Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 Hands on Preview
Platform PS3, Xbox360
Release Date Oct 2012 TBC
The football season has kicked off again and that means only one thing, Konami’s flagship football title is almost set for release. Pro Evolution Soccer 13 aims to further add to the big improvements seen in recent years. This year Konami are promising to carefully redevelop and refine the controls, adding deeper levels of freedom and by building a more complex AI engine.
We had a chance to sit down with Senior Producer Naoya Hatsumi and PES Project Leader Jon Murphy to run through the improvement that have been made in preseason training.
The big improvement to the visual appeal of the game comes in the form of “Player ID” which aims to deliver a more realistic interpretation of the player’s real life counterparts. Over 50 of the top stars have had their characteristics studied in detail and then recreated in the game. Everything from the way they stand, run, control the ball along with their shooting technique right the way down to their trademark goal celebrations.
The major announcement is the new gameplay mechanic “Manual Control” this ensures the player has full control over both passing and shooting. Essentially this gives the player complete control over where the ball goes. Whether that is a simple short pass, a long cross field lob or a delicate through ball. It also gives the player greater control over shooting so now when you miss that easy one on one there is no one to blame but yourself.
As this is a new feature you have the option to turn manual controls on persistently or to have it controlled with the L2 button. If you choose to leave them on constantly it does take some time to get to grips with it but once you do it does work incredibly well.
For those who wish to ease their way into the new control mode you can turn on an option that requires you to press L2 to engage the system. Without L2 pressed the game plays normally. When you hold L2 you engage the new system and get the new full control over your passing and shooting. This is useful in the beginning and best used for those times when you have a little bit of extra time on the ball to think about what you are doing.
In a further step to help you settle in to the new system there is an option that you might have seen in the trailer but didn’t notice in the demo and that is the arrows that are surrounding the players showing you the direction the ball will travel. This is to assist you in picking that perfect pass, again this is just until you get to grips with it and can be turned off once you are conformable with the new system.
“Proactive AI” is what makes the game flow like a real match. The more erratic moments of previous titles have been eradicated and now players will be better at reacting to losing the ball by tracking back and holding defensive lines which plays into the new improved tackling system along with closing down space. In attacking modes the players will make more intelligent runs when not in possession of the ball.
Master league is still the fans favorite mode and along with some improvements to master league online comes the great news that a lot of work has gone into improving the transfer system especially the contract breakdowns.
It was a long running issue with the transfer system that once the player refused your contract offer that was it, this year it will be much clearer as to why a player refuses the transfer. He might want more money, a longer deal or might just think he is too good for you but at least you will know how to get the player you want.
Konami are on the verge of announcing some extra licensing deals in the coming week and also hope to release a second demo that will be closer to the final build.