E3 Pro Evolution 2012 Roundup

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Aaaaaand we’re back. With more video game goodness. This time let’s turn our attention to FIFA’s indie step-brother who wears scarves in the summer and listens to Lykki Li. Yup, we’re talking about Pro Evolution Soccer.

There was certainly less pomp and circumstance surrounding the Pro Evo camp at E3 in comparison to the jocks over at EA Sports. But that doesn’t mean a shortage of substance. Here are some highlights from the impressions PES12 got over the weekend…

Official PlayStation Magazine:

PES 2012 was Borderline astounding for me – not in terms of overall quality, but in the sense that last year’s game was so far behind FIFA 11 in terms of on-field gameplay, and that most definitely isn’t the case any more. This is a much slicker, more immediate experience, which harks back to the halcyon days of PES’s last PS2 years: zipping balls around in tight spaces, admiring the almost human AI of players off the ball (diagonal runs across and around defenders, something FIFA still hasn’t quite nailed, are a particular joy), and introducing an intriguing set piece concept where you can control a specific player on a corner, free kick or throw in, rather than the actual kicker himself.


The way computer controlled players keep up with you as you pass them the ball has been significantly improved. If you’re a more tactical player, the so called “dummy runs” now work as a distraction tactic in real-time, where your computer-controlled players create diversions to give you openings for goal opportunities. Konami says the game is around 70% complete and is staying tight-lipped on more details.


The final AI improvement we were shown was called Zonal Marking, which attempts to improve the defensive play of your teammates. Players will automatically pick up on attacking players’ runs, chasing them down and launching tackles. As well as AI improvements, we were shown one tweak to the controls, which allows you control players off the ball. For example, if you’ve got a throw in or a free kick, you can move other players around the pitch, as well as line up your throw or shot.

Winning Eleven Blog:

Iker Casillas made a superb double save which you would struggle to come across in the retail version of PES 2011 let alone the E3 build. The fact that he reacted so promptly to the rebound after his first save, is what made the entire scenario so impressive. The Spaniard didn’t get up and then stand around like a zombie admiring Pique’s beard for a couple of seconds; he got up as soon as realistically possible and made the second save.

Just received a free kick in a dangerous area on the wing and want to knock the ball into your star striker so he can try and score?! Flick the right stick in the direction of your star striker’s position and he will be highlighted. You can then move him around to a position you like, press the cross button and whip the ball in. He might not score, but you have certainly given him a better opportunity to do so. It’s incredible, it really is. It’s also very intuitive and easy to understand, meaning players of all skill levels can give it a go.

Animations have also received some attention, quite a few new ones have been added and the majority of the older ones have been tweaked for added fluidity and realism. These improvements in the animation department shine ever so brightly during gameplay as you glide across the pitch with Messi like a graceful ballerina. Not that Messi is a ballerina, of course!

Well, he kind of is. Just a footballing ballerina.


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