I’m still playing the game that has 3 major claims to fame:
- it is the greatest-ever PES game;
- it is the greatest-ever football computer game;
- and it is the greatest-ever computer game.
A holy trinity of greatness that manifests in the Godhead we know on earth as PES5.
I’m going through a phase with PES5 at the moment where I can’t score many goals. Matches stutter along, punctuated by an average of 8 fouls per side. ‘Shocking state of affairs!’ says the 2017-era gamer. ‘Football games should be end-to-end with a nice flow…’
I’m not playing the PES2018 multiplayer beta, but I’m following its reception keenly via the main PES forums.
It seems to be going down well, on the whole. When you’re an older football gamer, as I am, with different wishes and expectations, you learn to ‘read between the posts’, filter out all the lols and txt spk, and see what’s waiting for us in September.
A slow, measured game for one, with appreciable player weight – this alone might make PES2018 worth anticipating. But will the slowness and heaviness survive the first patch? Will it even make it to release day? EA notoriously caved in when they attempted a similar thing with FIFA16. As we have seen time and time again in recent years, Konami are not immune to ‘doing an EA’. In fact, Konami can easily out-Herod Herod when they feel like it.
AI fouls will be non-existent once more in PES2018. The best we can hope for is PES2017-levels of AI fouls, i.e. that there’ll be a match every so often with a good amount of fouls in it.
As has happened every year for the past 4 years, the PES forums have yet again awarded Konami a free pass on the fouls issue. 10 years ago the appearance of a PES game with effectively zero fouls in single-player would have clogged up the forums forever, basically.
However you paint it, however it’s protested about, Konami have got away with it again and will continue to do so. Pro Evolution Soccer is now, and has been for some years, a franchise in which fouls and free kicks and penalty kicks are a mostly insignificant part of the game, with little or no impact upon gameplay.
Konami have pursued the younger market, which has firm expectations of ‘continuous play’ and ‘fun’ [retch] shaped by FIFA and other online gaming experiences.
I am constantly surprised that the main PES forums keep giving Konami a free pass on the fouls issue. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Online is huge on the forums – many posters assume it as an automatic given.
When I started reading the PES forums – PESfan, PES Gaming, EvoWeb, even the WENB forum – they were absolute bastions of PES righteousness. FIFA was regularly crucified for being a fouls-free blur of arcadey goals.
Ever since roughly 2014, there’s been a moment in the PES release cycle when you know that the supposedly hardcore PES forums have accepted no-fouls with barely a shrug. It’s usually in the first day or two after the demo comes out. This year, that time is right now.