Pro Evolution Soccer has been in constant improvement mode since the game starting releasing on the current gen consoles. This year with the introduction of co-op play online, improvements to Master League and Become A Legend, and overall improvements to multiplayer. Pro Evolution Soccer 18 is making a strong case this year to tighten the race. Was the team at Konami successful?
Starting with the thing that plagued the game last year, updates. PES 17 had updates that only came about once a month, which was bad for its beginning cycle as the game was released during the transfer window. However, with PES 18, that trend at the moment seems to have stopped! Within the first few days of the game being released it had its first live update. If we see more of these going forward at a steady pace, then fans will have nothing to worry about!
Getting that out of the way, we move on to the gameplay, PES is known for improving A.I. over the past three games. This year has shown some great improvements in marking out players and adapting to situations. A player is scoring to easily, time to tightly mark him. A player is getting open to often or is the center of all attacks getting started, time to cut him out too! The A.I. has reacted to many different scenarios very well. Another thing that stands out about the game play is how skill moves can now be pulled off a little easier than in the other games. It seemed like I couldn’t pull off anything in the last game but this one I’ve witnessed stepovers and everything else under the sun connecting with the flick of my analog stick. Overall, gameplay has improved a lot over these three games and will look to deliver a more authentic game to its fans.
Moving on to how this game looks, visually you can tell the change from PES 17 to 18, even when you look at the screenshots between the two, you can tell the difference. Models, arenas, the pitch. Everything has gotten an upgrade and looks a lot crisper than the last. I’m not going to say these are the best graphics that PES has produced to date because the bar can always be set higher, but they are on their way to being it.
Moving to Multiplayer, this was a sore spot for me last year. I’m sure this was also a sore spot for a lot of PES Players last year, not being able to play with friends from across the waters really hindered the experience. This year, not an issue as the team has gotten rid of region lock on the multiplayer side of things. Everyone around the world can face each other and it’s one of the great things about this multiplayer. Another big thing about this, there is co-op, while I haven’t tried co-op with a friend yet, I have played a few games online. The experience was smooth, but it also took a while at times to find a match up in a mode like Divisions. I think that will improve over time, but getting into a match and playing it are two different things. Once the match starts its smooth and I didn’t experience lag in my time online.
Moving on to the single player modes, Master League has seen some upgrades in some of its scenes and play. Most notable is in Master League, the manager introduction has changed and it now gives us two different ways to play. I chose to play both styles at one point and you can definitely tell the difference between the play on one than the other. If you want a nice challenge you go with challenge instead of classic for Club Operations. If you want MORE of a challenge, pick the Master League Original Lineup to start off. This puts you in charge of a team that has a low-level roster of nobodies and you have to build them into a high-caliber team. It doesn’t matter who you pick as your team, your roster will always be poop with the Master League Original Lineup. I like this twist to the mode, it gives someone like me who might get a hankering to build a new team the chance to practically do that. Think of it as your own personal rebuild mode. Become a Legend hasn’t changed a lot in terms of the way the mode plays, but you should still have some fun within the mode.
Overall, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is getting there. Its updated visuals and play are great in their own way and the addition of co-op and non-region locked multiplayer are fantastic. However I would like to see more out of Become A Legend mode and the game will be completely up to par. If you want to pick up this game, do so. If you are still on the fence, I would still suggest this game!