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No Longer 'Messi' In Motion!


Good god I am loving creating these little tag lines! All inspired by Konami’s recent efforts of course, which me brings on to the subject of today’s full announcement trailer for PES2011. A lot for us to get our teeth into so after the small jump (or huge leap as it is in PES’ case) we will get straight down to it methinks.

There has always been a feeling of anxiety – to go along with the anticipation – that overcomes me and I’m sure many others in the huge PES community when it comes to a full announcement trailer for the latest game. The last couple of years have not been particularly kind to us fans but, somewhat ironically, the ghosts of trailers past offered something of comfort to me as I went to view PES2011’s video reveal.

To elaborate, previous instalments of the game on next-gen might not have blown us away completely with their first video announcement. What has to be said however is that Konami have always looked to show off the tech that will drive the game as best they can within the context of a teaser. Last years trailer, when you look back at it, did exactly that and probably more so than ever before.

PES2011’s video unveiling keeps the same philosophy yet does so more confidently and in a more streamlined manner to boot.

The first thing that got the hairs standing up on the back of my neck was nothing more than the black screen and the PES logo silently revealing itself. Simple but effective, this silence ensured I had focus on what was coming next. No trendy soundtrack here and instead some stripped down drum-led funk got things going. They have me won over already what with my musical tastes being as they are!


Messi chesting the ball down, killing it dead with his right foot before beautifully sweeping off a pass with his left looks magnificent and is done so quickly yet in an earthy, realistic fashion that represents the real players speed and grace very accurately. Before this move plays out however we are greeted with the message “The game of football attracts fans” followed by “Anticipating the clash of giants” Now, maybe it is just my mischievous nature and me looking too deep, but could Konami be rather cleverly suggesting that the clash of giants in question is that between themselves and EA? I would love to think that this might well be the case. I am going with it anyway!

Moving on, we then see Messi apparently ready himself for a pass. What stands out here in particular are his quick glances left and right while he is constantly on the move. No standing idly by or generic running animation to be seen, just…well…an incredibly natural looking passage of movement (Is this a hint towards the “Ambient Animation” mentioned in the press release?) What then follows is the digitally recreated young Argentinean start to flow seamlessly into a run forwards. He gathers pace as opposed to just breaking into a flat out running motion as has been the case in previous games. Also noticeable is that he starts this run by planting his right foot almost across his body in order to change direction subtly before allowing the ball to pass across him.

It is here where we see the first evidence of what looks like a running animation, but it is hard to even call it that as it again looks very much like no more than a simple movement into space. A good thing as it seems to be in keeping with “freedom” mantra. It is hard to tell due to the camera panning round, but could it be that the ‘rails’ are gone completely as well as ‘Baywatching’ and ‘Zombie – runs’? Time to put those speedos and shotguns away folks!

After moving into the space, the digitally re-created magician then shapes to receive another pass which he takes in his stride by subtly flicking the ball up with the outside of his left foot, takes a second controlling touch as the ball drops, while at the same time re-adjusting himself due to his momentum carrying him forward almost past the ball. A lovely little animation sequence that again looks so incredibly organic and instinctive. The games cover star then unleashes with the side of his favoured left foot as the ball sits up for him before wheeling away in what I would speculate is celebration as this one continuous shot of the action comes to a close. This as a plus point for the teaser as well – It is one continuous shot for the most part with no jump cuts or clutter that hamstrung last years video reveal.

But Konami aren’t finished yet! The image fades back in to show Messi pointing to the heavens(or The Blue Sky – Genius!) with both index fingers and in front of a jubilant crowd. The crowd do look pretty convincing shown out of focus as they are, but what stood out in particular was the level of detail in the player models arms and hands that show both bone and even vein detail. Probably a bit too much to ask for this to be featuring in the game itself but the attention to detail is impressive nonetheless.

Then those three magic words slowly appear on screen…

“Engineered for Freedom”

Yes! An excellent tagline for the new titles philosophy of the game we know and love, even if it has been a difficult relationship of late. The idea of the trailer was to tease, infer, suggest, as to what awaits us fans in the coming months. Safe to say it is job most certainly done Konami, job most certainly done and with some aplomb at that.

To summarise, PES2011’s first video outing was, as my own little tagline suggests (I can do it too!), showing that the game looks to be no longer ‘Messi’ in motion.

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