It’s been almost a month since E3 2012 and a lot has been revealed about Konami’s upcoming soccer installation, Pro Evolution Soccer 2013. A number of videos regarding newly implemented innovations have been posted by Konami’s official YouTube channel, HERE:.
Konami’s objective, over the past few years, has been to deliver gamers full freedom of control over players and teams. Last year’s edition, PES 2012 saw the welcomed addition of Active AI and Teammate Controls. This year, Konami seeks to refine the title, rather than overhaul (a gesture supported by the fact that there has been no change to the gameplay engine), by working on three main areas: enhanced player individuality, full control over the ball and ProActive AI.
The first step to recreating player individuality, a prevalent feature which was arguably one of the main reasons for the success of PES over EA Sports’ FIFA during the PS2 days, was for Konami to reinvent PlayerID. PlayerID is a feature wherein 50 (though this number will increase with every title released) of the world’s most recognised footballers have their actions, appearances and attributes recreated with utmost accuracy. Such stars include Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrés Iniesta, John Terry and Iker Casillas. Such detail is unprecedented in the football (soccer) gaming genre, to this date. Traditionally, football game developers recreate looks (face and physique), attributes (player stats) and some categoric (rather than individual) player moulds. Konami, on the other hand, have stretched boundaries by recreating looks, attributes, play style, animations (massively varied – ranging: running, passing, shooting, blocking, throwing, controlling and saving animations) and celebrations.
Konami’s rationale behind this overhaul is twofold. Firstly, they are taking steps back into the “PES glory days” and bringing back features during a period in which Konami’s title was far superior to its rival’s (EA Sports) counterpart. Secondly, they are looking forward, with a new generation of consoles imminent, to a time in which such individuality will be a norm, given technological development capabilities, and springboarding into such an era with an already-established platform (PlayerID) will be hugely advantageous.
Full control over the ball
The officially labelled “FullControl” is a bracket, of which there are many branches of features.
The first of these feature branches is a completely new dribbling system, called deft-touch dribbling, in which players can exhibit close-quarter control over the ball with the sole of the player’s foot in a freestyle-esque manner, providing a platform for 1-on-1 situations.
The second feature of FullControl is passing. There are now two types of lobbed pass: low-driven passes; and high-lofted passes.
The third aspect to FullControl is the dynamic first touch. Players now have a wealth of options when attempting to trap a pass, including the flick touch, the feint touch, regular touch and the timed-trap, the last of which may become a necessary control with players of low quality who may miscontrol a regular touch.
Fourth on the list of additions is response defending, which allows players to perform a standing-tackle at the press of a button, rather than simply pressing the attacker and waiting for a challenge to be made. This feature also allows for tactical fouls to be made, without the severity attached to sliding in for a challenge in a similar situation.
The fifth addition is the dynamic one-two feature, which permits users to control the direction in which the passer travels after initiating a one-two, allowing for a more fluid and inventive approach to attacking play; all the while keeping to the notion of applying manual power to the passes.
The sixth aspect to FullControl is goalkeeper passing. Goalkeepers now get back to their feet a lot faster, after having made a save and can also pass to players with a lot more accuracy and freedom, thanks to the new passing power-bar for goalkeeper throws.
And finally, we have possibly the largest aspect to FullControl, full manual controls. Now, like in PES 2011, players have the option to make fully manual passes. Also added is full manual shooting, allowing the player to completely dictate the direction and power of regular shots, side-footed shots, low-driven shots and chipped shots.
ProActive AI is a logical enhancement to 2012’s system, Active AI. Within ProActive AI, there are refinements to:
Defending – defenders are more responsive to the movements of the ball, rather than simply focussing on pressing players. Play inherently opens up slightly, with defenders not naively bunching around attackers. Defensive lines are also seen to defend higher up in contextual situations, allowing themselves to move up the pitch during possession play, but leaving them scrambling when exposed to counter-attacks. (This may seem a weakening of defensive intelligence, but it is a logical system written to ensure realistic behavior.)
Attacking – players are now more intelligent and active in exploiting gaps and moving in congruence with their teammates, rather than blindly running forwards. When attacking, deeper midfielders now position themselves slightly further forward in areas of space, offering themselves as offensive outlets, whilst prepared to track back should potential counter-attacks from the opposition occur.
Goalkeeping – goalkeeping logic has been completely overhauled, whilst animations remain largely unchanged (with only a handful of additions). Goalkeepers are now more intelligent to ball movement and player runs. They are also more reliable in 1-on-1 situations and can now stop shots with much more assurance, due partly to an increased range of saving techniques. They are also more aggressive and can be seen to grab loose passes and pluck crosses out of the air. Add these improvements to the refinements offered by the implementation of PlayerID and there seems to be huge potential for goalkeeping this year.
So that’s PES 2013 rounded up. Be sure to check out the official PES YouTube channel for more detailed information on their upcoming title, and to watch their trailers and gameplay videos! HERE:.