The OPE PES 2013 playtest: June 13th

Published at 2:25 pm, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Author: Mike Harvey |

Ippei Nio, Mike Harvey (OPE Founder), Jon Murphy and Manorito Hosoda

I arrived at Konami HQ, with my friend Chris, just before 2pm yesterday afternoon. We entered the building and were greeted by TheBoss from PESFan, as well as the handful of other lucky individuals who had also been invited to the exclusive playtest. Once everyone had arrived, we took the lift up to Konami's floor and walked straight into the playtest room where we were greeted by Jon Murphy.

To begin the afternoon, Jon introduced Manorito Hosoda and Ippei Nio. Hosoda, the Marketing Producer at PES Productions, started off by introducing himself in English. However, he then made his presentation in Japenese, with Nio translating (very well) in English.

The duo explained some of the new-and-improved features that will be in PES 2013; amongst many other things, Performance Training, Football Life, Rival Ranking, Online Play, myPES and the improved La Liga license were all discussed.

Speaking of which, we were told there are "many key licenses" that have yet to be announced for PES 2013. More on that soon!

Jon Murphy then took over the stage and started to talk us through videos showing PES Full Control, ProActive AI and Player ID. The trailers we saw at E3 were very impressive, but actually being there with Jon while he was explaining each new feature in great detail was something really special.

At around 2:30, the PES team had completed their presentations, and we were then told to pick up our pads and play. Unfortunately, I had to play with a PS3 pad as all the Xbox 360 slots had already been taken up. I don't want to start a 360 vs. PS3 debate so I won't go into detail, but let's just say; I'm not a fan of the PS3 controller!

I spent the next hour playing 1v1 matches against Chris switching between Exhibition Mode (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla) and Copa Libertadores mode (Santos, Flamengo, Corinthians, Vasco Da Gama) every few games or so.

Changes were noticeable straight away. Although the graphics looked virtually the same - not that improvements were needed - the gameplay, particularly its slower speed, was very different from PES 2012.

After playing 6 or 7 matches, to my surprise, me and Chris were given the opportunity to interview  Manorito Hosoda and Ippei Nio, with Jon Murphy sat beside us.

In our interview with the Konami trio, here's what we found out:

Speaking about the possibility of introducing a J-League DLC into the series, the PES team said "We have given no consideration to the J-League [in PES]. We don't think European users will be interested."

On Master League improvements. Hosoda asked me for my suggestions and the first thing I said was that there should be less (or none) cut-scenes. Jon and Hosoda agreed with me, saying they were boring and repetitive: "Master League was one of the key elements of Pro Evo in the past. We want to know what kind of improvements to make. Next year, we will remove the cut-scenes".

I then spoke about Master League Online and suggested that a salary cap should be introduced into MLO: "That's exactly what we did this year. We [will] set a limit on the salaries."

On a possible return of the Random Selection Match gamemode. "I liked the feature [too]... we're going to revamp the game next year". Hosoda then asked us "is this a popular gamemode?" - myself and Jon Murphy replied with a resounding "yes". Right now, it looks like the gamemode could return for next-gen PES.

The Speed Merchant player card is still in PES. However, the card shouldn't be a problem now, thanks to the slower gamespeed and the new defending system that's called Response Defending. From the 3 hours I played PES 2013, I agree with this at the moment.

Konami reveal that "unfortunately", there is no new Edit Mode this year. However, it looks like improvements will be made for next-gen PES.

Talking about Xbox 360 restrictions: "We [Konami] are in discussion with Microsoft to have the same level of editing functions [as the Playstation 3]. If they say yes by the end of the month, we will be able to implement it into PES 2013 - but that is unlikely."

On the option to play 2v2 online on Xbox 360: "We are discussing both [read previous point] issues with Microsoft. We want Microsoft to say yes."

The team admitted they've been working on easier ways to stop superstar players: "Messi and Ronaldo were unstoppable last year. We want to change that."

On manual controls: "Users were hoping for freedom in controls. In the future, we would like to have more manual features, such as choosing which part of the foot to shoot with; the instep, or outstep."

On interchangeable (mixing home and away) kits: "I don't understand why that feature disappeared". Hosoda assumed it was a licensing issue.

Talking about the already-confirmed Spanish stadiums DLC for PES 2013: "The Spanish license we have allows us to reproduce the stadiums in Spain."

We then asked if Konami are planning on more DLC releases for other licensed leagues' stadia. They spoke about Serie A as an example: "Some of the Italian stadiums belong to the government. We want to increase it [licensed stadia] in the future."

On match atmosphere and weather: "There is no snow in PES 2013. We'll have a new engine next year. [For next-gen PES], we want to differentiate home matches from away matches, and weather will be an important element of that. Snow will definitely return in 2014."

I'd like to give a massive thanks to Konami for inviting me to such a well-hosted event. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, it's great to know that there are so many genuinely nice people working on the PES series.

Check back here soon to read my impressions after my first hands-on with PES 2013.

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