PES 2012 First News : Shingo ‘Seabass’ Takatsuka, the man tasked with masterminding the development of the PES series, has finally lifted the lid on PES 2012 in an 8 minute video blog, which can be seen here on PESVision. For some, it may only seem like minutes since we were invited to take a seat on the PES 2011 hype train, and for others the wait for 2012 may have seemed like a lifetime. Either way, we finally have a taste of what to expect in this year’s final build.
2012 isn’t the year for redefinition, but rather refinement. PES 2011 signalled the first steps in a new direction for Pro Evolution Soccer, whilst this year is all about making further progress along that path –and you get a sense of this when you watch the video. Seabass talks of impending improvements, and validates those changes by relating them to current shortcomings. The ‘to camera’ style gives a real sense of conversation and cooperation with the viewer, which is furthered by the references of user feedback, and it having a direct influence on the changes made. The team really want to get the point across that their actions are responses to your requests.
‘Engineered for Freedom’, the tagline introduced last year, may be a glossy marketing slogan but it also signals Konami’s desire for you to be able to play exactly how you want to, and it is clearly still on the agenda. Seabass talks of how they plan to develop a player’s freedom to control the game further – by improving the game’s AI both in attack and defence.
Those who’ve played PES 2011 will be familiar with the overpowered impact that star players can have (Messi and Ronaldo et al can tear defences apart time after time, single handed), to the extremes that they have resulted in a limited use of other styles of play. PES 2012 will look to balance that individual skill with better support and off the ball movement from teammates. Players will now be on their toes even before you trap the ball, and look for more opportunities to play quick one-two manoeuvres – often choosing a better, realistic choice of run.
AI controlled players will also look to drag markers out of position to disrupt defences – not just to receive a pass, and will attempt give you more support in the wider channels with overlapping runs. It all comes back to giving you the choice, to give you the freedom to choose how you develop your plays.
Allied to that, as you’d expect, the defensive side of the game has also had a face lift, and continues the “play it your way” theme. Seabass notes the improvements in player marking and “hold-up” play, meaning that you will find it easier to dispossess the man in possession or, alternatively, contain attacks whilst giving your team a precious few seconds to regroup.
Interestingly, the video also details that one-on-one scenarios are a standout feature that has been looked at for PES 2012, explaining that the process requires direct control from a user – and is very simplistic and intuitive. This, combined with the refined “hold-up play” could make for some interesting battles on the pitch – which is made more appetising by the fact that they’ve spent a lot of time developing the physical aspect of the game (more collisions/better player reactions perhaps?).
There were also a few little snippets tucked away in the later stages of the video that gave a taster of what is still to come away from the pitch – we know there will be more game modes and editing features, but exactly what is still under wraps. Also, online is being improved – with promises of the community being made bigger, and having “many new features including inter-community rivalry”, whatever that may be (feel free to post your interpretations of this)?
Also, it seems as if we are all-but-guaranteed to see another Online Beta this year – which would come as no surprise, with the aforementioned upgrades. Make sure you look out for that later in the year, you might be lucky enough to get the chance to test – and generate feedback about the online environments, which will influence the finished product.
Visually, PES 2012 looks the same as PES 2011 at this stage. Whether that is because we are only in an early build – or because the team aren’t focusing on graphics as much this year remains to be explained, though I would assume it would be closer to the latter. The biggest battles are won and lost on the pitch, and in this video at least, it looks as if that’s where the team have been focussing.
The closing comment from Seabass mentions that they still have some mountains to climb, which is a good indicator that they believe in what they are doing, but aren’t taking PES fans for granted. There is undoubtedly a lot coding, programming and testing to be executed before the launch of PES 2012 – and indeed, each year following, but the fact that they are happy with the base that they are building on is comforting.
PES 2011 was widely considered as a turning point. If the promises in this video come to fruition, PES 2012 will be so much more.
Source : PESFan.com