Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 review - better friend of good
Last year's battle between the age-old field enemies - the Pro Evolution Soccer series and the competitive FIF - ended for the first time in several years with a slight advantage of Konami studio. However, Adam Bhatti and the company are not going to rest on their laurels and are starting this year's duel with a two-week "time handicap", although according to the announcements of the creators this is to be one of the least important advantages of the new PES . After several dozen hours with this title, I can confidently confirm that even without the earlier premiere, PES 2018 has many arguments to once again look at the upcoming EA Sports work from above.
Fox Engine on steroids
With the use of a completely new game engine, i.e. the Fox Engine, known from the latest installment of the Metal Gear Solid series , the Pro Evolution Soccer series has not so much entered a completely new level, but has greatly improved in quality, not only in terms of technology, but also smooth gameplay. However, in several elements it was clear that the PES team can squeeze even more out of this engine than before . Therefore, this year's main slogan behind the changes in Konami's virtual football is "grinding". Another thing is that you also have to be able to grind - fortunately, the creators of this series can do it.
In this edition, a lot of attention was paid to the control of the ball, and you can see it - the "spotted" has gained a remodeled system of contact with both the feet of the players and with different parts of the players' body. For this reason, the ball "sticks to the leg" more realistically - which of course affects the dynamics of the moves or sprints. In a simple translation - players known for their advanced technique and control of the ball will prove what difference a clever directional reception or the precise adoption of a long crossbar can make.
The contact of the "spotted" with the grass now looks much more natural - in this matter not only the strength of the game is of great importance, but also the weather conditions at the stadium. In rainy scenery, the ball slides significantly, which, of course, on the one hand can make it difficult to construct an action based on quick passes or long transfers, on the other - it is a great opportunity to surprise your opponent with a flat, placed hit or perpendicular pass. Various types of ricochets also look very natural - situations where the ball is artificially thrown to a considerable height are rare.
Emotions in front of the camera
A lot of fresh animations should be added to the set of new football behaviors - you can see it for example in close-ups right after shots are fired or missed situations, when players spontaneously congratulate each other or motivate each other or shake their heads disappointed. There are also many new discussions with referees and celebrations, especially those related to fans spontaneously reacting to the scored goal. This is, of course, the influence of a tool called Real Capture, which brings not only the mentioned novelties in the animations of players, but also in their appearance. I decided to take a look at the Polish players and I have to show the artists that they did a really good job. For example, Kamil Glik from the French AS Monaco or the duo of our players from Napoli - Piotr Zieliński and Arkadiusz Milik, who resemble their real counterparts, is very successful.
The dribbling system is also a bit more accessible, especially when it comes to basic feints, which seem a bit easier to perform - these are sudden changes in the direction of the run or simple interlacing, although these are not changes that would introduce any revolution. However, I am glad that the creators paid attention to the work of individual formations controlled by artificial intelligence . The most striking feature is the good management of the entire field - the players skillfully compact not only the center of the field, but also the wings of the turf. It is also worth noting the increase in the dynamics of shots - long-distance shots fly towards the goal at a higher speed than a year ago and here I think that this is a change that was not too necessary. At times, I also get the impression that the ball moves too fast, but on the other hand - this presentation of strokes has long been the trademark of Konami's kicked ball. It is also worth paying attention to the modifications in the system of set fragments of the game - this is a different setting of the camera and the use of more players to play free throws. A small thing, but it enjoys.
I also think the goalkeepers are doing a bit better, especially when it comes to playing in the foreground. It is impossible not to pay attention to the appropriate cutting of flat crosses and passes within the penalty area, especially when it comes to knocking out or catching such plays - although, of course, there are incidental cases of hitting another player with the ball, especially in a large crowd, generally goalkeepers manage without plea. The same is the case with goalkeepers going to the foreground during one-on-one duels - players do it really intelligently and with head. On the other hand, a bit more firmness could be presented by referees who tend to referee liberally in the last installments of the series - too often they resort to admonitions and conversations with players, instead of pulling out a yellow or red card. Or maybe you need a VAR system introduction to the game?
In terms of gameplay options, not much has changed when it comes to the single player mode - here we have the return of the Random Match Selection module that allows you to play a match with a team composed of players from different teams, as well as small fixes in the structure of the Master League. In a specific coaching career mode, there are, for example, pre-season tournaments, which we have been able to conduct for several years in FIF , but the most interesting changes have occurred in the transfer module . The game features new loan options (even short-term for one month), there were also loans with a pre-emption clause or transactions with several players. These are handy variants that make it easy to get new faces and experiment with your makeup.