In his Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 review last month, Tom Hatfield said this: "There was a time when FIFA was noticeably the better-looking of the duelling football games, but that isn’t true any more, with only PES’s telltale licensing restrictions making the difference apparent."
Konami has now struck up an official partnership with Arsenal which sees the London team and its stadium more accurately recreated in-game.
And when the Fox Engine is used to recreate players with their real life likeness in mind, boy does it look pretty. Here's a still of Héctor Bellerín, Mesut Özil and Alexandre Lacazette as they now appear:
As is the case with Liverpool, Konami uses its "cutting edge 3D scanning systems" in order to capture facial animations and idiosyncratic movesets. In essence, the system is designed to portray the unique quirks and movements each player demonstrates in real life in-game. The partnership also of course means Arsenal gets its real name and not, say, London Red, as well as fully-licensed kits and the Emirates Stadium.
There's an argument to be made that this year's PES offering is finally a football sim worthy of the PC—can you imagine how it'd fare against its fiercest rival if every team was treated to this level of care and attention?
"We are determined to work with the very best clubs football has to offer and are delighted to partner with Arsenal,” says Konami's senior director of brand and business development Jonas Lygaard in a statement. "The relationship we formed last year has gone from strength to strength, most notably when Emirates Stadium played host to the PES LEAGUE World Final. As such, we were keen to work even closer with such a highly regarded club and the new agreement will allow us to perfectly recreate and feature Emirates Stadium, and the club’s many stars, within PES 2018."
PES 2018 is out now, read Tom Hatfield's review in full over here.