PESFan.com mette le mani su Pes 2010
Dopo la recensione italiana di Pes 2010 ne arriva un’altra dall’Inghilterra. Non siamo ancora riusciti a tradurre l’intero artivolo ma siamo ad un buon punto. Intanto vi postiamo l’articolo originale in lingua inglese che appena possibile verrà sostituito con uno in lingua italiana.
As many of you will be aware, PESFan were invited by Konami down to their London headquarters for an early play test of PES 2010 late last month. With only select members of the press and PES community sites in attendance, it was a great opportunity for a hands-on taste of the new game after hearing so much about it.
Due to the timing of the conference, the game was still only in the early stages of development meaning many features of the final game, such as the much hyped Master League and Online modes, weren’t available for testing. When later versions of the game are developed, PESFan will be sure to test them out rigorously!
For those that like their numbers, the game on show was roughly 50% complete and featured most of the new gameplay elements that have been hyped up in the press releases. We played the same version that PSM3 tested, so the only teams that were on offer were Barcelona and Liverpool.
The first thing that struck many was the improved graphics of the game. The screenshots released of Lionel Messi and Fernando Torres by Konami are certainly accurate representations of what they look like in the game. No rendering or Photoshop going on there. The overall look of the game is much improved with great attention to detail, both on and off the pitch. Individual player appearances and expressions looked better than ever, this was especially noticeable when zooming in on the replays. Although all the players on this game were big names it was still easy to tell who was who, with birthmarks and scars all accurately recreated. The shirts looked realistic thanks to the creasing system we’ve seen on display in the screenshots so far, and untucked shirts are definitely in the game. Sure to please many, the much maligned goalkeeper gloves (which resembled oven gloves more than anything in the last few games) looked spot on and the nets rippled nicely when the ball hit them.
Around the ground things have also improved. Anfield, appearing for the first time on a next-gen console and as a licensed stadium, looked stunning in the sunlight with shadows cast by the stands putting the pitch in the shade. The crowd is now 3D; there aren’t 35,000 of them but truth be told you barely see them when playing the game. The concrete blocks at the base of the netting have also been removed at long last, replaced with more realistic plastic tubing, but the actual nets looks the same. There was only the one stadium on show, so other stadiums may yet have different net styles. Overall, the graphics have again been turned up a notch and PES 2010 looks like one the best looking sports game on the market.
The menu system has once again changed dramatically. Out goes the pop-art style of PES 2009 and in comes a slicker, modern style which looks infinitely better. You can see for yourself in the screenshots what I mean. One slight bug bear of mine from PES 2009 has been fixed. The PES 2009 team selection screen wasn’t the best when trying to determine who was capable of playing in which position as the light green colour was hard to distinguish from the grey background. In PES 2010, it’s clear to see who can play where.
One small addition is the fact players now have an overall stat to allow users to quickly judge their ability. The hexagon diagram is still there for those that prefer the graphical representation, as well as all the individual attributes from past games. For a full break down on the contents of the team selection screen, check out the PSM3 blog which comprehensively covers all the various options.
The animation system has been a huge flaw in the past few games, PES 2009 was an improvement over the ice skating superstars of PES 2008 but still didn’t look right on a next gen console. The animations did look smoother in this version of the game, but due to the early nature of the code it’s hard to give a definitive opinion with several of the animations still being programmed. Early signs are positive though. One portion of animations which did look markedly better was the first touch of a player. Controlling the ball looked smoother when the player took the ball on his stronger foot, as they were able to instantly take command over the ball. When forced to use his weaker foot, he needed to take a touch to bring the ball under control. On display in one of the screenshots released today is Torres controlling the ball with his chest, this again looked better than before with the more skilled players able to quickly bring the ball under control.
Off the ball, there were a few nice little animations to make the game look more realistic. The player calling for the ball with their arm animation is still in the game, along with a new one where the player will turn their head to look around for opponents when making a run. The players also seem more interested in the ball, with heads and eyes focused on the ball when crosses are being whipped into the box or during a midfield scrap.
Another small change is the addition of a glowing symbol on the radar to help the player identify where the ball is and which player is under control. This was in the previous PES games but only now makes its return.
On to the most important part now; the gameplay. The game plays at a slower pace which helps give the game more of a simulation grounding, rather than the fast arcade games we’ve been accustomed to. Hopefully the game is kept at this pace during the later stages of development and for the final retail release. This slower pace helps give the game more of a tactical approach with dribbling now much harder than before. Players who have become reliant on the likes of Messi and Eto’o being able to run trough the whole team will have to adapt quickly as defenders are more intelligent when tackling, and the improved animations make it near impossible for a player to turn 90o at full speed.
Despite the slower pace, this doesn’t mean you have any more time on the ball. Midfielders will press you while you’re in possession forcing you into mistakes, and defenders are quicker to close down open spaces. In this demo, Mascherano was quick to pressure you when in possession. This is where a couple of the new features come into play to help you break opponents down.
The strategy gauges have been talked about many times in the press releases as a way to break teams down and change the game in your favour. Some more time playing around with these and using teams of different abilities will give a better opinion on the effectiveness of this but early signs are positive. Like reported by PSM, sticking gauges to their extremes will radically change the way a team operates and how they position themselves on the pitch. Konami say each team will have individually tailored gauges to reflect their real life playing style, so certain teams will park the bus while other teams look to hit you on the counter.
The strategy gauges are an extension of the existing strategies in the game and offer the player more control over the movement of their AI team mates. The gauges can be adjusted on sliders between 0-100, with 0 being the least and 100 the most. Team style sliders can be used to on both the defensive and attacking sides of the game.
When set to 100, your teammates around the player in possession move upfield to receive a pass. In other words, your teammates will place themselves in more attacking positions. Contrary, when set to 0, your teammates tend to stay behind of the ball holder and place themselves in more defensive positions.
When set to 0, your teammates try and use the entire width of the pitch. Naturally this is good for long passing and spreading play but not for short passes. When set to 100, your teammates get closer to the ball holder, making short passes easy.
When set to 0, players try to get back to their assigned positions quickly rather than trying to stay in a switched position. When set to 100, once a position is switched, the player keeps playing on in the switched position until the ball goes out of play.
When set to 0, the team plays with the wide men as the main creators of opportunities. When set to 100, the team attacks through the middle of the pitch. Teams without natural width would have their gauge set at a high value.
When set to 100, your team as a whole apply pressure aggressively, rushing players in possession forcing them into mistakes. When set to 0, the players will stand off and try to delay the oppositions attack.
When set to 100, the defensive line will be kept high. When set to 0, your defensive line will drop back. This is one of the more important sliders as if affects the others.
When set to 0, your teammates will move away from the opposition ball holder and cover the wide areas of the pitch. When set to 100, your teammates will get closer to opposition ball holder and try to keep his options limited.
There is a choice of 2 options. One is Line defence and the other is Covering defence, where one defender left for covering other defenders.
When controlled by the AI, Liverpool and Barcelona did seem to play like their real life counterparts, with Barcelona flowing forward and Liverpool playing a more patient approach, happy to play the ball around. In game, you can quickly change the strategies but this wasn’t on show in the version played.
The other major new feature is the card system which replaces the special ability stars. This sounds a little strange at first, but used correctly it can affect the way your team operates for the better. The cards have been developed by Konami to mimic footballers’ individualities and add an extra dimension of realism to the AI and strategies.
There are two types of card. Some cards are skill cards, and others affect the behaviour of a player, both attacking and defensive. These cards can be turned on or off depending on how you want to play the game. In short, a card represents a move for a player. Different from traditional skills, these cards can be assigned to any player. A player’s ability doesn’t suddenly increase when a card is assigned. His ability remains the same as before but the player now knows when and how to move into good position.
Suppose you are controlling a player, and there’s a player in support with the “Earlycrosser” card assigned. As you go forward, the card assigned player will escape from his markers, and position himself better for sending an early cross. Now he is in a good position, you want to pass it to the player because he is in a position where he is able to send an early cross. Once the ball is played to him, the card has nothing to do with quality of the cross. It will be down to your control and the player’s ability that decides the quality of the cross. Again, this card doesn’t enhance player abilities. This card controls how he moves in certain situations.
Another example is Dani Alves, who is famous for his attacking runs down the right flank for Barcelona and Brazil. He is assigned “Overlapping run” by default. When the card is set to ON, he always looks to go forward leaving space behind him. Setting the Card to OFF will limit his attacking runs and make Alves operate as a standard fullback. If Barcelona had a player sent off, keeping his card “On” means that he still wants to go forward. What do you think? Attack is the best defence? Or do you go defensive to secure a win? Depending on your choice, his card may be switched off.
Here is the reason why you have a choice of switching the card off. You can act as the manager; decide on player moves by switching the cards on and off. It’s your choice whether or not to turn off attacking cards when you want the team play defensively. In contrast, you may want to turn off defensive cards when you want more men upfront in search of a goal. Cards will increase strategic options, giving you more flexibility in many situations.
Some cards you will only see the benefit of when the AI is controlling the player. Messi for example is assigned the “Incisive run” card. You will not see any effect while you are controlling Messi, but when the CPU controls Messi, you’ll see him sprint into the box as he does in real match.
Skill cards like “Quick Turn” and “1 on 1 Finish” will only be given to the best players and directly affects how they perform on the ball.
Moving on from cards and gauges, playing a player out of position will now have a drastic effect on their performance. Like in Football Manager, playing someone out of position will see them only play in a limited capacity, with major stat drops when played in totally the wrong position on the field. This is aimed at creating a more realistic experience and to stop the cheap tactics that some players use online. Benayoun for example when deployed at right back will only have a stat rating on 19. Utility players will suffer less from a positional switch.
Penalties have finally been changed with direction and power now more important in deciding where the ball ends up. Unlike the pot luck system PES has been using for some time now, holding the power button down for a long time will see penalties blazed over the bar and too much direction could see the ball pass the wrong side of the post. Another welcome change is the removal of automatic computer actions, which has seen many controllers broken after the COM decides to slide tackle the opposition striker in the box. Thankfully, no automatic slide tackles or clearances were seen during the playtest and Konami say they have been removed from the game.
One more positive note is the goalkeepers seem to better at handling shots. A couple of shots were still split by Valdes and Reina but on the whole they did look better during this brief showcase.
After the playtest had finished, the Konami staff gathered plenty of feedback from PESFan and the other community sites in attendance, WENB and PES Gaming, and the press ready to send to Japan for analysis. As a result, hopefully some of the slight niggles brought up will be removed and a couple of brief suggestions will be implemented.
Even though this version of PES 2010 was still a long way off finished, the signs are encouraging. Some of the major drawbacks of PES 2009 are being addressed and several new features will give the game a new lease on life. Add this to the overhauled Master League and ‘lagless’ online gaming, the King may indeed return come October.