Tags: first impressions , impressions , konami , pes 2012 , prorevo
Prorevo have posted up their impressions from their recent PES 2012 playtest.
Below is the translated version of their impressions. You can read their original report in German here.
A Dream Come True
Itʼs 10.07 in the morning, the sky is a bit cloudy but itʼs warm. I stand in front of Konami of Europe HQ in Frankfurt (Main). Itʼs some kind of a special moment for me. For years, I have envied magazines and websites (like WENB) for getting early access to games and PES, especially. I wanted to be with them, play with them, discuss the game.
Today, Iʼm going to do the same. Iʼm here to play an early version of PES 2012. Together with Marvin from prorevo, who has invited me. Itʼs a dream that has come true. But enough sentiments, letʼs plunge into work (or should I say fun?).
Who Moved For Motion?
I was honoured with the role of the spectator in the ﬁrst match as Marvin played against a Konami employee. First thing that struck me was the motion on the pitch even before the playersʼ entrance. A few groundsmen were walking over the ﬁeld and checked the grass. A few moments later, the view switched and you see the referees talking a bit, before they led the players out of the catacombs.
Camera men, stewards, managers, all moving and looking great. They didnʼt stop to move when the match started, no, you could see the managers walking up and down in the coaching area, the cameras tried to follow the ball, the stewards walked along the boundaries of the ﬁeld and the stewards were looking back onto the pitch from time to time; they normally look at the crowd.
Just as they do in real life. Nice touch with regards to the crowd: they wore the kits of the home team, looked really cool.
Moving to the on-the-ﬁeld-event. There were many new animations for sliding, passing and shooting but for little things as well. For instance, when another defender was going to cover another attacker, he waved to his team mates that heʼd take over from them.
If a player realised, that he would not reach the ball with a kick, he pulled back. Wow. Oh, and when we played with national teams, volunteers were standing/sitting next to the teams, holding the particular national banner. Altogether, very eMOTIONal.
Can You Keep Up?
I think, that could have been the phrase Christiano Ronaldo said to Badstuber when he ran past him. Badstuber couldnʼt. Germany conceded a goal. Doesnʼt sound like PES 2011, does it? Well, it isnʼt.
PES 2012 manages to balance those two aspects, attacking and defending, that represent the core of football. Attackers can outsmart defenders and vice versa.
Take that example from above. Ronaldo kept the ball close to his feet, fooled the defender by shifting to the left and passed him by on the other side. With no one left to block him, he could even outran Badstuber by a few meters and had enough time to place his shot.
Would you like an example to prove the opposite? Marvin played against me with Messi. Messi went missing for 90 minutes. Say no more.
The keepers keep you well in play, rest assured. They seemed to be more aggressive at corner kicks or free kicks and plucked the ball out of the air. They were more reliable and overall good. In 25 matches we had maybe one situation where we thought the keeper could have kept that ball.
Thatʼs Not Fair!
Erm, it is. Why? Because the referee said so. And he was always right. You can say that refereeʼs are ﬁxed and much better than last year. Neither did they shed cards nor were they mean when it came to yellow-/red-carding. They acted just… right. We never felt as if we were betrayed by the referee.
It was the same with offside. We had maybe three or four off side situations and they were all correct. At one point, Marvin stopped to play because he thought my player to be offside. However, the referee was right again. Too bad I missed my shot.
A word (or two) concerning penalty kicks. As Adam already said, the camera is back to normal, behind the player who earned the penalty kick. It works, and it works great. It is fair.
Thatʼs What I Call Intelligence.
I wonʼt go into detail here about player behaviour. Not yet, as I canʼt at the moment. But I will tell you about that loss I tweeted earlier. The glorious 1-4 defeat. Yes, I lost against a lower rated team and I loved it. In PES 2011, if a player was near your goal, he tried to shoot, most of the time.
In PES 2012, it is completely different. It feels alive. Letʼs go:
0 – 1: Counter attack by my opponent, four defenders, three attackers, one in the middle, one on each side. I closed the center striker down and expected him to shoot. However, he played a high deadly pass to the left winger who slowed down the ball, took a short look and played a precise cross to the right outer corner of my box. To the right winger, of course, who then hit home volley. I was like: ʻawwwwʼ (eyes wide open).
0 – 2: Mistake by myself, I passed the ball to an attacker instead of kicking it away. He outsmarted my keeper! He feinted a shot, moved the ball out my keepers reach, ran a few yards and scored.
0 – 3: The best goal today. An attacker got the ball in my 18 yard area. However, he didnʼt shoot instantly – what he would have done in PES 2011 – but laid the ball back for an attacker that was in a much better position to shoot – and to score, of course. He lifted his foot and played the ball with so much silkiness that I lowered the controller and stopped playing. My mouth copied the behaviour of my eyes. I think I replayed it 4 times? Needless to say that I had none but one chance to score in the ﬁrst 70 minutes – I hit the post.
0 – 4: Nice header after I mistimed the header of my defender. Timing is extremely important in this game. Not once did I have the feeling that the CPU cheated me. I always mistimed actions. And I knew that I failed.
1 – 4: 88 minute, regular goal, nothing special. Of course not, as it was I who scored. Whew!
I played that match with wide cam because this pitch side cam takes time to get used to. Furthermore, I used the “completely manual” setting for passes which was complicated enough.
About an hour before we left, I tried to combine this setting with the new cam. Looks great, plays great, I got smashed. By the gameplay, by the AI.
So is it the perfect package?
Sadly, it isnʼt. Two things are spoiling the party, at least a bit. One thing is shooting but thatʼs covered by Adamʼs essay already.
The other thing is a bit weird to explain. When you pass the ball to or behind a team mate (deadly pass), that player runs towards the ball and then, all of a sudden, slows down and jogs towards the ball.
Meanwhile, an opponent might run there and steal you the ball. It doesnʼt happen all the time, but worryingly often. Something I will need to see how it changes through development.
A big thanks to WENB and Ben for the English translations, as well as Prorevo for the original impressions.