It’s been a long time since I wrote an article on PESUniverse (you know how it is, work, life and everything else gets in the way). But I’m glad to finally get back on the proverbial ‘Article Horse’. Not since the demo have I been able to put thoughts to paper, so here goes nothing! As a disclaimer, this is based on my opinion, but if you want to find me and discuss it, I’m @TheWezzatron on Twitter, where I’m more than open to discuss anything!
Co-Op mode review
Now these suggestions are in no order, but the first one must be mentioned at the top of the list. Not only has it affected myself, the Pros, PESLeague and the wider PES community at large, being able to play with 1 player with 2 AIs this year has spoilt the most enjoyable game mode out there. The mode needs an urgent review in my opinion. If you DC from a game as a two, you shouldn’t be allowed to continue, likewise if you have a 3, 1 dropout should either mean the team forfeits the game or no AI replacement comes in to make up for the DC. For me, if you are going to do a Co-Op mode, it should be split into a 2v2 ladder and a 3v3 ladder, that should just come as standard. When myself and Max played in Barcelona, you could tell just how difficult it was playing against 3. I’d like to see PESLeague incorporate separate ladders going forward, would certainly allow for more interesting dynamics to make themselves known.
However, my own personal issues with it is not why it makes the list. I see on Twitter through my feed and through all my Twitch streams just how annoyed players get when they come up against someone playing with AI. Not only are they superhuman and intercept every ball, but players can essentially select the goalkeeper and allow the AI to do the work. I ask you, at what point is that Co-Op? Not to mention the ‘Online Challenge Cup’ in MyClub (we’ll get onto that one later). In short, review the game mode, remove the ability to play with AI and DCs to count for something, rather than AIs being subbed in. I also think that there should be an option to challenge other clans!
I wrote about this in my full game review in September regarding just how little the game modes have changed in recent years. As you’ve probably heard creators say, once you’ve won Division 1, what is there left to do? Now the issue I have as a content creator is that frankly, content creators are left to formulate their own unique ways of spicing up the game. From my Reloaded series to Bardinski’s Win to Spin series, content creators are left with very few choices. If you go to MyClub, that had tournaments taken out on a Wednesday and a Sunday completely this year. The answer is very little. You chase a Top 100 spot to find that lag cheats with unattainable points, but you find out that you get 2-3 points per win with a rating and points system that needs a severe overhaul. I can lose 8 points for losing against a 1500 rated opponent, which with the current system, takes 4-5 games in some cases to get back. And that’s not 4-5 games played, that’s 4-5 games WON! The points system needs to consider things like the team strength you’ve played against, the rating of the player that you are playing and your own rating. Now, it feels as though none of those variables matter and that it’s a fixed system that win, lose or draw, punishes you in equal measure. What I’d like to see is a tiered system, whereby the higher division that you are in, the more points game is worth. It’s something small to add, but I think a lot of players would love to see that change.
The other major sticking point for me this year has been the Legends and their release. Now I understand how business works and understand marketing. We were caught completely off guard this year by Legends that were secured during the game’s cycle (I’m sure it won’t be the last one this year either). I understand that money is made from Coin sales and everything, but you know how that would improve throughout the year? Have all the Legends available from the start in the Top Agents, then as a promotional agent during the year, have an increased percentage of picking up a Legend. Hell, make them a Diamond Ball so you can tell the difference, or maybe a slick animation where it stops on Black, but changes to Diamond before the animation starts? Just something to give the legends a bit of polish and make it feel a bit special when you pull one! It’s a win-win for everyone, Konami get more coin sales thanks to them making the change and everyone playing the game has an equal opportunity of getting those legends.
I’ve seen in certain situations that game mechanics are completely overpowered. The ‘Controlled Shot’ button, wherever it sits on your controller is a devil to play against. If it’s in a lobbed scenario, it tends to go in with around a 95% success rate, if it’s a curler from inside the box, it’s again around a 95% guaranteed goal. I know you can’t make a game completely ‘OP proof’ but the lobs were brought to attention for PES 2017, but it appears there’s not a lot changed in the shooting department. Dummies that are thrown when the ball is left to run through, do not throw a slide in, because regardless if you get the ball or not, it’s automatic red. Also, if you don’t tackle, your defender will behave as though the attacker is a ghost and will leave you wide open for a chance. Silly things like that wreck the immersion and realism of the game.
Defensive positioning from the AI can be left lacking at times. LBs and RBs tend to play everyone onside, not to mention the weird step that defenders seem to take just before you select them (if you’ve experienced it, then you already know what I mean!). Goalkeepers tend to be hit and miss as well, most world class saves are made based on the player taking control of the goalkeeper. Sure, they do have their moments, but ultimately, I’ve seen keepers be overly aggressive and they always hesitate at the last second of rushing out. 50-50’s always seem to be in the advantage of the attacker, where you can lob or easily take a touch around a GK. A nice little animation of the GK sliding out would be a perfect remedy to this. As a goalkeeper, they should naturally come out and clear everyone out! Great strides were made with the game, I just think it needs more fine tuning.
Added Depth to Offline Game Modes
Now I’m not a guy to forget about my offline brothers and sisters! Master League and BAL need to have more details to it and the authenticity needs to be there too. Too many times have I seen ‘rivals’ trade with each other. I’ve seen Rashford play for Man City and saw Walcott play for Spurs and it just isn’t realistic. The bug where release clauses can be triggered, but still not sell the player to you is silly as well. If it could be explained that the player didn’t want to join you, then I could understand. Have preseason tours thrown in, have press conferences with your created manager, having to field questions from the world’s press. Interactions with your players in the dressing room and the training ground, just little bits added would make a world of difference to ML. Foul frequency is a massive sticking point as well. Too many times the AI just reads a tackle perfectly, a mistake or three from it would add a bit of realism to it! I would say with BAL, they need to make the journey a bit more realistic in the sense of putting in the work to get the moves you want. Give your player a voice and allow you to be in control of your player’s destiny. Have those training ground interactions with your teammates and coaches, just give it some more layers that’s all I ask! I’d also say that the regen system needs a look at, if a player retires, I don’t have to see a reincarnation of him at 17 years old. Have it the way Football Manager does it, have a random face and name and give the opportunity to create our own heroes.
Alongside the suggestions for ML, most of these would impact BAL too, but my major suggestion for BAL’s improvement comes in the form of a Clubs-Style mode! Give PES a mode where I can team up with my pals using my created player on a consistent basis with records and rankings tables. Allow me to change other teams and allow me to play against my pals. Imagine opening the possibility to have streamers challenge each other with teams of their viewers, or using the 10v10 Nations League, imagine having your favorite players come to life with their own likenesses! I think that would be awesome.
In-Game Cheat Reporting System/Server Review
Instead of a website to go and report someone, allow us to report cheats in game! I feel that these two topics go hand in hand really. There are so many players that I encounter on a weekly basis, where they manipulate their own connection to seek an advantage against me. The other aspect of this is when they use this manipulation to make the game unplayable and it being declared a no contest. It jars me when it happens, and it can affect my form for games to come. Just to see a server review would be really beneficial to us all I think.
Trading Between Players/Accounts
MyClub should look into making players tradeable, it would make it so much more fun! There’s so many players that are on my main account that my secondary account could use and vice versa. Again, selfishly I’m thinking about content creators here, you could open up different ‘bets’ that people can play each other for or wagers to allow players to win who you play against.
Improved Log in Bonus/Tradeable Consumables
Have too many fitness items? Trade them in for Management Boosts. Really need that Contract Ticket? Trade your Tactical Training. Or failing that, with a revamped log in bonus streak, you could end up with those instead of bonus GP or MyClub coins!
Take away the need to grind GP in MyClub and implement an old classic game mode at the same time! Reward GP based on the difficulty of the scenario plus a multiplier for what difficulty level that you complete the challenge on! Hell, base the challenge off of real life scenarios and use the Champions League licence that is at your disposal!
And finally, a little bonus ball for you all……
Online Draft Mode
Everyone be cool! This is not what you think it’s going to be!
Now I don’t want you guys to see the word ‘Draft’ and think ‘Oh Wez, why do you want to make PES like Fifa’. My answer is, I don’t want to. I’m thinking of a better draft mode in the form of Football Manager. Consider this as a game mode, you’re trying to settle a PES beef, you want to take the best players and put them in the same team (however, MyClub Co-Op randomises your players and Random Selection is offline only) Now, my concept for this would be a Single and Co-Op game mode, where you or your team are given an amount of money to build an 18 man squad. You take turns with your opponent to select a player (much like the NFL, where you’d be ‘on the clock’ for each turn). Prices would be taken from ML to ensure fairness of course but imagine the possibilities! You could open up leagues and tournaments using this mode, not to mention that this kind of game mode could open up the door to MyClub PESLeague tournaments offline (Again, PESLeague mode wouldn’t allow you to locally reconstruct the team you have at home).
Now it would be insanely stupid of me to think that these suggestions are A) the right way for things to be done, b) that they can realistically be inputted into a game that at this stage is probably completed and c) that my ideas are any more valid than the next person’s. What I would say is like all the articles I write, be it for PESUniverse or anyone else, the true purpose of them is to provoke debate, be it positive or negative. I’m still of a belief and a hope that Konami can produce the goods, they did with the massive jump in gameplay quality, now they just need to mimic that jump for the content in the game.
Finally, I’d just like to say I respect the incredible work that has gone into the game to get it to this point, keep us hooked Konami, we know you have it in you!
So that’s me all typed out for now, stay tuned for additional articles coming your way in the run up to PES 2019! For now, I’ve been Wezza, thanks for reading!