PES may be licking its wounds after losing the Champions League licence, but make no mistake – it won’t go down without a fight.
Here’s why you’d be absolutely mad not to be very, excited about this year’s PES.
OutFox FIFA on visuals
PES 2019 may not have Frostbite powering it, but it still looks stunning in motion.
This is thanks to Fox Engine, the same powerhouse behind the recent Metal Gear Solid games.
And the good news is that, as this is the first game in series not to support last-gen consoles, Konami has cranked up the visual fidelity even more.
Thanks to ‘Enlighten’ software, true-to-life visual effects and 4K HDR is supported across all platforms
Real time ‘Global Illumination’ lighting and shadows results in better crowd detail, real grass textures and the return of the popular snow weather effect.
FIFA 19 meanwhile looks largely the same – albeit with a few minor tweaks.
EA Sports has focused on gameplay this year rather than visuals – so those expecting another graphical leap may be left disappointed.
You need only look at PES 2019’s player faces to see how much effort has been put into them this year.
Take a look for yourself – here’s Paul Pogba.
Pretty impressive, right?
Now let’s have a look at the FIFA 19 faces – using screen-grabs of what little gameplay is out there.
Step forward Paulo Dybala…
Even though these pictures have to be taken with a pinch of salt (the footage is quite grainy) – it’s obvious EA’s game has a very different look to Konami’s.
If anything, FIFA 19 faces look slightly ‘CGI-d’ – clearly resembling the stars but all boasting a sort of unrealistic ‘shine’ to their skin tone.
They’re also not too different from the FIFA 18 player faces.
FIFA fans look away now – there are some absolutely incredible celebrations in FIFA 19.
Perhaps our favourite new celebration is the group selfie – demonstrated by Man City and Argentina hit-man Sergio Aguero.
This will see the goalscorer run over to the sidelines, pull out a phone and then take a snap. It’s available when you play a co-op match – what a lovely touch.
After a match, there are now cutscenes where the players go out and thank the fans.
They even walk with their shirts in their hands.
If you play with the Legends, there’s a celebration that sees them pick up the microphones and pretend to start singing into them.
Mad? Yes. Awesome? You betcha.
Elsewhere, if you net with Olivier Giroud – he’ll take a load of his teammates to the sidelines, sit down, and then pretend to drive a car.
We’re yet to see anything like this on FIFA.
There have been a number of gameplay changes in this year’s game.
Eleven new skills have been added – including the cross-over turn, no-look pass, controlled chip, dipping shot and rising shot.
Players will also show visible fatigue, which impacts performance and behaviour
There’s also a Quick Subs feature much like FIFA – only Konami have made it that little bit better.
EA’s game automatically recommends a player to bring on with a press of the RT / R2 trigger when prompted.
But in this year’s PES, Konami will allow you to choose who to bring on on the fly.
Whenever there’s a dead ball, a prompt will appear the bottom corner of the screen. Press this and you’ll be taken to a subs menu.
You’ll then be able to quickly select who gets a run out.
In FIFA, the best way to ensure the recommendations were relevant was to set up your quick substitutions before the match.
But this was fiddly and took away from the match-day experience.
It’s out sooner than FIFA 19
Nearly a month sooner, in fact.
Konami has shifted the release date to August 29 – while FIFA 19 arrives on September 28.
This could prove a masterstroke, as for years PES has gone head to head with EA’s game in the September launch window.
FIFA 18, despite the World Cup mode, is very much at the end of its lifecycle, and by August gamers may be more inclined to try a new football game.
On this evidence, PES 2019 puts forward a compelling pitch.
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