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Pro Evo 2012


The Sarge
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Dev Diary (contains gameplay footage)

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Konami has announced PES 2012, due out on PC, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 this autumn.

The focus this time around is on "the instinctive way the game can be played and on teamwork". The game's AI engine has undergone a "major" overhaul.

Attacking play is described as a "cornerstone" of the game. A more open approach allows players to "dictate the pace of movement".

Team mates will make runs and offer support in one-on-one situations. Players make dummy runs to draw defenders, too.

The idea is that the team works together as a more cohesive unit, reacting to the movements of the player with the ball, and working to force the opposing team into mistakes.

Zonal marking and positional defending are said to have been "massively enhanced", forcing players to work hard to create goal scoring opportunities.

There's a new cursor switching system, which lets players use the right analogue stick to switch to any player on the field. This can also be used during set pieces, such as corners and throw-ins.

"This allows users to pick a team mate anywhere on the pitch," Konami said, "thereby allowing players to react to threats faster, and to shut down attacks more quickly."

Hold up play has been tweaked and AI defenders hold a tighter defensive line. Physicality is extended, and collisions are more accurate.

Other improvements include tweaked animations, more detailed lighting, a wider variety of player styles, better deal ball situations, expanded tactics and a new customisable pass feature.

Konami reckons the end result is a game that doesn't allow single players to waltz undefended through a game. It obviously hasn't seen Salomon Kalou play.

"For me, the ultimate aim in the ongoing PES series is to match what people see when they go to a match or watch a big game on TV with what they experience on their console," PES main man Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka said.

"As such, in consultation with football fans across the globe, we have been working non-stop to isolate and determine how to make our game marry in with how real football is played. This is key to PES 2012, and key to providing the ultimate football experience within a console title."

The game again features the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League licenses exclusively.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-05-13-pes-2012-announced

:)

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While I didn't totally get on with 2011 they were making some changes that really improved it tenfold over the years before. If they carry on with that kind of development and improvement then FIFA might have a worthy challenger to the throne and that's only only in my book.

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I'd like a good football game this gen. Pro Evo has been broken for ages, I never bought a Fifa game but found the 2011 demo of Fifa very underwhelming in looks and gameplay too. Why is it so hard to make a great looking, great playing footie game? There surely must be more people like me who like football games but aren't catered for with the current crop?

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I'd like a good football game this gen. Pro Evo has been broken for ages, I never bought a Fifa game but found the 2011 demo of Fifa very underwhelming in looks and gameplay too. Why is it so hard to make a great looking, great playing footie game? There surely must be more people like me who like football games but aren't catered for with the current crop?

Because sports developers don't make substancial gameplay decisions any more about their games. These are directed by marketing.

Instead of fixing the sensible things or take another year for better development they must release these broken games every year with false promises.

The majority of the buying public is ill informed and as a consequence has very low standards, so sales comes.

Repeat.

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Because sports developers don't make substancial gameplay decisions any more about their games. These are directed by marketing.

Instead of fixing the sensible things or take another year for better development they must release these broken games every year with false promises.

The majority of the buying public is ill informed and as a consequence has very low standards, so sales comes.

Repeat.

You dont play the 2K Basketball games do you, Every year that just get better and better and simulates the sport of Basketball almost to perfection. The presentation in them is something that needs to be copied by every sports game.

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You dont play the 2K Basketball games do you, Every year that just get better and better and simulates the sport of Basketball almost to perfection. The presentation in them is something that needs to be copied by every sports game.

Very true, every iteration of the 2K basketball games have gotten better and better. The hockey games not so much (2K5 was the last one I truly got on with), however the presentation in all of their games is absolutely top notch. If EA/Konami could follow their lead on that front we'd have some truly special sports games on our hands.

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You dont play the 2K Basketball games do you, Every year that just get better and better and simulates the sport of Basketball almost to perfection. The presentation in them is something that needs to be copied by every sports game.

Couldn't agree more

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You dont play the 2K Basketball games do you, Every year that just get better and better and simulates the sport of Basketball almost to perfection. The presentation in them is something that needs to be copied by every sports game.

The same can be said if NBA2K11, it's the best sports game I've ever played. Absolutely brilliant.

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Seems to be collecting high scores all over the board, but I never played it (or any other game in the series). Considering it's just over a tenner on Amazon, I thought I'd give it a shot. Ordered ^_^

You're a fan of Basketball, yeah? It'll be the best tenner you'll spend for a long time if you are.

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Sorry again to highjack the thread again with Basketball talk but you might want to head here if you haven't already had a look.

It's very good representation of the game and might take a little while to get into and get used to the vast majority of options you have when playing.

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Have just gone and added NBA 2K11 to my lovefilm rental list ^_^

PES 2011 is my most played game of the past 7-8 months, and to be honest the latest instalment always is, and I've really enjoyed it.

Really looking forward to 2012, I thought 2011 was the biggest step up since PS2 days mainly down to the new passing mechanic. The formation & tactic management was the best yet, and it really makes picking your strongest 16 players for the game a joy.

What I'd like to see in 2012 is:

- Harder and more intelligent AI level.

- Improved Master League UI (less screens to click through between games, better player searches).

- Bring in the 'Second phase/passsive' offside rule, and reduce the amount of ridiculously unrealistic offside runs that your AI team-mates make.

- No screen fade/cut when the ball goes out for throw ins and freekicks (let the game just flow as if you're watching it on TV).

- A better balance of speed and tackling for attackers and defenders. Big defenders can still run as fast as a pacey winger, and attackers can tackle as effectively as defenders. What made the game so much fun on PS2 (PES 4/5/6) was being able to get the ball in attack and run with it, while when defending you really had to consider positioning and not committing much more.

- Better commentary :rolleyes:

- This game made me give up on online gaming and cancel my Xbox Gold membership. Either fix it or just leave it out and focus development on other areas.

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You dont play the 2K Basketball games do you, Every year that just get better and better and simulates the sport of Basketball almost to perfection. The presentation in them is something that needs to be copied by every sports game.

Of course I play the 2K games. I was only talking about the football games, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Not that the 2K games are not without their problems. For example this year the My Player mode is broken and it hasn't been fixed.

From what I can tell Konami still haven't updated the engine. No matter how many "improvements" they do on the animation the whole flow of the game will still feel robotic if they don't create a new engine.

Nice to see them discovering the off-ball movement though. That's an amazing advancement. :rolleyes:

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I have to say that, in terms of how i play PES 2011, I'm the opposite of shiftcrack. He gave up online gaming to play single player, i very nearly gave up single player gaming to play master league online exclusively! So i don't mind about the AI so much. But i do agree with the speed/strength balance. Too often I'd steal a march on a defender, with Nani or someone, only to be closed down by the same defender a second later, where he inevitably bundles me off the ball. That's my biggest gripe about 2011. Followed by the switching of players, which they say is being fixed this year, and no players running ahead of the ball, again said to be fixed. If they can tidy these areas up I'll be a happy chin.

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I have to say that, in terms of how i play PES 2011, I'm the opposite of shiftcrack. He gave up online gaming to play single player, i very nearly gave up single player gaming to play master league online exclusively! So i don't mind about the AI so much. But i do agree with the speed/strength balance. Too often I'd steal a march on a defender, with Nani or someone, only to be closed down by the same defender a second later, where he inevitably bundles me off the ball. That's my biggest gripe about 2011. Followed by the switching of players, which they say is being fixed this year, and no players running ahead of the ball, again said to be fixed. If they can tidy these areas up I'll be a happy chin.

Was the catch up defending ever fixed in PES? I haven't played much this gen but I think it wasn't a major problem with PS2 iterations.

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Was the catch up defending ever fixed in PES? I haven't played much this gen but I think it wasn't a major problem with PS2 iterations.

I never really saw it as a problem whatsoever in PS2 era, so it's defiantly got worse at next-gen level and was promised to be fixed in 2011, which it wasn't. :mellow:

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Impressions from E3 play testing (Source):

Goalkeepers

Often the difference between a good football game and bad one, you’ll be glad to know that the shot stoppers in the E3 build of PES 2012 are rather good.

During my time with the game, which consisted of six matches (set at 10 minutes), I only encountered one genuine mistake. Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that is an impressive ratio for a football game that is still in development.

If you were to compare the goalkeepers in the E3 builds of PES 2011 and PES 2012, the latter would be vastly superior in every single aspect. That includes animations (more on those later), realism and reliability.

For instance, in my second match (I was playing as Spain), Iker Casillas made a superb double save which you would struggle to come across in the retail version of PES 2011 let alone the E3 build. The fact that he reacted so promptly to the rebound after his first save, is what made the entire scenario so impressive. The Spaniard didn’t get up and then stand around like a zombie admiring Pique’s beard for a couple of seconds; he got up as soon as realistically possible and made the second save.

One area where the virtual shop stoppers could use a little work is one-on-ones, but that is just me nitpicking. Standout moments like the one mentioned above combined with the general reliability, even at this early stage, provide enough evidence to suggest that the goalkeepers in PES 2012 could be the best in the series to date.

Passing and Shooting

The passing and shooting systems in PES 2012 are pretty much exactly the same as PES 2011. However, there are a couple of new additions which influence these particular facets of the game ever so slightly. Thankfully, both additions have a positive effect.

First up, you have the tweaked ball physics which provide a much more realistic feel to the overall passing and shooting. It’s extremely hard to describe the exact effect, but don’t be surprised to see the ball occasionally bobble across the turf after a poorly hit pass or shot.

Secondly, in a move that is sure to delight the hardcore football gamers, Konami have finally included an option which allows players to adjust the level of support they get with their passes. The option, known as Pass Support, throws five different settings at your disposal. By default the Pass Support settings are set to three bars, meaning you have some control over the weight, direction and speed of your passes. If you want full control over everything, you just need to adjust the settings accordingly.

The fully manual passing system takes a while to get used to as you’d expect, but if you can get to grips with its intricacies, you can really pull off some wonderful passing moves. Think of it like getting used to the new passing system back in PES 2011 and you’ll get some idea of the learning curve.

Unfortunately, the fully manual settings have only found their way to the passing system at the moment and do not apply to the shooting system is PES 2012. With a while to go until the game is released, there is a possibility that Konami could announce fully manual shooting at a later date, but it is more than likely that particular feature will not make the cut in PES 2012.

Set Pieces

Good news, the penalty system in PES 2012 is nothing like the one in PES 2011. Gone is the system that only Einstein could understand and back is the more traditional penalty system seen in PES games of the past. It might not be the best penalty system ever, but it works well and is dead easy to get to grips with.

Right, with that out of the way, let’s move onto the best new feature in PES 2012. I am, of course, referring to off the ball control during free kicks, corner kicks, goal kicks and throw-ins. It’s a feature which you will forget to use during your first few matches in PES 2012, but when you eventually do, you will wonder how you did without it.

Just received a free kick in a dangerous area on the wing and want to knock the ball into your star striker so he can try and score?! Flick the right stick in the direction of your star striker’s position and he will be highlighted. You can then move him around to a position you like, press the cross button and whip the ball in. He might not score, but you have certainly given him a better opportunity to do so. It’s incredible, it really is. It’s also very intuitive and easy to understand, meaning players of all skill levels can give it a go.

During my time with the game, I actually managed to use this new feature to score a goal via a corner kick. It felt genuinely rewarding and satisfying, just like scoring a goal should. It was all my work; I didn’t need to rely on anything or anyone else.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Even the most ardent PES fan would admit that player AI in PES 2011 wasn’t perfect. For every great moment, there was almost always a silly one on the horizon to counter it. Well, it seems like Konami have taken on board the feedback in regards to AI and, I must say, the results are very impressive.

First of all, AI players on your team will now actively make realistic overlapping runs. Think Patrice Evra for Manchester United or Dani Alves for Barcelona and you’ll get what I mean. In fact, I played as Barcelona and just as he does in real life, Dani Alves was bombing forward at every single opportunity. Not just like a headless chicken either, the runs he was making were intelligent and, more importantly, realistic. You know that long ball Xavi and Iniesta love to play to Dani Alves, it’s possible to replicate that in PES 2012 (if you’re good enough) with a stunning degree of accuracy.

The intelligent running doesn’t just apply to the full-backs either; it applies to pretty much every single attack minded player on your team. Midfielders will make dummy runs to create space and they won’t just run in straight lines either. They will make intelligent diagonal runs as well, something which was very rarely seen in PES 2011. Of course, it’s up to you to decide how you want to utilise these runs and which player you want to pass to. Do you let a dummy run be just that or do you pull a fast one and try to get that player through for a scoring opportunity? The decision is yours, but the fact that you have all these options at your disposal is just mind boggling.

Konami have also paid some attention the defensive AI in PES 2012 as well. The defensive AI in PES 2011 was quite good, but at times players has the tendency to bunch up which hurt the overall gameplay and, well, didn’t reflect the overall realistic nature of the game very well. Those days have now gone, as defenders and (to a certain extent), midfielders perform their non-attacking duties with a high level of realism.

For instance, if you have a 4-4-2 formation, your team (depending on your strategy/tactics) will consist of two banks of four and the defensive movement of the players (defenders and midfielders) will be much more realistic when compared to PES 2011. Defenders won’t just follow and track one player, if they sense danger in a nearby area they will swoop in to try and cover. It’s all very subtle, but changes/improvements to the AI like this will only help enhance the overall quality of the gameplay.

Visuals

Much like its predecessor, PES 2012 looks great; even at this early stage. Player likenesses are even better than before, kit detail has been upped a level and, most noticeably, the lighting is vastly superior to PES 2011. Oh and square nets are in too, but you knew that already, right?!

Animations have also received some attention, quite a few new ones have been added and the majority of the older ones have been tweaked for added fluidity and realism. These improvements in the animation department shine ever so brightly during gameplay as you glide across the pitch with Messi like a graceful ballerina. Not that Messi is a ballerina, of course!

Finally, PES 2012 might not have a super slick looking collision system underneath its hood, but it doesn’t really need one. This might sound a little crazy, but it has its own little system and it uses it rather well from what I have seen so far. There’s no over the top coming together of players, instead everything just looks natural. Players “bounce” off each other quite realistically, falling or stumbling to the turf without much fuss. It’s not flashy, it’s just simple and, you know what, it works really well.

Verdict…so far

The foundations for a truly great football game were laid down by Konami with PES 2011. The next game in the series just needed to build on those foundations by adding a few key gameplay elements. From what I have seen so far, if PES 2012 continues to improve at its current rate, there’s a strong possibility we could be graced with the best PES game to date.

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Oh yes.

I was a massive Pro Evo fan ever since the monstrosity that was FIFA 96. Somehow the FIFA games managed to get even worse, with Road To The World Cup '98 essentally being a QTE game on rails where you pressed a button and something happened. I stayed with Pro Evo, quite happily playing the best football game out there until I tried a demo of FIFA 08.

I was surprised and shocked as many of us were. Here was a FIFA game that was fun, great looking (although the FIFA games never had a problem in the looks department), but most importantly, it didn't feel like it was an on-rails shooter. By that time Pro Evo was starting to look a little tired. Whereas FIFA was constantly striving to improve to be a better game of football than Pro Evo, Konami's game was resting on it's laurels, and getting worse for it. I fancied a change, so after 12 years of Pro Evo, I jumped ship. Two FIFAs later, and I'm feeling the old FIFA vibe with game on rails, and the actual football part of the game being less and less fun with each iteration. Pro Evo 11 however, was like a breath of fresh air to me. The passing felt really great. It felt like you could place that ball anywhere on the park. The shooting too, felt fantastic and had a nice weight to it. Sure, the graphics were laughable in places (all the places) and commentary was literally laugh out loud funny, but Pro Evo has never been about the graphics, the licenses, the commentary or the stadiums; It's about the football.

Pro Evo 11 was good fun, and a massive step-up from the previous games. If that preview is to be believed, and they really manage to improve on last year's game, I think it might be time to jump back to the good ship Pro Evoolution Soccer.

TL:DR: I'm bored with FIFA.

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