For a long while, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer was the better game for football fundis than EA’s more polished, but less realistic FIFA. For the last few years, that position as a purists’ simulator has faltered – but PES wants it back… and isn’t above taking pot shots at the competition.
Speaking to Nowgamer, PES European brand manager Adam Bhatti said that Pro Evolution Soccer is more realistic, with better goalkeepers and far more refined shooting mechanics.
Assistant producer Klaus Garner took it a step further – perhaps a step too far.
“We have a game that lets you play real football; you can play counter-attacking, possession, long-ball,” he said.
“Which you can’t do in the other title, where it’s more like ping-pong.”
Shots fired. Bhatti then clarified, saying that:
“FIFA is all about scoring goals, they want to get you to that moment. That’s not a bad thing, a lot of people just want to be able to score goals and have their lobbed-through ball work every time.”
“In real-life Schweinsteiger with the ball in midfield wants to hit a ball to Klose, and in that case the other team’s midfield will block out the passing lanes and the defence will push out.
“That makes it really hard to make that pass to him, very rarely will a lobbed through ball work – but that’s exactly what you can do in FIFA.”
PES is a “connoisseur’s football game,” but it’s exactly that sort of marketing drive that’s shot Konami in the foot – with Bhatti admitting selling it as such was a mistake.
“We still are that,” he added, “I think we’ve proved that with our understanding of the sport in this presentation. At the same time as being the connoisseur’s game we don’t want to end up excluding people.
The problem with making a football game too realistic, he says, is that the “method is difficult and frustrating, so our challenge is to make the idea of playing real football a fun experience.”
FIFA’s out next month, with PES requiring a bit more polish for a November release. I think the delay is going to hurt them quite a bit. FIFA has made great strides in its actual simulation, and I think many pundits will get it instead of waiting for PES – and then not feel any real need to double dip in the football game pool.
Last Updated: August 29, 2014