At this years E3 I was fortunate enough to get a presentation detailing what’s new for this year’s release of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) as well as some hands on time with it. The end result of these two left me with somewhat mixed feelings about the game.
The presentation involved many of what I would consider typical improvements you would expect in the game.
Key focuses were dynamic weather, new commentators and dialogue, new menus and cutscenes for Master League, improvements to My Club mode, visual upgrades, thousands of new animations, camera angle improvements, advanced collision, intelligent player AI among and the list goes on.
In my review of last years entry, I was left impressed with the predominate part of the gameplay however was disappointed with the lack of competitions to play in, particularly the A-League, the small pool of dialogue from the commentators as well as some issues with the way the post camera replay was organized.
In fairness, due to licensing issues, the availability of many competitions is out of their control. Regardless of this fact though, it did take away some enjoyment of their previous entries and this year looks to be no different.
The commentary was also noted by Konami to be expanded with more up to the minute gameplay derivative dialogue on offer. Unfortunately it was impossible to hear the game in the brief play time that I had and it is really something that you need a few hours with to truly judge.
As I only had one game, I also found it difficult to see how the post goal replay has changed. This is once again something I will need to try out once the game releases later this year.
While this may seem like a petty complaint, I did find that it took out much of the joy of scoring a goal in their previous entries.
Outside of this though, the game did seem decisively smooth and natural. Whether this was to do with the new animations or the new collision system they added I am not sure, either way it feels great to play.
The AI also seemed to be pretty intelligent with my teammates generally being in a good position. I was impressed by the AI in last years effort too and it looks as though I may be ever more astounded this year.
From my brief but enjoyable time with the game, I felt it plays very much into what I found was its strengths last year. I was however unable to see how it has improved with regards to some of the major complaints I had.
I guess I will have to wait until it launches in September on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 to find out!