…Yet some pictures can tell a thousand stories.
Forgive the optimism here folks, but PES2011’s first render screen has ones imagination running amok somewhat. Never before in recent memory has a simple piece of artistic rendering suggested so much beyond the beauty of the image itself.
Stick with me on this one after the jump.
For the potential “thousand stories” look no further than what the press release states as being an overhaul to the games animation engine “from the ground up”. Actions speak louder than words however and it pays great testament to the dual force of PES/WE Productions and the Blue Sky Team that even this simple picture almost backs up these lofty claims all by itself. It is an image that clearly states, in this observers opinion, that change is most certainly afoot for the beloved series. No longer do we have the one head and shoulders shot of the cover star that introduced the world to the look of PES2010 (which was pretty bloody impressive nonetheless and did it’s job well at the time), nor is it anything like the one full player model pose that shortly followed it when that games press release hit. It could be argued that the quality of the graphics themselves are playing second fiddle this time out and are not of primary focus. Instead we have something that could have been born out of fan feedback, in that it tries to show more movement (if at all possible in a picture) and along with it the proposed changes the game is undergoing for the 2011 instalment. All this being done within the classic, teasing formula which is the norm in the industry. The idea of a teaser screen is surely to generate interest and surely to get the die-hards and potential buyers itching to know more. Mission accomplished one would think.
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the image itself.
Take a look at the full-res image HERE and come back to me. Off you go. It’s really rather splendid!
Power, pace, athleticism, and most strikingly, freedom. These were the first impressions that screamed out from within me when I first laid eyes upon it, yet there is also a heavy sprinkling of grace and gravity to go with it. Messi’s player model looks leaner than before and in the frames on the right in particular, he looks like a player with great balance and speed on the ball. I would go as far to say that some of the poses on the right look eerily familiar to stills of the real Messi in action that I have seen in the various press coverage available on hard copy and the internet. Nothing looks ‘canned’ so to speak or simply generated with a basic animation engine. It all looks so dynamic and probably more importantly, organic. Free at last!
Then of course we have the little details. Looking closely you can see what appears to be more ‘movement’ in the kit itself. It now looks a lot more like fabric in how it sits on the player model and how it creases. I also think what is truly worthy of note is the level of detail in things like the arms and hands, with hair and textures in place. Even the variety of hand gestures from one pose to another all contribute to that sense of organic freedom of movement that the development team are looking to project for this years game as the “Engineered for Freedom” tag-line(Well done here Konami!) in the accompanying video clearly states. Look closer again and you can even see finer details in things like creases in the palms of his hand and also distinct finger nails.
One final point to close. What you have read thus far is purely from the eyes of a man with PES in his heart which will lead to me looking beyond the picture. When I asked my girlfriend what the image conjured, it was that it looked like an army of Messi’s charging into battle with great ferocity. This is something I found rather apt, as isn’t this exactly what Konami are looking to do with this year’s release? Take the fight to the opposition (EA)? What they do from now on in hopefully echoes in eternity!