Looking for WENB? Next Gen Base is now the new home for everything previously on WENB.

Continuous Play : The key to realism?


There are many ways in which fans of football games wish to see the sport fully realized whether it be animations, ebb and flow of play, and even TV broadcast authenticity. However I can’t help feel that one vital component that would help further authenticate – or simulate – the experience further often goes unmentioned.

After the quick jump I will be offering up my own take as to how footy titles in general can look to fully replicate the sport, particularly in our beloved PES.

Continuous play. This was something mentioned by great friend of WENB, and Scandinavian community stalwart Cannigia in a podcast shortly after PES2010’s release. I will admit to initially being somewhat confused as to what he meant by the term, but further investigation has me of the opinion that he was more than just throwing out a random, personal ‘wish list’ idea and instead was touching on something that really could alter the dynamic of football games as we currently know them.

“How so?” I hear you ask. Well think about it. Right now what we have are games that arguably have a little too much focus on ‘TV broadcast’ authenticity to proceedings. By this I mean things like cut-scenes. This is something EA’s World Cup game has far too many of, even if you turn them off. More frequent and problematic however are ‘Jump-cuts’ at throw-ins, free-kicks and set pieces which jump the action forward in time while often reseting both teams positioning and formation in order to push the game along. We do currently have a somewhat temperamental quick free-kick option, but it doesn’t occur often enough in this players opinion.

So imagine it. The ball goes out of play for a throw-in and instead of the screen briefly going black and cutting to the player readying to throw with both teams formations and positioning reset, instead we have an invisible ‘virtual ball-boy’ placing the ball at the point where the ball went out of play and the nearest player approaching to get the game moving again. All this is done in real time so both teams still have control of their players in order to shift them into a suitable position for play restarting. Wouldn’t this really change up the flow of the game for the better and encourage the human player to be always switched on much like it would be if they were playing in real life? I honestly think so. I should add that things like ‘row z’ clearances would still be allowed play out to some degree so as the flow isn’t too frantic and is broken up a tad. The option to disable continuous play should also perhaps feature for those looking for a more familiar flow to play. Another possible option would be to enable/disable the clock ticking in these instances. Personally, I would prefer to have it continuing to tick with perhaps the time being re-allotted as the game goes into injury time.

Think now of set-pieces. I’ll use corner-kicks as the example here. The ball goes out and the virtual ball-boy places the ball on or near the spot(the taker could have a little approach and placement animation to perform if it were thrown/rolled out near which would be kinda cool!) while the game remains in wide cam again allowing both teams to move players into position to attack or defend the up and coming set-piece. Again, the requirement for the human player to be ‘always on’ becomes apparent.

I suppose the valid question would be what happens when the game cuts to the corner takers view. Well, do we really need the game to cut to this view is my question. I can accept that in a free-kick situation when you are opting for a strike on goal this player view would perhaps be required but not in a basic situation when all you want to do is get the game moving. I actually think free-kicks from deep inside your own half or even in certain areas of your oppositions half would be better managed from wide cam anyway. You could strike a happy medium I guess by allowing the player to switch views at the touch of a button which would result in the camera performing a dynamic ‘quick zoom and rotate’ to the behind the taker view. Again, it is all in real time with the option to ‘jump-cut’ the action in a traditional fashion at the fingertips of the player who has been awarded the free-kick/corner in question but comes at the expense of the positioning of players reseting. It could be an option that is enabled/disabled from the pre-match menu.

So where would this leave ‘TV broadcast’ authenticity? Well, when you think of the real sport, they(broadcast directors) actually have opportunities to go to close ups etc.., when a bookable/red card offence, nearest player is away from the touchline in order to get play going, sub, or injury occurs. Sometimes even the players themselves use a simple foul to break play in order to slow the game down so this is when the televised feel of the game could appear again. PES always has had a decent flow between ‘game cam’ and ‘broadcast cuts’ anyway so this really would not be changing a great deal. Hey, perhaps even deciding to play the game at this ‘quick restarts’ tempo regards free-kicks could affect fatigue and stamina just to make you think that bit more and actively encourage you to utilize these breaks in play. Of course, some form of compromise would perhaps have to be made for the online side of things but it would hardly be game breaking if it is the case that the game runs in a more traditional ‘videogamey’ fashion regards breaks in play. Online is and always will be it’s very own entity anyway.

One last thing. I might be missing something here but is the select button used for anything during the match. If not, shouldn’t this be the ‘call sub’ button and only when the ball goes out of play are you presented with the formations screen with the start button only pausing the game when necessary and there only being camera, player settings and sound options available? I just think this would again help the flow of the game.

I would really like to hear the community take on what I have discussed, and as always the platform in which to do so is HERE

Thanks again to Cannigia for his mentioning of ‘continuous play’ some time ago.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments