After Season 7 hit the skids and the league was out of reach, I amused myself doing something that probably every football gamer does at some point. I amused myself playing with a few different camera settings. I alighted upon the Vertical camera. I played with it for about 10 matches.
PES2017 had started to feel a little stale and samey. That’s probably unavoidable when you play a single-player game that’s so transparently been created and calibrated for online multiplayer.
But a change of perspective can have a revitalising effect.
No, don’t worry, I am not about to start evangelising the merits of the Vertical Camera in PES2017. Especially as I’m currently back on the customary side-on camera. Why isn’t it known as the Horizontal camera?
Vertical camera has many benefits. You get to see your front players making runs in subtle ways that you simply don’t see in Horizontal, where they’re often off-camera.
On Vertical you always have all your players in front of you in plain view. Another advantage of this is that when defending, you can see where you’re playing clearance passes. So all those times you play blind clearing passes from defence that are intercepted, shouldn’t happen.
Shooting is wonderful.
There are slightly more fouls, as you tend to hold onto the ball for longer while looking for open teammates, and an aggressive AI will charge into you. I averaged around 3 fouls per match, instead of less than 1 on Horizontal. I even had a couple of high-fouls matches. There were no zero-fouls matches, unusually for PES2017, for me, which tends to be around 1 in 4 on Horizontal.
Here’s a two-minute highlights package of a few matches played using Vertical:
There are only a few real problems with the Vertical camera that prevent it being a viable long-term view for me.
First, the view tends to jerk about a lot. There’s an aura of manic speed about it that isn’t present in Horizontal.
Next, due to the white ball and the background, it’s sometimes hard to tell when the ball has gone into the net. I scored about 8 goals on Vertical. Half the time, the first real indication that I’d scored was seeing my players wheel away in celebration. A second or two later I saw the ball in the net.
I thought a bright yellow hi-vis ball would solve that problem, but surprisingly, there isn’t one in PES2017. Go and have a look if you don’t believe me. The various red and blue balls didn’t help much.
Another problem is in defending high balls. Aerial balls fired your way will fall without you having much of an idea where they’re falling. Radar is of limited help here. You end up just hoping there’s a defender in position and pressing X ‘blind’ to head the ball. Not very immersive. Too video-gamey for my liking.
Another issue is the out-swinging camera. I’m pretty sure ISS98’s Vertical camera didn’t swing out in the almost motion-sickness-inducing way that our modern Vertical Cameras do.
But all the issues aside, Vertical did indeed revitalise my PES2017 experience. I heartily recommend a similar experiment to anybody plodding through the sessions and wondering where the spark has gone.
And results are better too.
Vertical camera enabled me to find runners with more success. Results massively picked up. I strung together so many wins that the player-favouring Master League table script kicked in.
It only took a few wins for me to go from flirting with relegation to nuzzling at the edges of the European places.The Europa League is within easy reach. A Champions League spot is unlikely but not impossible. I’d need to win almost every match remaining, but we all know if I do my bit then the teams above me will lose and draw just enough to let me pass. The ‘helping hand’ script is not one of Master League’s greatest features.
Heres my full Season 7 Squad, with my starting First XI and current favoured formation:
That’s Cavalcanti alongside Canabal up front. Godwin is a loanee. This pic has been doctored in order to get my entire 25-man squad into one image.
A pretty good squad. Interesting, rather than formidable. Vardy and Payet are out on loan and will be back next season. Those two players will have several more full seasons to carve their names in my personal PES folklore.
The rest of the season isn’t a total write-off. There’s the Europa League and FA Cup to go for. And now that unlikely push for a European place via the league.