Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio
Il Divin Codino

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 - Demo 1 Impressions

The Good
  • PES 2011 was engineered for freedom and this year Konami have not only stuck to the slogan, the freedom available in the game is more pronounced and more accessible than before. In a sentence, play it your way. Target man, possession, counter attack, down the wings, down the middle. It is all about getting the best out of the players you got.
  • Stumbling animation is gone.
  • Switching system is a simple yet vital addition. Although it still works quite bad on Assisted.
  • Fewer loading times have lead to a more seamless gameplay.
  • Player response is very very good, but not in an unrealistic FIFA way i.e. ball sticking to the players feet. The momentum is still there, just much faster response time and therefore...
  • ...Dribbling has improved significantly. And my god, isn't it so much fun. In this category, it is the best football game to date in my opinion. However, there are currently too many players that can dribble past others quite easily despite not being good dribblers or controllers of the ball. Reminds me of PES 2009 a little, unfortunately.
  • Ball physic is also improved in passing, shooting and crossing. It feels right.
  • Referees are improved as well as collision detection. This was certainly needed as this year PES is also more physical and therefore in need of a decent refereeing system.
  • Player awareness is improved in defence and offence. Awareness of defensive positioning as well as forward runs are improved significantly.
  • Training mode is not only a way to learn to play the game, it helps in understanding the way Konami have implemented different features of the game and overall is a blast and a truly welcome re-addition.
  • Better anti-aliasing has given the PC version a smoother look.

The Bad
  • While the stumbling behaviour is gone, I sometimes feel the players are too good at getting back on their feet. Almost too aware of the situation while they are stumbling.
  • Player switching in general is still not satisfactory.
  • Players still seem to be walking on a fixed rail in certain situations and you can't change their direction.
  • The CPU sometimes decides to play the pass to a wrong receiver, especially when the two players are slightly aligned with the pass direction.
  • Game feels a little too fast on 0 (zero). This can discourage midfield play.
  • Advantage rule could be implemented better, although it has improved since 2011.
  • Dribbling (as stated in The Good)
  • Not a big fan of the new lighting system. It looks quite dark and gives PES an slight spooky/zombie feel, especially when you see Fletcher shouting.
  • In the sound department, PES is still lacking a lot. The sound effects, for example the ball hitting the bar, are quite bad. Also quality of sounds and effects are not as good the competitors. And what's up with Italian/Brazilian fans roaring 'Yeaaaah!' when their team scores?!
  • Ball physics can still be problematic where it has unrealistic rebounds (off the crossbar for example) or on long balls have too much spin on them and therefore take ages to travel.

The Ugly
  •  Player personality is not as pronounced as previous titles. While I was not a fan of elephant touches or the lacklustre shooting system in PES 2011, the majority of players are now too good at ball control, passing and shooting. These abilities and actions should be exclusive to special players with high ratings in the respective stats.
  • Passing is just too good. This was a major concern for me in 2011, and unfortunately you can still see FIFA 10-esque ping-pong passing. It might get better in longer matches, but that should not be used as an excuse since online matches aren't that long anyway. Flair passing also exists in abundance. This should be exclusive to certain players only.
  • Shooting is also a bit too good to be true. Maybe I am too used to 2011's system which was quite hard and took a long time to get the hang of the body shape and the floating ball physics, which by no means I think they were realistic or fun, but I at the same time 2012's shooting system is way too easy to pull off. You can almost shoot from any situation with a lot of them ending up at least on target, regardless of your balance, being pressured or surrounded by opposition defenders. Add this to terrible goalkeeping and I'm already seeing basketball-like scorelines.
  • Defender awareness could be improved a lot. It was quite a big deal in 2011 and unfortunately it is still there despite some improvements. I have witnessed there are still times where the defender fails to intercept or clear a ball just a yard away when he would have in real life, or at times the awareness of the player of the ball going out of play (throw-in, corner, goal kick and even goal-line) is still pretty much non existent, or the defender failing to track balls (especially chipped through balls) by suddenly stopping for no reason. I have lost count of the number of own goals conceded and scored already in the demo. On the other hand, I have seen some defenders trying to intercept balls that they really can't touch by sliding, therefore opening up space for the attackers and before the defender can get up it is already too late
  • Another problem with defending is lack of a physicality when stopping attackers. It can be said as of now, that the attackers can run through the defender at ease where in real life there would be a collision or an interception. I would like an improved jockeying/jostling system where by going into jockeying mode the defender can cover a larger radius in order to stop dribbles or to block shots or crosses.
  • Goalkeepers are in a very bad state right now, however Konami have promised to improve them big time until release so hopefully this won't be a major concern.
  • Unfortunately still a lot of weird, absurd, loose and ugly animations. Also need more variety in animations as they are currently very limited and for example, don't give you a good impression how a ball is hit at all. What happened to those PES 2010 mocaps?

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