I get the impression EA Sports could fill the game box with dog excrement and still sell 17 trillion copies, so dominant do they appear to be in the market of football software.

But I am grateful that they do not.

Oddly enough, they have followed the same path with player speed that PES tottered down this year. They’re all a hell of a lot slower which, much like PES, offers the time to think about what in blazes you plan to do next.

But on the whole, there hasn’t been any quantum shift between 17 and 18 here. Gameplaywise, it appears to be a lot easier to score from crosses, a tactic which I’ve previously ignored thanks to its near-insignificant success rate. Maybe it’s because the players are making better runs (again, a notable tweak PES has made this year) but certainly my strapping forwards found the net far more often than in 17.

There’s the quick-substitution mechanism which is handy if you know whom you want to swap before the game starts. Otherwise you’re at the mercy of AI suggestion. And quite who decided to map the sub confirmation to the sprint trigger needs a ball kicked into their tender parts.

Story mode The Journey has returned, with Hunter now a worldwide star. It still has its issues, particularly suffering some godawful jilted conversation, but it’s a fun diversion. Heavens knows where they intend to take it next year, maybe playing on the seniors tour or promoting male health issues.

Ultimate Team has been left pretty well untouched, in all its questionable micro-transaction glory. Don’t get me wrong, this trading card malarkey is fine – if you’ve got the cash to make a difference. 

And obviously everyone’s wearing the right shirts and the team names haven’t gone through the copyright filter.

And that, apart from anything else, will probably govern your choice. Despite the fact this year’s PES has a slight edge over FIFA, the shirts and names make a difference. Champions League just isn’t enough.

Sad but true.