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Electronic Arts, Konami, Fifa, PES, titanic struggle. I feel this nonsensical sentence sums up the situation every year with regards to the intense combat that goes on between these two games. Both have their obvious attributes which tailor to certain gamers. For years, PES was known as the serious football game, the more challenging one for the advanced football players.
Naturally, this has lent them a smaller degree of sales within the industry, so they have recently debunked this statement, in the hopes to attract fans to their brand. PES 2015, may just be the game that Konami has been waiting for. Let’s see how their strategy is changing up, and how PES 2015 is attempting to change the game between these two publishers.
Changing PES’ Roots
Let’s not forget that the last decade began with PES as the top football game on the market, which demonstrates EA’s keen abilities with regards to selling their titles well. Though of course this isn’t the case with their much lesser NBA titles. Abhorrent sports games, don’t know how EA can get it so wrong.
While this change is indicative of Fifa’s global appeal, it is also a sign of how PES failed. Even the man in charge, Adam Bhatti, has stated that they “never really hit the ground running with Xbox 360 and PS3,” he goes on to say “it took us too long to get to grips with the hardware.” Now he maintains that the Xbox One and PS4 is their time to shine. Hell, PES 2015 won Best Sports Game at Gamescom this year. Fans are hailing it as a return to form for the franchise.
So what has Konami changed about their tactics? How they evolved for NextGen?
New Developments for PES
Bhatti maintains that the creation of a UK based development team has impacted greatly upon the style of the game. They have wanted to instil a European feel into the games for quite a while, and for certain fans, a football game coming from Japan felt unusual and slightly distant.
One element that PES has always lacked is their facial recognition. Their character design are off and peculiar, I mean take a look at the picture below to get a sense of these peculiarities. Though now the development team maintain that they are delighted with all factors of PES 2015, from the sheer responsiveness to the shooting, to the now instantly recognisable characters.
Each character has been hand drawn, creating an increased sense of realism, and they have focused for hundreds of hours upon the play style of each footballer in order to get closer to how the game really feels. Also, the game runs beautifully at 60fps. Nice.
EA’s Ultimate Team mode with Fifa is the major factor that has won them so many fans. It was revolutionary and has kept many fans with the franchise since its implementation. Therefore, PES has attempted to throw in a few of their own new gaming modes to compete.
Online play has received plenty of attention, with Bhatti insisting that both local and web play will be indistinguishable from one another in terms of pace and responsiveness. There are other new features worthy of mention, including the three-vs-three mode where one person controls the back four, another the midfield and a third the strikers, adding a unique challenge which will test not only your tactical intuition, but also your trust in your fellow players.
But their major development comes in the form of myClub, which is an umbrella mode that extends the basis of the existing Master League mode. The developers hope that this new mode will be a major draw factor for fans looking for something new from a football game. Users can add players using accrued in-game points or via micro-transactions, building a team that they can take online or use against mates.
All of these alterations and major improvements lead me to conclude, that while PES might not exactly beat Fifa 15 in terms of sales, Konami are well on their way to creating a football experience that will rival EA’s every step of the way. PES 2015 is the first step towards victory.