Good times in PES2018, eventually. I’ve calmed down and started focusing and playing. I’ve broadly compared PES2018 over the last few days to PES2012 and FIFA15 for different, wholly positive reasons. I think this game is going to be fine.
For that to be achieved, the AI will have to hold up in the long term. I’ve seen enough signs of the AI’s good play and outrageous unfairness to suggest that, yes, it will hold up, and then some.
No-fouls isn’t going away as THE issue of our time. The outrageousness of no-fouls is about what it represents, just as much as what it is. No-fouls represents the entrenchment of the series’ online-fun-first philosophy of recent years. For this reason alone, no-fouls is an absolute anathema to me and, I would make so bold as to affirm, to all serious single-player players of PES. Konami, we don’t want your stinking fun.
See the two adverts on the pitch behind the goal there? My constant thought: Get that shiteClub shit off my screen.
But the gameplay I’m experiencing now in PES2018 – that whole F-word question aside – is probably the best sustained gameplay since the fully-patched PES2014. Or, if you’re a true PES2014-phobe and don’t like anything being compared to that game, the best since the early seasons of PES2013. I’d even push it all the way back to PES2012 and say the quality is high enough to stand comparison there.
I’m still in Season 1 of my Master League, so view this praise accordingly. Let’s see how things are in Season 2. With 50-odd matches in total across all modes under my belt, though (far more than any reviewer would ever play), I believe I’ve taken the temperature of this PES.
Here’s my month of October in Season 1:
No goals. Proper canings from the AI. On Top Player – and then on Professional.
I have switched cameras. I’ve nearly always been a Wide man, but have hankered for a different camera for some time. A regular blog commenter, Darryl, posted a suggestion that I tried and liked. Here’s a vid where you see me switching to the camera at the start of a match, and amusingly, scoring almost immediately:
That’s a Customised Long camera, with the settings at 7, 0, 10. I have since tweaked the 7 to a 5 and feel settled on that slightly more zoomed-out view.
This lower, closer-in view discourages the ‘angry hornets’ style of play that any PES can easily decay into.
Next are two pleasing looped headed goals from the AI. I’m playing in my 3rd strip in this match, an all-brown custom kit that’s a tribute to Coventry City’s celebrated ‘excrement kit’ of the 1970s, as provided by another regular commenter, Paul, of PESFX.
The interesting thing here aren’t just the AI’s two looped headers, which helps to demonstrate how interesting the AI is this year, in my current view (other views are available).
For the AI’s first goal, right at the start of the clip I try a dumb, Hollywood pass (with Hettich) diagonally forward through midfield, that the AI cuts out very simply. The AI is a big topic out there at the moment. I wonder if there are PES players who expect to be able to make passes like that, and view the inability to as signs of ‘poor AI’ or whatever? In my view, we shouldn’t expect to be able by rights to make that pass at this stage with the Defaults. Trying it is a sign of (my) laziness.
Note what exactly happens for the AI’s second goal. I have good possession, and eventually circulate the ball to my DMF, Hettich, whom I then run into the box and almost get the ball to. The AI keeper hoofs a long ball to where Hettich would have been, had I not brought him forward. A CB is covering, but doesn’t win it, and the AI hoists an aerial pass to the wing (yes, I know, but currently don’t care much), and then the CB can’t get to the Millwall striker who nods in his second floated header in one match. A little 90-second encapsulation of why PES2018 is pretty good at the moment.
I’m not getting carried away yet. We have yet to see what damage Team Spirit will wreak on a fully mature Master League.
Here I think we might be OK. The difficulty levels have been rezoned this year. Professional is roughly equivalent to last year’s Top Payer. Superstar is like a Superstar+. I have heard so much about Legend being bad and monstrously unfair that I just know it’s going to be great for me.