Yup! The new babe is out. The latest of the PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER series from KONAMI, in the form of a demo, has come out at last. The weeks of frantic waiting has finally paid off. Yes it has! The change is on the horizon. The king is back. The virtual Legends.. blah blah.. I’m making it too dramatic aren’t I? Well cut the chase, I’m throwing you right into the mix. And trust me, I wasn’t joking on what all I said just now. PES 2011 (Demo) ROCKS! (Download the demo here)
After an year of playing PES 2010, which seemed to be ‘a step in the right direction’ although not a total evolution package, a few decades of seasons in Master League, BAL, tournies and ungiven red cards and penalties, I did complain. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the only football game out there I could enjoy.
Working out for a goal, passing the ball around in the midfield, raging runs down the wings, all those seemed to be wondrous at first, but later as I started noticing the glaring mistakes, it was something not really entertaining, but actually frustrating. But I still kept going at it.
I wanted the change. I wanted it real bad. (btw FIFA doesn’t give anything of that sort at all..
From the first click onwards, PES 2011 reacts in such a way to find yourselves having a growing thrill and excitement in you. The menu is now a slick slider with loads of modes for the showing. On the demo, you can only get to play an exhibition match of 10 mins. Upto 2vs2 is available for team selection.
There are only 4 teams that are available in the demo game. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Copa Liberatoders sides Chivas del Guadelajara and Internacional. So at a time, to play against each other, you can only choose two of the majors (as the screen shows).
The game plan menu is elaborately redesigned. The Hexagon of powers and stats are back and the tactics and team management strategies are now hidden in an ocean of options. There are lots to go through before a game. Substitutions are simpler now with a neat drag and drop mechanism.
The camera features a tilt angle which is nice and easy on the eyes. Once the match starts, the cam lifts a little and spans the pitch from a sideways angle, like the broadcast cams found in the English Premier League.
The first thing you notice right after kick off is the way the players react. A COMPLETE revamped animation system along with a smoothness factor almost can stun you into not reacting, or maybe you will be smiling (like I did).
Out on the pitch, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is, for us, the most realistic looking football game to date. Player movements are slick and feel natural, and the flight of the ball is much more authentic than the dead-weighted pig bladder of previous versions. Up close, player likenesses are accurate – James Thorton, a reviewer.
The game play is completely enhanced with a lot more intuitiveness and detail coming in the fold. Its not just the crisp visual details, it also wants you to put crisp delicate movements (like in a real football match). There are power bars for almost everything now. The passing system is modeled onto a semi-assisted setup, so point into any direction, you can play the ball in. And the power bar helps in how far the ball will travel. I have over hit and under hit the ball countless times now, so it does require a lot of practice. Now that along with the 360’ movement, you are going to have a gala time supplying the ball in any direction, if you can pull it off well.
When Xavi scored against me… he was too good with a move. 🙁
Throw-ins too have power bars, removing the old feature of one button for long throw and another for short.
Even the headers come with power bar. But be noted that you would rocket the ball or more like, plant your head in the ball’s flight to get a touch to it. So now the game requires us to make, as I said, delicate touches to get subtle movements on screen. Without good timing, you wont get your headers right.
Quick feet dribbling is back and way we can change directions to evade opponents looks so natural, that its actually fun to mock someone off.
Schweinsteiger changing directions to send Villa the other way. Really Neat!
One feature that really catches me out is the way the defending has been upgraded. When you are a defender, you can turn away from your goal and press X to create a body presence in front of the opponent, cautiously waiting for his next move. You would treading backwards this way. And another point, no more is the automated defensive presence, you will have to bring more of your team mates on your own, expect to see more of pressure and as well.
Another thing i really like is the way the way players jostle around the pitch. So that means, physical structure would be a factor to fare on the pitch. Imagine Messi with his speed against a bulldozing Vidic. Speed vs bulk would definitely be something to think about, either it would leave Vidic to eat dust, or send Messi to crash over, which he does occasionally (but he does get up very quickly)
Ibrahimovic vs Lahm. The Body Balance stat.s really proves who will win the wrestling match.
Goal Keepers are more capable in stopping shots now, stopping a lot of long range thumpers and 1-1’s awesomely. But the goal keeper reaction after saving a ball still hasn’t improved. So its not really possible to quickly start a counter attack through the him.
And that’s the only way you can stop Messi. He runs like blitzkrieg around the defenders, and the way he strikes and supplies the ball. Brilliant. Notice the motion blur? 🙂
Looking into the way things are set out right now, i don’t think you will be able to split apart a defense with one man alone, or send around a ping ponging ball between the players and all those stuff from the previous versions. Almost everything has changed. It requires careful skill, mastery and technique to beat out a good team now.
I gotta say the PES of old has begun to rise again. This is a big improvement from what we got last year and all, so i am more than happy (i was already) to find another awesome version to spend the gaming year upon.
The game might be tough cookie to start with, and it will take time to master. And that’s what Konami is best at, they make you work hard to reach there, and when you reach there, its an awesome feeling.
A comment from a forum to make you happy
“The strangest thing happened to me. The CPU Iniesta intercepted a ball in his half and didn’t just start running. He stopped dribbling and looked for a pass. Beautiful.”
And a video to describe what a 1000 photos would be able to.
On the Demo, after every match, you are shown the long trailer over and over again. There is a way to stop this. Just do the following.
1) Go to your installation directory and open Settings.exe
2) There, tick the “Disable Movie Playback” checkbox and the video will stop playing.
Enjoy the demo. Cheers!
P.S – I will keep updating this post as more as I play the game.