PES 2018 – Much Needed Changes !

Fifa’s rival for the best soccer game on virtually all platforms, is expected to return in some style this year. PES 2018 is one of those games that always stirs a lot of rumours in the gaming community, as it’s traditionally a mixed bag of awesome gameplay and some lacking features that we continually hope Konami will address.

Will that happen in the close or distant future? Will we get the complete package with this newest release or will we get an awesome game that still owes us a little extra? In this article I’ll address some of these questions from the information we do have, and also some things that PES fans would like to see in the new instalment of this decade and a half long franchise.

Release Date and Platforms

The release date of PES 2018 is still unknown but we can make an educated guess that it will be around mid-September. The main reason is because the it’s two predecessors were released in mid-September of 2015 and 2016 respectively.

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As far as the platforms on which PES 2018 will be available, the information is still in uncharted territories. However, considering the graphic improvements and the possibilities of VR that are lurking around the corner, there are some doubts as to whether the game will be restricted to only the newest consoles, leaving Xbox 360 and PS3 players on the losing side. This could very well be the case, as these consoles are lagging behind in the graphic performance necessary to run the improving visual elements of newer releases.

The Visual Display

There isn’t much information about the visual side of the game, but we do know that it will powered by Fox Engine, which was used for the latest Metal Gear Solid. Fox Engine proved to be quite an improvement when it comes to close-up scenes, facial expressions and details which would otherwise be lacking completely, or look unnatural.

By using Fox Engine, Konami probably wants to address the player’s appearance more closely, especially in cut scenes and with various camera options. It is also likely to improve the appearance of crowds and stadium lighting, adding to a more pleasant overall display. This is a feature that many players complained about in PES 2017, so it will certainly get rid of a few general complaints.


With this more-or-less well known information, let’s dive into the uncharted territories and proclaim the wishes of PES fans around the world, and first and foremost myself. We’ve been left wanting a lot more from our favorite soccer game in 2016, and hopefully Konami will rid us of our pains by addressing these 5 issues.

1. More Licenses

For the love of God, Konami – stop being f****** cheap with the licenses!! This game is close to being perfect, but to not have the proper names of clubs, players and stadiums drives every football fan up the wall. There’s really no tip toeing around this issue. If PES really wants to deliver a stinging blow to FIFA, it has to rival it with equal licenses. It has to add more leagues as well.

Although we got fully licensed Barcelona, Arsenal, Liverpool and Dortmund in PES 2017, it’s not enough to satisfy the perfectionist football fan who is used to Football Manager and being able to track down random 17 year old players from Somalia and recruit them to become the new Ronaldo. This is of course, not the aim of PES, but it has to get more licenses.

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Luckily for us, the PES community is awesome in this respect, and team and player names can usually be downloaded in a weeks time after the game is released, but it’s still not something anyone wants to go through after spending a decent amount of money on the game.

So will Konami improve in this regard? We can’t know for sure to what extent, but so far we have the information that the Brazilian League with completely licensed names of teams and players will be available. The rest remains to be seen.

2. Improve Online Servers

One of the main complaints of PES 2017 players was online gameplay issues. First of all, the servers were known to crack in the most inconvenient moments possible. The lagging occured when the most important actions were happening, especially with a lot of crowding in front of goal. This was especially true for the first few weeks after the games release, which led to a drop in sales, so Konami did fix the issue more or less in the upcoming months. Since this is a technical issue that can be easily solved by investing in higher quality servers, I expect Konami will invest in fixing it so that the online experience is as close to perfect as possible with PES 2018.

3. More Tactic Options

PES 2017 delivered quite well in tactical terms. The options of playing a few already pre-arranged tactics like Tika-Taka, False 9, or Dortmund’s famous Gagenpress were really fun and reflected the reality of these tactics quite well. However, gamers were quick to hack through them, so they were only useful for playing against AI. Konami will most likely add more tactical options to the next release, or alllow the players to really delve deep into their own football knowledge and devise their own masterful schemes for scoring goals or defending for dear life against more offensive opponents.

4. The Journey

FIFA’s excellent contribution to sports games was the Journey mode, which allows players to take on a role of manager or football player and immerse themselves in all the aspects of a footballers professional life. It would be great if Konami created it’s own Story Mode.

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PSVR For PES 2018

There are no indications so far that PES 2018 will support Virtual Reality Mode. It’s easy to see why. The nature of the game itself requires a lot of movement and various fast reactions which are hard to emulate in VR. Virtual reality is best suited for games in which the player can be seated, unless there is a large space available, like an arena of sorts. The camera with team sports games is also an issue. When you’re viewing from the birds perspective on a field, it begs a question what the gameplay would even look like in VR. It would certainly be a possibility in a Story Mode type of scenario, or with camera focused as looking through the eyes of player on the field. But whether the whole gameplay of PES would be possible in VR is a question that’s still in the air.

Whether Konami answers our prayers and improves the tactics, licenses and servers is still not sure. But I remain optimistic since it is in their best interest to keep us entertained and satisfied with a game that generates most of their revenue. Regardless of how much progress is made with the upcoming release, PES will certainly remain one of the most popular and entertaining football games available.

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