Vertical takeoff

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.

Updated: 31st January 2017 — 09:25


  1. *shudders* that’s a horrible camera setting ….. glad you liked it but I could never play with that angle.
    You scored a couple of great goals and they just looked mehh under that camera angle. You also cant see your players in the box when you have the ball on the wing and cross it.

    from 54secs to 58secs the camera angle used for the reply of the goal …. if that was a proper game play camera id be all over it !!!

  2. Paul – I liked it for the first few of the 8 or so matches I played. The problems arose as time went on. The revitalising effect I mention is the main benefit of trying unusual cameras though. When I went back to wide Horizontal it was amazing.

  3. That view reminds me of Micropose Football I think it was. Or that Libro Grande game that had a particularly good free kick system.

    No gaming for me for a few days now as I went and injured myself playing footy for real on Sunday. Pushed in the back while seeing the ball out for a throw in and on stopping myself with outstretched arms, I went and did my shoulder in. I could have played on Beckenbauer style but thought better of it and flounced off home.

    The injury doesn’t doesn’t really affect my thumbs but it has made my usual gaming position (in the swivel chair by the telly) a little uncomfortable. These things can affect a season you know!?

  4. NG – I really like the Broadcast Live camera, but hate it when it zooms right in when you have the ball on the wings.

  5. the Nintendo 3DS PES had a good camera like that, it was one of the few games where 3D depth made a positive difference to gameplay

    Rice-Hettich are emerging as one of my all time favourite PES central midfield pairings. They are never fatigued, off form nor injured so play literally every minute. Hettich’s stats are not great but he is always perfectly positioned to cover for Rice’s attacking forays.

    Heading into the winter transfer window 5 points clear at the top, despite an awful performance against Guincamp last night when they scored 3 late goals to grab a draw, the final one bouncing slowly over the line from CB Serkis’s stupid head. According to house rules I can make one more youth signing this season, so debating whether to get back-up for Jarvis up front, a replacement for Serkis or maybe a promising looking young Mascherano, although that would of course break the midfield partnership

  6. Shed – I take my time going up flights of stairs these days after having a few ominous warning creaks in the knees when trying to bound up them two at a time as I always have done.

    The PS2-era Wide camera is the best camera I’ve ever played PES with. But the Vertical camera on ISS98 was the next-best camera I’ve played any football game with. I’ve got a copy of ISS98 and might look at how it worked one rainy day.

    Paul – same with the Broadcast camera. Very frustrating as it’d be near-perfect otherwise. I have a liking for Pitchside, which can be customised to get it just right.

    abbeyhill – a whole host of new Fire Emblems have just been announced. I’m still slugging my way through Awakening though.

    And your ML sounds amazing, like the most immersive ones of old.

  7. NG/Paul – One of my favourite camera angles is the broadcast camera of PES 2011 before the ruined it with the silly zoom as mentioned. I can’t believe anyone would like that. It is funny how Fifa has still yet to correct the camera issue of not being able to customise the camera angle on certain grounds. This has been an issue since the game came to the PS4 back in 2014. In all honesty I would like both games to do something different with their cameras.

  8. not-Greg – yes I was watching the Fire Emblem Nintendo direct the other day, in particular that Shadows of Velentia looks epic. It is great that the success of Awakening has saved the series

    A 4-2 thumping at Toulouse, with regen Robbie Keane unplayable for them, cut my lead to 2 points last night. Transfer window and a fresh crop of youths (hi Ibrahimovic!) prompted some tactical contemplation. Both Roy Keane and Figo were available, although disappointingly with exactly the same face. Eventually I opted for the French CB/DMF L.Perrin, 78 OVR, rather than any of the bigger names. As a 34 year old Perrin also joined my PES2014 title winning team in the January window and I’m hoping that he has the same effect of adding class and calm, a rock solid defender with a velvet touch. He also has nicely tousled grey hair and shiny brown eyes.

  9. Darryl – I think the most peculiar omission from PES2017 is the lack of a yellow hi-vis ball. It’s been in every other PES as I’ve often played with it.

    abbeyhill – the intimate relationship between a grown man and his ML team is his own business.

    And you had to get Ibrahimovic. Everyone does. It’s big star power and razzmatazz. I signed him up…

  10. What we need is a proper konami supported in-game full camera utility, like the jenkey cam mod for the pc, that lets you adjust zoom, tilt, angle, sweep, DoF, height etc, current options are too limited.

    No PES last night as I recorded the Liverpool Chelsea match and watched that, but plan on resuming tonight.
    Its Feb in my game, season 7, have a busy month with a derby vs Watford coming up, the world club championship semi final, and Champs League KO round 1st leg.

    I’ve mentioned Arcas and Embolo many times before as standout players, but a true unsung hero of my squad is Seydou Keita, signed from the youths 3 or 4 seasons ago, a solid, reliable DMF, who can also dribble and get forward and has a cracker of a shot.

    We often mention players in PES who do nothing of note for ages then pop up with a gem, Di Paula did this for me with a superb volleyed goal the other night, which I will upload soon.
    I was planning on selling him at the end of the season, probably still will, one goal a season doesn’t maketh the man.

  11. Paul – My Aussie league is played with the red ball and the anniversary ball in the cup.

    Abbey – Its weird not having my avatar in my Aussie venture but Ogiwara with his pink mohawk and McGish with his goatee really standout. 15th in an 18 league team. The two legged cups are tiring my players but i’m through to the last 8. About 4-5 fouls per match and the com has had two players sent off!

    NG – Last time I used vertical cam was in ISS 2000, I always remember mt CMF Trent Reznor hitting thunderbolts into the net.

  12. Ooo. Just won my first treble on this years pes. The europa league variant as well. Never won that on any pes. The cup final and EL final were horrible sccriptfests but i did it. Onwards to season 7!

  13. #1 – Congrats. That’s some achievement.

  14. Paul – it’s not so much PES as a whole, but players specifically in PES2017 (and PES2016) who do nothing for long periods and then have one good match and then go back to nothing again. I don’t recall this being an issue in any previous PES, not even PES2015, the first instalment of this nuPES we have now.

    werd – I think Vertical Cameras would work well in our modern games if there was no sickening swinging-out of the camera at any time, and if the view pulled back when defending to allow the player to see what he’s doing. A fully customisable camera is long overdue in football games. I cannot think of a good reason why we don’t have it already.

    #1 – many congratulations. I find the Europa League very tough to progress in in PES2017.

    Around this time yesterday I was having a thunderbolt idea for a ‘Tactics’ football game in the style of Final Fantasy Tactics, Advance Wars etc. Pro Evo Tactics (working title) would be a turn-based, stats-driven, squad-building game that would capture the old magic of Master League.

    Players would have Football Manager-like stats, there’d be training, development, transfers etc. Outcomes on the pitch would be determined by stats-based dicerolls. E.g. a full-back with 19 Awareness (out of 20) would have a high % chance of being in position to prevent a counterattack down the wings, while another full-back with 7 Awareness would be a liability – and so on. I’m sure you can imagine. I have nothing like the programming knowledge needed to make such a game, but got quite excited thinking it’d be worth spending a year or two of learning on.

    Then I googled ‘turn-based football game’ and, well, you may see the results for yourself. Sigh. I’m going to take a punt on that top result, Football Tactics, next week when I get some PC time, and I will report back.

  15. Anyone know when you request to move club when the move would happen? Is it immediately or at Jan/summer? If I request one in summer do I need to wait until Jan?

  16. Jay – as far as I understand, you can only ever move on the final day prior to a transfer window. If you’re already in pre-season, you can’t switch clubs until December 31 at the earliest, though you can start the process of setting up a new job at any time.

    I won the PL/FA Cup/CL treble in my second season with Arsenal, and then decided to take on the Liverpool job in my tour of ailing giants. After clearing out the dead wood (for which, read: all but two players) and assembling a new squad, I’ve suddenly hit a brick wall. With a best Team Spirit rating of 63, team cohesion is non-existent. I lost my first four PL matches, and scraped a draw in a Europa League fixture I really should have won. Goals scored in these games? Two.

    My tactics are largely to blame, as I’ve continued with my all-out attack philosophy designed to give the Superstar AI a chance (because anything else at this stage would feel like cheating – I’m just too good at game management in PES 2017). And I know that as Team Spirit creeps up, performances will improve.

    But right now, I couldn’t even buy a win. And Liverpool have the cash – I’m currently sitting on a wage budget of £219,675,260…

  17. Jay – are you talking about moving in ML as a manager, or moving in BaL as a player?! If the former, what Jay says. If the latter, well I’ve never loved BaL and I never will, but I dimly remember that you have to wait for the game to decide.

    James – I wish there was a straightforward way to permanently freeze Team Spirit at around 70-80. That’s when the game is best.

  18. NG, apologies if anyone has already has already said this, in your previous post you mentioned the Secretary note saying of you keep playing a player in a different position he’ll eventually learn it, and it being rubbish? Well I can confirm it IS true. Just finished my season with Milan, got promoted as champions. In my end of season review I got told that E. CASTLEDINE had learned the position of second striker. Unbeknownst to me I’d been playing him out of position all season ! So I guess it just takes a whole season to learn.

  19. NG – Sub-70 Team Spirit is the worst place to be. In another Konami misjudgement, it doesn’t merely affect the potential fluidity of your side, which would be perfectly fine. No, they wank around with your player stats as well – in addition to the usual range of nebulous Superstar boosts for their current set of cohorts. I’ve just played a game where a 57-rated opponent in a Europa League fixture fairly consistently outpaced and outmuscled his marker. Right after my final season with Arsenal (spirit 89, strength 85), and a European Cup win with England (spirit 95, strength 84), the difference in player ability (Liverpool: spirit 64, strength 83) is profound.

    Those are your individuality-fucking ingredients, right there: the fact that most opposing players are just mindless, buffed-up implacable homing missiles, and your team can be hit by arbitrary stat penalties at any moment. The anachronism whereby a collision is a tackle, and the fact that almost every AI-controlled individual attempts to slam into your players with gusto, is a 16-bit standard that the PES and FIFA developers should be fucking ashamed to perpetuate.

    PES 2017 is still, by most of the measures that matter, a really good football game. But it has a tendency to level the playing field by being a complete and utter cunt.

  20. James – the curious thing about such behind-the-scenes stats-nobbling and AI-boosting, and scripting in general: you will still see PES veterans on the forums arguing that it doesn’t exist.

    This morning I was thinking about how the sliding tackle has worked in FIFA over the past few years (what a life I lead). It’s commendable that the slide-tackle is fairly ineffective in FIFA, as opposed to recent PES where slide-tackling isn’t just used for slide-tackling players but also for strategic blocking and pass-intercepting. In FIFA, a slide-tackle is almost never effective for anything, with a % success chance in single-figures, it must be – except near the touchline, where it has a % success rate in high double figures, because of course all it does is concede a throw-in, allowing the AI to retain possession. If that’s not a clear and blatant example of a football game script in action, nothing is.

    This does not indicate I’ve been playing FIFA recently. It was just a good example of obvious undeniable scripting that sprang to mind. I really am skipping FIFA this year – got too much on, PES2017 is really good, and PES5 will follow it.

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