Every year, there's the ongoing debate about which football game is the best: EA's FIFA or Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer. And the truth is, they're both great in their own right -- FIFA traditionally has the better graphics, PES the better gameplay -- so no one would blame you for picking one over the other. This year, with Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, Konami says it has made its best football title in over a decade, and I'm happy to report that, at the very least, it is noticeably better than the 2017 version. Just as you would expect.
For one thing, the gameplay feels smoother than ever before, something you'll notice the moment you start a match, pass the ball around and try to score some goals. The players are much easier to control, and their general body movement isn't as stiff as in past editions of the game. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is still powered by Konami's Fox Engine, which has been featured in franchises like Metal Gear Solid. This time around, though, the company says it wanted to focus on more than simply improving the gameplay. As such, the menus are now much easier to browse and look at, while the new "enhanced visual reality" makes the players closer resemble their real-life appearance.
In what's a marketing plot more than anything, Konami is bringing none other than Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt into PES 2018. What that means is you'll be able to have him on your My Club team, playing alongside Messi, Neymar and the rest of the football stars in the game. Bolt, a Manchester United supporter, has always said he wants to be a pro soccer player, so at least now he'll have that chance in a virtual world. "We wanted to do things differently, a little bit crazy," says Adam Bhatti, the game's global product and brand manager. That's the reason Argentina legend Diego Maradona will also be a part of Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.
I don't know if I'll be playing it over my football game of choice, FIFA, as I have done in the past. But, based on the few matches I played here at E3 2017, it's great to see Konami's franchise continuing to get better every year, even if it may not even on the same level as FIFA yet. You can make that call for yourself when Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 arrives September 12th in the US, and a couple days later in Europe. The game will be available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.
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