’t make too much sense.

The License Issue

We won’t discover anything new when we say that Konami is having troubles with licensing real football players and teams. The same issues are present in Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, which leads to clubs like Real Madrid and stadiums like Parc Des Princes missing from the original roster. Luckily, the game’s fan base is vast, and high-quality unofficial patches that fix these problems are already available.

PES 2018 Gameplay
PES 2018 Gameplay

Licenses for UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Copa Libertadores, and several national leagues are still there. Continental competitions have some new intros and animations, which contribute to the overall gaming experience. However, licensing remains the area where Konami needs to improve its football game significantly.

Cooperative Online Mode

The only new game mode in PES 2018 is the 3 VS 3 Online Coop. It’s self-explanatory, but let’s mention that it’s playing online in teams consisted of three gamers. Aside from that, everything else is same-old. Aside from the exhibition games, some national leagues and continental competitions, there is the Master League mode where you become the coach and take your team to glory.

PES 2018 Players Statistics
Live In-Game Statistics

You can also try the Become a Legend mode where you take control of a single player through his entire career to become one of the football legends. Although both concepts (ML and BAL) seem appealing, they lack the depth that some other sports games managed to portray. The personalized career mode will quickly become boring because it’s much more fun to control the whole team than just one player.

Find the Best Tactic for You

The only area of the pitch in which PES 2018 is adjusting tactics in the dressing room. You can modify your strategy to the detail and the players obediently apply all your instructions on the field. Are you facing a stronger team and you want to park the bus? Or do you prefer playing an open game where you fullbacks join the attack often?

Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is not a single player game. Although the AI is smart and can prove to be a tough opponent, the real thrill lies in multiplayer matches. Whether you are playing your friends in the same room or online, the replay value of the game is incredible. The PC version got a major overhaul, while the console versions underwent just as much changing needed to be called a new game.

PES 2018 has the same strengths and weaknesses like other football simulations in the series. While that means that issues like licensing and faulty goalkeepers aren’t ironed out, it also means that this is still the best and the most exciting soccer game on all platforms, which is enough for us to stay on Konami’s side for yet another year.

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