We all know how it works by now. Successful sports titles settle on a blueprint, then eke out teeny-tiny changes year after year while trying to convince you they’ve re-invented the wheel. It’s just the way the world works.
As such, it’s usually pretty difficult for the champion of a particular virtual sport to fall from grace. For every incremental improvement the underdog makes, the title-holder is always one step ahead. Unless something dramatic happens, the status quo remains.
In the case of football games, Pro Evolution Soccer was that champion. For around a decade, the Konami-developed title trumped arch-rival FIFA in the gameplay stakes. Always the more sophisticated choice, PES’ substance continually outgunned FIFA’s style.
Then something dramatic happened. In 2008 FIFA stormed to the top of the league, leaving PES to stagnate in mid-table respectability. Indeed, the reversal of fates has been so profound you wonder if PES can ever regain its crown.
By now all this is a familiar story. But it bears repeating. The two series have long been defined in relation to each other, and PES’ fall from grace is remarkable. With such a rich heritage, and such expectation, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 arrives with a lot of baggage.
(Read more at Play.tm)