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A Touch Of Beauty


A look at how one of the most important aspects of real life footy has been forgotten about in the present football gaming climate.

First of all, major apologies for the lack of anything on the PES front. It is very much the calm before the storm. Behind the scenes everything is gathering pace as we prepare for a significant year ahead, as Konami look reignite the passion in the PES fanbase.

One of the many reasons I feel they will achieve that is a re-focus into the fundamentals of the sport, and trying to accurately portray them into the game. So much was achieved in PES 2011 in this aspect, although the excessive implementation meant the things we championed the game for became the forefront of frustration soon after.

In PES 2012 the desire to make the game a more fluid and continuous experience broke many basic laws, and in turn propelled scripting into the forefront. PES 2013 takes a step back into reality.

In this article I want to take a look at first touch control. As any avid PES fans will tell you, R2 is seen as the avenue to unlocking a players first touch ability. Even before it was molded into such a thing, R2 has been a significant weapon in the PES series, even in the PS2 days. The ability to stop and go was fundamental in trying to beat a man, and slowing them down and using acceleration gave you that extra yard with a real sense of inertia. The thing is, its impact has been diminished dramatically in football games.

Bringing the ball under your spell is the most important attribute, and separates footballers across the board. With PES 2012, while the better players are able to twist and turn with more accuracy and pace, the control aspect is one rule for all. It’s polarized further when playing against the AI, where the less skilled players perform moments of brilliance they simply shouldn’t even attempt never mind pull off.

So, in terms of making steps towards creating a simulation experience, the first touch control would be a start especially if heavily stat based. The current model isn’t an extreme, so the impact of pressing R2 or not doesn’t have a significant bearing on the result. Making it key brings in another layer, and perhaps starts to create this experience that rewards players who choose to master its many elements.

In the individuality stakes, it also heightens the importance of technical players and separates them from the rest even further. Playing a possession game becomes a tactic that is only going to be available to you if you have the players who can trap the ball quickly and move it along, as a ponderous team will only make errors when trying to play with the ball that little bit too much. This in turn leads into what sort of formation you choose to play.

Suddenly you look at a 4-3-3 in a different way. Do you have players to be able to exploit a quick passing game and free up that tricky winger? Is the technical ability of your players that poor that packing the midfield would be a better option?

As you can see, such a key implementation that’s grounded in reality can suddenly unlock so much potential in a football game. It’s something no football game does right now, and an element I expect Konami to start to try and capture with PES 2013.

If they do, it would be a massive step in the right direction.

Let us know what you think!

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