Here’s a weird thing. The PC version of Metal Gear Solid V, a Konami game running on the Fox Engine, looks great! The PC version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2016, also a Konami game running on the Fox Engine, is the worst.
On PS4 and Xbox One, the game looks fantastic! I’ve been playing it on PS4 for a few days, and aside from some wonky facial stuff everything looks as good as you’d expect from a AAA sports title in 2015.
The PC version, however, is hot garbage. It’s actually a weird hybrid game, taking some of the features of the PS4/XB1 version (like the improved physicality) but then using many of the components of the PS3/Xbox 360 edition. Most noticeable is the dip in graphics quality (both lighting and textures are worse), but you also see it in animation and stuff like goalkeeping as well.
PC customers are understandably a little upset, as you can see on the game’s Steam review page:
And fair enough! It’s 2015, and the PC is a killer platform. If you’ve got a decent PC and you’re playing a multiplatform game, the very least you expect is for it to look on par with the PS4/XB1 version, if not better thanks to the PC’s potential for increased tinkering and horsepower.
Instead, folks buying the PC version of PES 2016 are buying a game that, in most places, looks like something you’d find on ten-year old console hardware. Because...that’s exactly what’s happened.
This video by Candyland shows the differences between the PC and PS4 versions. Some are minor, but others, like the lighting and crowds, are hilariously terrible:
Now, those who have been playing football games on the PC for a while will know that as a concept this isn’t a new thing. EA’s FIFA series did something similar to this for a few years, though the differences weren’t as severe. It should be noted, though, that starting with last year’s FIFA 15, that series now releases the same game across both PC and current-gen consoles.
What’s most mystifying about the whole thing is why this has happened! Metal Gear Solid V’s PC version—and this is a game released by the same publisher on the same engine—is fantastic, offering rock-solid framerates, fancy lighting, visual effects and nice textures. As nice as the console editions of MGSV are, the PC version is nicer.
Yet here, for a series that hasn’t seen its overseer driven out of the company in bizarre circumstances, and which constitutes an important annual cash cow for the publisher, the port is terrible! Go figure. Konami gonna Konami.