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OPE Community Members PES 2012 Playtest Impressions

Posted at 7:00 pm | Monday, 18 July 2011


Myself and Daymos, at the PES Rankings playtest event in Shoreditch.

Yesterday, I brought you my own take on the PES 2012 playtest. Now I can share some more impressions with you, from various people that also attending the event in Shoreditch, at the exclusive playtest on Saturday afternoon.

You'll be pleased to hear that we have four people sharing their impressions with us.

First, there's Jake Harris. He is a close friend of mine who helps me out with OPE, whenever and however he can. We also play PES together on a regular basis, where I usually, tear him a new one!

We then have the OPE option file maker, Daymos. This was the first time I had met Daymos, face-to-face. He was a really nice guy. In case you didn't already know, he's an Arsenal fan. This helped conversation immensely.

Finally, we have Alex Fletcher and Miles Fletcher. They are brothers from Hull, who are both hardcore PES fans who together, started their day in the early hours of Saturday morning. They arrived early at the event, so were lucky to have some serious game time between them, on their own.

Jake Harris;
“I would honestly recommend anyone who hasn’t played PES2012, to play it. I was in the fortunate position today to be able to play the E3 code of the latest addition of the Pro Evolution Soccer saga, and I will say that it will be the best. I loved it!
Me and Mike played about 5 games against each other. Obviously, there were some flaws in the game but overall, the passing, goalkeeping and general gameplay was much better than PES2011.
If this is a very early edition of the future king of football games, I can’t wait for the full release.
Roll on October. Roll on PES 2012”.

You can follow Jake on Twitter, to find out more of his views on PES 2012. He will also be coming with me to Eurogamer in London this September, representing OPE. Expect more impressions from him then.

Daymos;
“Hey guys. Please excuse the length, as I'm just letting out all the information as it comes out my head. Also feel free to ask any questions that you may have - @DJDaymos.

When I turned up to the event, I saw two guys playing and I was just so happy to be there. I felt like a kid.

The game at a glance looked like PES 2011, but gradually I could see the game mechanics were almost completely different. I witnessed some overlapping runs and also saw that players with possession get tripped, but do not always lose the ball, and the ref would also allow advantage play for example.

So finally the game was over and I was up next. Straight away when I controlled the players on the pitch, I realised the significance of what I had witnessed in the previous game. To SEE the changes is one thing but to actually FEEL the changes is another.

It felt like football, and not a computer system that you learn how to exploit just to win. This game was fun and you had the feeling that it was up to you, to decide how you win. You have to be a smart player and adapt if your teams tactics are not working.

So what did I find when I was playing the game?

I was Marseille in my 1st game. I was passing about and trying to get to grips with what I could, and couldn't do in the game.

The passing was smooth and the way you could collect the ball and turn was a very smooth and non-frustrating process. Everything just looked so fresh.

Anyway, somehow I found myself losing 1-0. I was getting better and building the pressure but was finding it hard to score. I soon learnt that if you want to hold the ball up and keep possession, you could do so - quite easily.
For instance, your player can run with the ball from one wing to the other, in theory, but if you mess about too much, you will get crucified, just like learnt later in the day.

I enjoyed weaving in and out of players with suttle step overs and feints. This would be done by holding the left trigger.
I cant remember each goal, but somehow I managed to score 3 goals in quick time to gain a 3-1 lead. One of my goals which stuck out for me, was something I haven't really seen in PES since PES 5.

I was coming towards the box and I had the option to pass to one of the overlapping full backs, but instead I weaved in-between two defenders (Jack Wilshire Style against Barca) but my opponents clipped my players' heels.

I am so used to the trip system in PES 2011, so I was expecting my player to stop dead and lose the ball. But this didn't happen. My player recovered and stayed on his feet, all in one smooth motion.

Holding my composure, I struck a shot just outside of the box and it streamed in at a decent pace mid-height to the left post. It was a great goal!

It's definitely not possible to do this in PES 2011. Not to sound cliché, but I punched the air when I scored - and I don't usually do that.

I took many shots that went wide and it was refreshing to see the keeper makes saves and act like an actual keeper, palming shots just wide of the post (sometimes one handed) and recovering quickly, ready to attempt to save 6 yard box rebounds.

So I was 3-1 up. Not taking anything away from my opponent, but I was comfortable knocking the ball about and defending too.
But it all went downhill when my keeper passed to my defender. I tried to do a high manual pass using the right analogue stick. To my surprise this wasn't in the game anymore and it's what you do to pull off feints and tricks. So my defender messed about doing step overs and I got robbed and my opponent scored an easy one on one. 3-2.

The game somehow ended up 3-3 and then I lost on penalties. It's okay, because it's not about the winning. It's the taking part, or something like that... Jokes aside, we were both trying new things.

Penalties were simple, but great. You tap shoot to keep the ball on the ground or hold it slightly longer (2 or 3) seconds for it to rise high. After you press the shoot button, the run up starts and then, you press either left or right on the left analogue stick. The time you hold either way will determine how far to the post you get the ball.

I noticed that if you held left or right for the maximum amount of time, the player will not kick it wide. I don't know if this accuracy is dependent on player stats, but this could be an issue for some, if wanting to recreate Brazils recent penalty shoot-out howlers against Paraguay.

I was watching Brazil last night, and the movement was so much like PES2012. For example, I was expecting players to make movements in certain obvious situations - and the game recreates this.

I think just allowing the AI to do it's own thing is better. I also really love the way you can dribble around players - almost similar to how you could do it on PES 6 on the Xbox360 - but not as unrealistically loose, and way more realistic with the improved collision detection system.

You can run really close to a player and you will assume that you will lose the ball, like you would in PES 2011. But in this game, if the defender doesn't press the button, he won't be able to walk into you and get the ball. This makes the game so much better.

Once I saw someone run with their player all the way down the wing towards the corner flag and in the process he avoided 2 or 3 challenges which caused him to stumble but he kept going, kept his balance and even got a cross in. As basic as it sounds, it adds so much scope to the game.

I noticed that if you feel confident to try and take on 2 or 3 players before passing, you can. In past FIFA games, I knew that if you had the ball and came close to a defender and you were inside his invisible 2ft circle, you would get tackled 100% of the time.

PES2011 is my game, but isn't perfect as we all know. The collisions - you had to wait for the animation to finish, before you could move on - but by then, the ball had already been taken off you - like Jon Murphy explained in his latest vidblog.

PES2012 is almost perfect, in my opinion. I thought the pace was too slow, but taking time away and reflecting, I feel it's a realistic speed - especially after watching the Copa America games - however, a little speed boost wouldn't be a bad thing.

I believe Konami should take out the game speed option, and just have one default option, which everybody can use.

If this game code was released to the public now, I would be able to play it all year round. However, the shooting still needs tweaking, and the lofted through balls need some work too. Despite reaching my target players often, the balls seemed a bit high and floaty at times.
I was worried that when you pin point a player to pass the ball, using the the right analogue stick, it would be a pass with 100% accuracy. Fortunately, this didn't happen. The the ball went to the players' area, rather than straight to the players foot.

Regarding editing the option file for PES2012, I didn't get to see any editing options due to the restricted code. But I will say that I'm even more hyped to get it all done in time for launch now, so I can spend my free time playing the game like the rest of you, come October.

Konami have every right to be proud of this game - and I've only played the E3 code! News of announcements and gameplay tweaks are going to be coming soon over the next few weeks so watch this space, as it can only get better.

I'm sure I'll remember more things as I answer questions but I'd just like to say thanks to PES Rankings for inviting me to London to play PES 2012”.

Alex Fletcher;
“I got there early and managed to get more playing time than I expected.
I only managed one game against the computer - the rest being against my brother. Baring in mind, the difficulty was set on Professional - there was no Top Player in this cod - I was stunned to the extent to which Konami had improved the AI.

Let me start off by saying just how much more alive the game feels. As has been previously said, not just with the stewards, cameramen and managers interacting but also the intelligence of the players on the pitch. Players are constantly now moving and looking for space, dragging the opposition out of position and creating space for other players. It really is a joy to play and it allows some glorious passing moves to be put together.
The videos seen from today simply don't do the game justice, as the new ball physics and response times must be felt to see the changes. They really are totally reworked.

I had some great games against my brother. It's just like the days of old with PES where you really feel like anything could happen. The right analog off the ball movement is awesome and is not overpowered as was feared.
The new camera angle called pitchside is also a great edition. Unfortunately, this camera wasn't featured in any videos uploaded today.

As far as the difficulty goes, this year the computer are also much improved. Even on Professional, I had a very tough task playing as Barca against Inter - and I was beaten 3-2!
The 3rd goal in this game was a clear indication of just how much improved the AI is, and I only wish someone could have recorded this and uploaded it on here for everyone to see. After a scrappy piece of defending in my box following a corner, the ball fell to Eto'o 12 yards from goal, faced by the keeper.

Every single time in PES 2011, Eto'o would have gone for goal in this situation - and more than likely would have missed. This was exactly what I was expecting him to do... However, I was stunned to see him draw the keeper with a feint and then slide it across to Sniejder to tap it in to an empty net.
Overall, this year's game really is shaping up to be quite something. The only negative thing I can say about the game at this time, which has seemingly already been fixed, is the shooting. It was a bit weak at times. Also, the 'keepers still suffer from the occasional jitter - although even in this old code, they look and behave a lot more like keepers should”.
Miles Fletcher;
Match build up
The first match I played was Italy vs France. I was Italy, and I then selected Game Plan. Italy's Game Plan was reasonably realistic, as by default the deployed a 4-5-1 formation. I kept with this and started the match.
The first thing I noticed when I started the match was groundsman doing a last minute effort of maintaining Camp Nou turf. This is something I've not seen on a PES (or FIFA!) title before, and it showed the intent from Konami, looking to inject more little details, like this. Simply, they have made matchday feel as realistic as possible and have also made the game feel much more alive.
The players then stepped out to a crescendo of flashing cameras, each countries flag was then hosted up, and the Italian national anthem was sung. This made it feel like a proper international match, as the camera man followed each player whilst they were singing. I'm still not sure why the opposite team never has their national anthem sung though.
By this point I was really in the mood to play...

Features
It was a really good game. Really fun, end to end stuff. 
Both teams had plenty of chances to win, but I ended up losing 3-2. Despite that, I'd not felt this much excitement on a PES game, since the PS2 days. 
After conceding my first goal, I realised the computer were no idiots. The AI had been drastically improved. Instead of trying to hold out for the draw at 1-1, as France, the CPU pushed on to eventually score another 2 - and created a handful of clear cut chances throughout the game. 
I play Top Player on every edition of PES but for this code, I was only playing against Professional. At times I was really put on the rack, which I found quite unbelievable considering the difficulty was only Professional.
The AI players are the best I've ever seen, on any football game. Passing was silky and smooth, and I found through balls over the top had been improved and were more successful than to those in PES 2011. 
Shooting needs a bit of work. Shots seemed very tame sometimes, and you couldn't really get a lot of power behind them, without holding the power bar a hell of a lot.
There were plenty of new animations to feast my eyes upon. They all looked very impressive. Graphics were classy and player likeness were as good as every year. 
Set pieces are much better now, because of the new right-trigger player selection feature.
Conclusion
Having been at Saturday's playest, I am really looking forward to playing the final version of PES 2012 now. Safe to say, it's a huge improvement on PES 2011. It's a shame to say this, but you simply have to play the game to see the differences. 
It's starting to feel like the glory days of PES 6 are going to return, and I'm hoping the final game gets the credit it deserves. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, but if that Konami can pull it off, we could be on the verge of the best PES game ever. 
I am confident that this year's PES will bring back the fans, who have left the series ever since the disappointment of PES 2008. 
If you want a football game for all the licenses and every team under the sun buy FIFA 12. If you want a football game for footballing perfection and realism, buy PES 12.”

Again, we would like to thank PES Rankings and Konami for inviting us to the event. We also want to congratulate them on organizing, setting up and hosting such a highly successful day. We would certainly do it again, if the opportunity ever came up again.

On a final note, we are seeking to gain access for a newer code. We can't confirm anything just yet, but we assure you that we're doing our best to get another playtest on a newer code of PES 2012. We will reveal more on this subject, if/when we can.


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