It’s been a bit of an up and down football season already. Many games have been played in real life and digitally. But, which ones have been the best? After a rather arcade style entry into the series for FIFA 18, here you can enjoy my PES 2018 review which sees a game focus more on simulation.

And what an simulation it is. PES 2018 is perhaps my most favourite instalment from Konami yet. Some of the usual issues remain, particularly on licensing and that damn commentary. But the gameplay is truly world class and worth your time alone.

Check out my full thoughts below and do get involved with us here on MGL, with the following question…

Review Side Quest

Which is you favourite football game series of all time?

Get in the Disqus or Facebook Comments at the end of the review. And please share this so other gamers can get involved, and enjoy the review.

How does it play?

PES 2018 Review Image 1

PES 2018 review gold gameplay
MGL Gold Gameplay Award – PES 2018 is the finest football sim gameplay I have ever played. Truly world class.

Absolutely world class is the answer. It’s overused in football no doubt, but PES 2018 is an outstanding example of football gameplay. It’s truly the best I’ve experienced in over 20+ years playing football games.

Since Liverpool is both the games main Premier League team following a licence deal. And also happens to be who I support (and Huddersfield, up the Terriers!). The gameplay is Liverpool attack. To be less bias, this gameplay is like Manchester City right now.

It’s so good it’s scary! Players move with speed, fluidity and wonderfully captured animations. The ball can be passed around low and fast. You can get the ball in the air and spray it wide or chip into space for players to run onto. Everything is just as classy as each other, the passing and movement here is everything you’d ever want from a football simulation.

But you can also dribble, trick and flick your way through defences too. Crossing is deadly if done right and set pieces are as good as they’ve ever been with more freedom than ever. In short, once out of the pitch it truly feels like a true football simulation and one I can’t stop playing.

Controlling the game

The pace of the game is certainly a little slower this year. PES 2018 goes back to the simulation routes of the series, focusing on a real sense of controlling the pace of the match.

As such you can play your way, set your team up with ease. Set tactics and formations and work the ball how you like. Playing it short and getting players close is fluid but the same can be said of getting it wide and playing crosses. It plays how you want to, rather than telling you how to play it.

Controls wise there is the same simplicity to the game, you can easily pick up and play. But with time and experience you can learn to do some really advanced moves, control the ball manually to open up space. Plus trick your way to goal and take on some fantastic shots.

This is one of the finest simulation feeling football games I’ve ever played and if this is what you prioritise then it’s a must play.

Presentation and Graphics

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PES 2018 review silver presentation award stamp
MGL Silver Presentation Award – The game looks amazing; the players, the pitch and the stadiums. The commentary tries (really hard!) to spoil it but it fails.

To continue the comparison of the game to LFC then this is certainly like the midfield. It’s got some amazing qualities and capable of some great things. There are a few moments though where you wonder what the hell they were thinking.

The visuals are gorgeous, I mean absolutely stunning. The render on the Camp Nou, The San Cero and Anfield are immaculate. As are the players they’ve modelled with incredible detail.

Crowds look magnificent with fans more solid than ever. Plus banners, sounds and atmosphere are all captured perfectly. It’s an amazing looking game it really is.

But, then you consider where there is no full Premier League licence. Which is 18 teams, other then Liverpool and Arsenal, and all of them are not even close to wearing the right colours. Now, this means a lot of editing or getting some edits done for you.

Now, we come to the commentary. It’s far more responsive than it has been before, but the personalities behind it don’t quite work. Jim Begin sounds like he needs antidepressants and fast. And when Peter Drury gets excited about a goal it’s more awkward than it is believable . Plus, most of it is recycled from last year and even then the variety is lacking.

A few negatives aside, this is still a really nicely presented game. The soundtrack is solid as is the simple navigation. It’s just let down by a few poor elements. PES 2018 is still the best experience visually of the series to day, the soundtrack is decent too.

Main Features

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PES 2018 review silver features award stamp
MGL Silver Features Award – Some nice improvements to the options and plenty to get addicted to even if it could be more adventurous.

Depending on age and taste you will be in one of a few modes. MyClub is the rival to the FUT phenomenon and is a addictive club builder. Master League is back again of course as you take on a team, or ML default players through the seasons as Manager. Be A Legend focuses on one player, you, as you progress your career.

 

There is a lot to do here, and it’s all very enjoyable. Personally I feel some of the modes are a little lacking in new ideas, but not enough to stop playing them.

It all feels like a bit more of a few tweaks and extras than a full reform of any particular mode. Now that this is a bad thing, but I do feel something new would be nice to see in future installments. But with such a good gameplay base, there is more than enough reason to keep coming back for more.

Getting addicted

MyClub has some decent updates in this  and adds plenty of addictive team building as you earn points and spend on scouts to acquire new players. You can purchase them too if you like, but it’s not that necessary to be honest.

Newer players will enjoy it here and there is plenty to play online and offline to keep you entertained.

Master League is my personal main area to play. Back come the default “Sunday League” players which you mould, transfer or develop into a league, and potentially champions league winning team. Getting through seasons is addictive and fun with negotiating and budget managing. It’s a bit clunky with the menu system at times, but I just can’t stop playing.

Become A Legend allows you to be a player created by the outstandingly detailed editor. You play your career your way and rise to the top your way. It’s nice to experience the game as a player but it’s not my personal choice of a mode to play.

They all have there qualities however and give plenty to keep you entertained. It’s additional modes such as playing the Champions League and other trophy competitions plus just playing a match make for a nice set of extras. The online play is greatly improved too and far more stable. It’s a pretty sweet package.

 

Should I play this?

PES 2018 Review Elite Award Stamp

This really is world class football simulation. If you are a football fan and want to play a game full of quality gameplay then this is for you. But not only that, it’s amazing graphics engine this time is really something to behold. Even with the licensing and commentary issues, the quality here shines though.

While those usual flaws remain, PES strengths are the best they have ever been in the series. The action on the pitch is outstanding and such a joy to play it makes up for where it’s not so good.

And please Konami, get Chris Kamara on commentary! That would be an unbelievable step forward!

Gamers who should…

Football fans, if you want a football simulation, one of the best ever this is it. Play this amazing game you will love it. If you can’t see past the licensing, there are ways around this.

Gamers who probably shouldn’t…

If you want the gloss and polish of a Premier League game captured this is not that. If you want to play constant fast, end to end arcade style football it’s not that either.

Its very much about simulation of football and won’t suit all gamers as a result. It doesn’t stop the game being excellent at what it is however, so it might be worth a try.

The Good The Bad The Bugs
Perfect football simulation gameplay Commentary! None during review
Wonderful graphics
Lots to enjoy
Much improved online play

About This PES 2018 Review

Game Reviewed: PES 2018, standard edition provided by publisher.
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 3

Games & Series: ,
Developers & Publishers:
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