Let me start this by saying that things will get a bit confusing for those PES fans that “deflected” to FIFA. The PES2013 demo was surprisingly good and I can say that the game has a lot of potential to it! The people at Konami have seriously put a huge amount of effort in bringing back the game that had the majority of fans back then. However, there were some tiny problems that I have encountered during my go with the demo. The following is my preview of the PES2013 demo:
Pro Evolution Soccer had always had great graphics and a slightly better feel of realism than FIFA (in my opinion at least). One thing worth mentioning is the realistic feel of players. Let’s take Italy’s national team for example: if you look at Pirlo, Balotelli, Magio and Barzagli, you will be amazed by how identical they are to the real players! The brightness and the view of the pitch are not disappointing as well.
Now that we are done with the least important thing, we head on to AI (Artificial Intelligence).
If you ask PES fans why they drifted away from PES, you would mostly hear “AI” as an answer. PES players had always been having problems with the automatic actions made by the AI during the match. Most of the time, you would find all your hard work simply thrown away by a stupid automatic action caused by the not-so-intelligent artificial intelligence. However, my experience with the demo had been full of sighs of relief as the AI actually works this time! The defensive line maintain great position throughout the game and make less stupid runs that break the defensive line. I absolutely loved the way players made their runs and took positions to help in creating better scoring chances. Runs and positioning even differ from a player to another depending on their teamwork skills and so on. However, one aspect of AI that Konami just couldn’t perfect throughout these years is Goalkeeping. Don’t get me wrong, the goalkeeper does a great job in diving and blocking and whatsoever; but, when it is a one on one situation and you hold the triangle button (Y button for the Xbox 360) to rush the keeper, you would find him running straight forward making it a whole lot easier for the attacker to pass him and score. You can still manually move the goalkeeper which is pretty useful at times; but, in terms of AI, this was a tiny bummer.
Now, that we are relieved with the Artificial Intelligence. We can finally go through the game’s features.
In PES2011, Konami introduced the “Engineered for Freedom” concept. To me, it basically ruined the game! You have to be perfectly precise with your analogue stick aiming to actually pass! While it slightly improved in PES2012, the players still struggled to run as the freedom of 360 degrees movement was preventing them from running on a straight line. In their third attempt in providing perfect freedom to the players, they actually nailed it! As they say, third time’s a charm! The players are now free to either use manual or automatic aiming during the game. This new feature is called PES FullControl.
Manual Passing and Shooting
By holding the L2 button or LT button, an arrow will appear next to the player you are moving. Aiming with the left stick, you can either pass, lob, shoot, perform a header or any sort of kicking the ball exactly where you want it. You can’t blame the game for not understanding where you wanted to put that crucial pass, you could have manually passed it! Although the arrow kind of blows your plan as it is obvious to your opponent where you want to pass. Performing the pass as fast as possible will give your opponent no chance in going into position to block it. It is all a matter of skill.
What PES FullControl also provides is “full control” over passing and receiving the ball. You can trap the ball, flick it, perform a one-touch pass, use its momentum to pass a player or whatever comes to your mind. It is basically how you would react as a footballer.
Another benefit of PES FullControl defense-wise is the numerous ways of defending. You have the option to slow down an attack by holding (R2 or RT) with (X or A), or tackle the player in any way possible. Tackling in PES had been seriously improved. Sliding tackles look fancier and are more effective. The new tackle that has been added is the stretching tackle. By double tapping the X or A button, the player will stretch his legs attempting to steal the ball. This tackle actually differs depending on the situation. If you run towards an opponent who is about to shoot, the player would actually throw himself to block the shot. How the defender will stretch his legs to steal the ball also differs by position. This really gives you full control to what you can do when defending.
This feature deserves a round of applause! It is absolutely incredible how identical most of the players are to the real deal. Not only in appearances, but also how they move, shoot and act. Take Balotelli for an example, the way he moves when he doesn’t have the ball is so identical you would laugh! Also, the way John Terry throws himself to block the ball looks like the real thing! This feature has been improved a lot since it was first introduced!
The feeling of a football game
PES2013 looks and feels much better than its predecessors. All the features and the freedom that has been put to it makes it feel like the perfect football game to play, though we have to wait for FIFA13’s demo to actually decide and boy would it be a tough one!
Here are the reasons why this game is more of a football game than its predecessors:
The addition of manual passing alongside the normal passing gives total freedom to what you can do. Stupid pass? You are the one to blame.
Shooting in PES2013 feels better than the frustrating shots in its predecessor. Power shots and finesse shots both look much better than before and are extremely realistic.
Dribbling and Skills
PES2013 has a lot of skills to perform that can be pretty much useful during the match. Mastering skills like “sombrero” or “double touch” can guarantee you more chances to score. Here is what I like about PES2013: every player can perform the skill moves; but, not everyone does it right. This is the formula of a perfect skill moves concept. The reason is, even a professional goalkeeper can perform a skill move in a training session or whatsoever. However, when he’s under pressure during the match, he would most certainly not do it well!
Dribbling in PES2013 has been improved as well. By holding R2 or RT while moving, the player will perform a “deft touch dribble” by keeping the ball as close as possible. The motion of each player when running differs thanks to Player ID. This is really a fun game to watch as well as play!
All in all, the demo was great. From what I have seen, PES2013 has what it takes to compete in the battle that used to be one-sided. I am pretty much excited for the final release of both PES2013 and FIFA13 to finally decide which game is the winner of this season’s competition. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 will be released on the 20th of September, 2012.