Video Game Review: PES 2018 - As real as the sport

Sep 17, 2017, 10:26 IST | Jason Lewis

With a new roster of licenced teams and rejigged mechanics, PES 2018 takes you into the heart of the football stadium

PES 2018
Rating: 4/5
Developer: Konami
Platform: PC, PS3, X360, PS4, XBO
Price: PC: Rs 1,999; PS4/XBO: Rs 3,499; PS3/X360: Rs 2,499

It's that time of the year where all the sports videogames get their update, and even here, no sport receives as much love as football does.

Pro Evolution Soccer of PES has been the darling of soccer games over the last few years, dethroning FIFA, despite having limited number of official teams onboard. This year again, there are only a few officially licenced teams onboard — FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, CR Flamengo and Red Bull Brasil amongst them. Oddly enough, Usian Bolt, the Jamaican Sprinter is an option in the myClub mode of game.

While the new PES 2018 looks like its predecessor, the new game plays differently. Konami has chosen to rework the mechanics of the game and slowed down the pace. This feels odd at first, but you quickly get used to it. And, this allows you to strategise rather than just go for the goal with a single player leading the charge. In fact, if you do that now, be prepared to lose every game you play in PES 2018.

The game relies heavily on team work and strategy to score a goal, which we feel is something FIFA still struggles with. This brings PES closer to real life football, where team effort matters.

Gone is the ghost directional lines telling you where and how far your ball will go, while taking a free kick or corner and other ball possession moments. Instead, the game lets you work on intuition and this again, is not a bad thing. The lack of something so precise improves the feel of the game on the whole, bringing the game closer to what you would watch on TV. Goal keepers are also less accurate now, making it easier to shoot a well-planned goal.

Graphically, not much has changed from the 2017 version and that's okay because there wasn't anything wrong with it in the first place. It isn't the best, but it is functional.

The massive customisation options which were wonderful last time are still there. This means you can expect the over enthusiastic community to fill the gaps of missing teams and players.

But, the commentary, which we complained about in our review last year, has not improved yet. The load times even on the PS4 Pro are ridiculously long — between four to six minutes. While most modes have improved in 2018, the Become a Legend mode is still pretty barebones, just as it was last year. They need to improve on this since EA's FIFA does a good job with their The Journey mode, which is similar.

While PES 2018 has its flaws, it is still a very good football game. And, If you are looking for a change from years of playing FIFA, give PES a chance — we are sure it won't disappoint. Just don't go expecting the roster of players you see on FIFA. What's really good is that the previous gen consoles have not been ignored, so, if you have a PS3 or an Xbox 360, you can still partake in PES 2018.

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