Saving Football Games
As this generation trundles on to an unprecedented 3,000th year, football games just aren’t as good as they used to be. Here’s why, and what needs to change.
It’s time for another revolution in football games. Both of the main titles on the market are in transition: PES up, FIFA down (although that may because, after FIFA 10, the only way was down).
So what is going to save football games, or more accurately put them back to the quality they were before? Strip it back, we say. Make football games simple again.
Now, we’re aware that this is going to make us seem like the craziest people on the planet, but football games peaked last generation. PES is getting better than the poor 09-10 era, but it still not as good as it was before and, notable exceptions aside in the FIFA series (FIFA 10, FIFA Vita), we’re seeing diminishing returns and massive feature-creep every year, negatively impacting playablility.
Compare this with the later PS2 PES games and there’s a world of difference. Direct, yet still ruthlessly tactical, they play FIFA 12 off the park even to this day. These games are also so much faster than the treacle-slow experiences that pass for ‘realistic’ yet still capture the glory of the sport.
Simply, football games are becoming too bogged down with systems, physics and their associated problems (beating a man in FIFA) and other guff that detracts from the core experience.
A switch to new consoles might, as perverse as this sounds, give us what we need, at least initially. With massive dev cost overhead and limited time to get the game to shelves there’s a chance all the other rubbish that clogs up the on-field action might get tossed. Unlikely, but not impossible.
Home console football games need to change their game, get leaner. Fire up FIFA 10 or PES 6 and see the (world of) difference between them and PES/FIFA 12. The latter two aren’t bad games at all, but they are nowhere near as good.
Or, failing that, just get Bluepoint to give us the PES HD Collection, eh Konami?