Just over one week ago we asked our community for any gameplay related questions they had ahead of WENB’s latest playtest of PES 2013. After a huge response on both our comments section on the front page and in our forums, we are delighted to present to the community the first part of our post-playtest feedback.
In this first post, we will cover shooting, passing and dribbling/movement. Not all the questions asked by our community could be answered due in part to both what time we had to play the game, and also what was available in the build at this stage. The questions asked have been compiled in a document which shall be revisited as we get more time with the game in future but remember, it might not be too long before you will playing the game yourselves!
Shooting/Efforts on Goal
”Additionally you can use the right stick to put swerve on the ball (push it left or right), add backspin (push forward) or execute a lob (pull back). It takes some getting used to, but eventually – somewhere around game seven – we curl in an absolute peach with Ronaldo. It offers a new level of control that sits naturally with the game’s more deliberate pace. “We couldn’t have a really zippy game and still have this level of control,” offers Murphy.” – Is this the case in the game?
Inconclusive in our time playing. This is not to say it isn’t present and it could maybe be something that is only available when firing off a ”manual” strike at goal. One for the training ground methinks to see if this indeed the case.
Have bicycle volleys been toned down and again, is there generally more variety in how players look to volley the ball?
Bicycle volleys do appear greatly toned down and the new first-touch mechanics could be playing a part here, as you are now able to get take the ball out of the air that little more confidently and quickly should you get the timing right. As for variety in volleyed efforts on goal, there did look to be more variety apparent, although maybe not a huge leap in variety from PES 2012 at the moment. Player ID – like so many other aspects of this years game – could see a little more variety sprinkled throughout.
L1 curling shot by players with ”dipping” and ”drive” Index Cards – Is this still overpowered resulting in an unrealistic success rate?
Too early to call at this early stage. I can confidently say I never scored nor conceded with this shot variety in our short time playing. This is something that has been highlighted to developers before our playtest and we will continue to keep on an eye on this.
Is the transition between the new first touch/flick-up moves to an effort on goal smooth and more importantly believable in look and player ability?
The transitions in these instances can look very clean, or very ugly and that is largely dependent on user skill and that of the player they are controlling. It should be added that with the game still in development, some smoothing out of all the transitions in the game could still materialise, though perhaps not massively so. It does look and feel great when you get the timing right with a Messi or Ronaldo in these situations due to their high technique, pace, and overall explosiveness.
Are we going to have control over the power and the height of the shots?
Yes and yes. The manual modifier allows for full control over power in a standard shot and with there now being a low shot variant (L2 + Triangle) users will have more command over how they strike the ball, with player stats still playing some part.
Has ‘slide shooting’ occurrence been dramatically reduced? Do shot animations in general now look more realistic and varied?
Slide shooting was not something I witnessed, at all, but it would foolish of me to say that it has gone completely or has massively improved regards logic and variety at this juncture. Shooting animations in general do look better/more realistic, with the addition of Player ID unique animations on top of these improvements. Ronaldo striking the ball mirrors the real players variety of techniques.
Does the R2 finesse shot feel and look better in execution? Are they more prominent in that every player can do them with stats dictating quality of shot?
They look far better and generally just look far more deliberate, with players clearly opening up their body in order to get the desired whip and curl on the ball, yes. It certainly appears that every player has the ability in their arsenal but stats/player index still play their part.
Does pressing shoot feel like last gen in that the longer you press the harder the shot? What improvements or changes have been made to regular (non-manual) shooting since PES2012? Can it still feel quite random regards placement?
At this early stage, there is a case to be made that shooting model could be the best it has ever been in a PES title, though not without some further tweaking/improvement still required. Standard shooting does feel a tad looser, allowing for better placement and the manual modifier offers a level of control in placement not found in any previous PES title.
Is the manual shooting different with the players or it is the same for every player? Is manual shooting available from anywhere on the pitch? If you want to shoot from 35 yards or so can you use the manual shot modifier to take a manual shot from this distance? Does the manual modifier work for every type of shot such as the chip etc?
There is generally a ”competent” level of variety in place when players take a shot a goal and some players blessed with Player ID will doubtless have their own style to boot – Ronaldo’s style is mimicked near perfectly. Manual shooting is indeed available from anywhere on the pitch, though it seemed that only the games better strikers of a ball could really drive them from range. Not to say lesser players cannot strike the ball hard, but early hands-on suggests that stats will still have influence if you look to be too ambitious with a lesser skilled player. Using the manual modifier in conjunction with other shot types proved inconclusive, apart from manual lobs, which are performed by pressing R1 after powering up a manual strike.
Does/will manual shooting have its own configuration setup?
The developers have stated that they will be looking into and considering this after it has been asked numerous times by press and community. The thing about the manual modifier when striking the ball at goal is that players go to strike the ball quicker, thus it appears more than just a manual modifier but a shot variant in itself, beyond being able to place it where you want.
Is a low manual shot really executed by pressing L2 + Triangle?
Yes, and after much thought I think it is right that it is. With low shots not needing the player to have to worry about blazing a shot too high, I think it is right that it becomes a user skill – a mechanic which requires some thought by the user, not to mention that it forces a re-wiring of the muscle memory we players have regards shooting in football games over the years. Many have said that the low manual shot should be a double tap/press and tap of square but my concern is that would be too easy and low shots could become an exploit over time as it wouldn’t be asking too much of the user. It is important to have controls that are not overly complex regards the basics but when you start implementing more user control, I think it is necessary to have some things that require that little bit more dexterity/quickness of thought.
Penalties : can you use the manual shot function when you take a penalty?
Again, this was something not present in the code but has been asked of the developers to consider. Jon has stated that since the event there have been tests already regards the use of manual modifier in set-pieces.
Heading : is it easier to direct and control your headers on goal in this version? The rule as opposed to the exception in 2012 was a header would always loop – normally miles over – and lack any feeling of being able to dictate strength and placement by the user.
Headers still feel quite tricky and a bit lacking in logic regards placement and power but with the ball physics/weight feeling much better and the game feeling generally more free, there appeared to be an increased variety in how the ball travels after it leaves a players head when passing or shooting with the head.
Not sure if this is already in the game, I for one have tried and think it’s not: In PES 2013, are you able to lob a bouncing ball? Not a chip! I’m talking about a cheeky deft lob over the keeper. Most times when you play a lofted through ball, you don’t have an option to do that.
Unfortunately, I was never presented with a situation in which to try this but will ask around to see if others found this to be the case. It certainly should be considered for inclusion and will be feed back to the development team.
How are the chip shots and the curl shots in one-on-one situations, including penalties? The way the players attempt these kind of shots look unnatural in previous current game games. When the player is one-on-one with the keeper, they usually open up their body to curl the ball around the keeper (not turn 90 degrees to goal) Chip shot are rarely ever done with the side of the foot.
As stated previously, there is a general improvement in both variety and execution of shooting animations currently. The R2 curl shot looks far more realistic, with players opening their body up and wrapping their foot around the ball. Chip shots did look similar for the most part but they were not something I tried often. I did score a cheeky chip using a lofted pass when clear through which looked pretty sweet!
How will the new manual shooting affect the difference for D-Pad users versus Analogue Stick Users? Is it 360 degree manual or 8 directional?
This is something I never tried as I like to have attack/defence emphasis as well as strategy assigned to the D-Pad; something for those players who still use D-Pad to experiment with but, if possible, we will try to get some clarity on this issue. It would seem highly unlikely that 360 placement would be possible via the D-Pad.
Have passing animations been improved?
Improved in terms of there being some more variety, yes. Players now use their instep more regularly and there were some neat little flick and reverse pass animations – there were even some cheeky wee lay-off animations apparent as well and speaking only for myself, I did find the variety was contextual and more logical to pass power and placement. This is an area where Player ID again could play its part.
You can do a high arc pass and a more driven ”high” pass – how are these performed? How are the new driven long passes? Is their implementation such that they add something to the game or does the controls and ball speed make them tricky?
The lower arc lofted pass is performed by just pressing the lofted pass button, with higher arc requiring R2 to be pressed. I liked this method as with the overall pace of the game being reduced, it does mean there is more in the way of fluidity to be found in the passing game. The caveat to all this is that this means greater precision and spatial awareness is key, plus the new first-touch mechanics need to be utilised in order to gather in these more driven passes, particularly with players not blessed with great technique. The balance – the risk/reward element – does feel pretty good at this stage.
What are the full manual settings like? More specifically, is there a passing option similar to the one in PES 2011? Is the passing system better than pes 2011?s?
Playing with zero assistance was more demanding but in a good way. The passing system currently feels closer to PES 2011 than it does PES 2012 and again, with the pace of the game being reduced, the passing game arguably feels better than PES 2011’s as a result. Even using three bar assistance offers a very pleasingly free feeling passing game.
Have lofted through balls been improved any in relation to pace, variation in loft/arc and of course recipient awareness?
As already touched upon, lofted passes feel much improved thanks to the lower arc variety being the default. There was a nice level of variation in place thanks to player abilities and yes, recipient awareness is improved. There was one instance where my human opponent played a lofted through ball to send a player clear and instead of the ball carrying towards the keeper, the ball held up when it bounced as a result of the backspin applied to the pass.
If the game has indeed slowed down, does the passing still retain some zip but not at the expense of a feeling of weight? Also, if the passing game is more free does it allow for crisp, confident passing moves in very tight situations?
The passing game does still have a satisfying zip but it is well balanced in relation to overall game speed and sensation of weight. The combination of there being more freedom to pass placement and the new dynamic 1-2 system does indeed allow for some crisp, short passing movements that are very easy on the eye. Thankfully, it did not feel too easy and merely entirely possible should you get your angles, weight and off the ball movement spot on.
How does individuality come through when it comes to passing? You talked about how passing was more free, but are players like Xavi better at distributing the ball than say a CB?
Individuality in passing certainly apparent. Xavi strokes the ball about with more confidence, precision and zip than his team mates and opposition. It was when hammering the dynamic 1-2 feature throughout my playtest did the level of individuality really come through as playing neat wee triangles with Barcelona was easier than it was with say Flamengo, and it wasn’t just because they were a bit quicker but due to the players passing ability. I also found that better passers could play more effective lofted, reverse, flair and first-touch passes.
Has first time passing been improved? In 2012 it often felt unresponsive and very often it never happened. Is there a greater feeling of control and agility to passes played on the volley? Does any improvement on stats impact on players ability to play first time passes?
Performing first time passes with the right player feels much better, which was again highlighted when looking to use the dynamic 1-2 feature. Players of any ability can of course try to play first time passes but results will be mixed due in no small part to the game demanding a more measured approach to build up, thanks to first touch being key. It’s as if they have looked to temper any potential for ping-pong passing to manifest by lowering the pace of the game and encouraging more expression and precision. Volleyed passes certainly looked that little more agile and varied, dependent on the player executing them.
Are scoop passes possible?
I never witnessed anything that would pass as being a scoop pass, no, but there were some other passing animations that could pass as being cheeky/inventive.
Have konami fixed the ‘bug’ where you pass the ball to your player then for some reason the intended recipient of the pass suddenly just stops running and gives possession away?
The whole game feels more responsive/aware when it comes to passes into space, crosses and loose balls.
Power bar: ln last year’s game, you can hold the power bar to max (lofted pass) and the ball will never go out, does this still happen? is it still under-powered?
Thankfully no! Over hitting lofted passes is very much apparent, as is having cross field passes easily cut out by the opposition if you are not using the right player or arc.
Can you redirect the pass after having pressed X? In previous games you were allowed to correct the pass direction if required, so long as the player had not struck the ball.
A very good question and one in which I am unfortunately unable to offer a conclusive verdict on. This is partly to do with me employing my own instinctive corrective measures via super cancel, and also down to me rarely experiencing any moments in which a pass went nowhere near where I intended. A window of opportunity to correct or re-direct a pass once the button is pressed should be present in my opinion. This is something that perhaps requires the user to deliberately do to see if it does exist. Hopefully a future playtest or demo will reveal that is this is the case and if it isn’t it should be noted in any feedback.
Has the power bar changed in any way, both in terms of appearance and way of working?
No change to appearance but it’s way of working seems better and much closer to PES 2011 than it is PES 2012.
Is manual crossing in? Is the standard crossing using no modifier allow for more in the way of placement? Is there more freedom of movement in positioning the recipient of a cross?
Manual crossing is in place and standard crossing did feel as though it allows for more in the way of placement. All this is complemented by a welcome variety to crossing animations. Like the improved mobility and awareness of players when it comes to latching onto passes or pouncing on loose balls, positioning the recipient of a cross does feel improved, though that could have more to do with better crossing in general than it does positioning the recipient.
The previous two titles have offered the ability to play very short lofted passes – is this still in place? Is it possible to play very, very short exchanges and lay-offs too?
Both are catered for thanks to variety in lofted passes, the introduction of dynamic 1-2’s, greater awareness to loose balls and the generally more free and expressive feel to gameplay overall.
How does the new dynamic one-two feature actually work and does it seem that it could imbalance play? Is its effectiveness dependant on players individual abilities and overall teamwork?
Dynamic 1-2’s are performed by pressing L1 + X, then immediately flicking the right stick in any direction you desire; it soon became something I did instinctively in the right (and sometimes wrong!) situations. The reason I looked to use it so often was to see if it could become an exploit but on the evidence available during the play test, it should at the very least not prove to be an easy exploit as not only does it depend on the players and team, but also that the defensive AI appeared wise and alert to it. Next to manual shooting it was the stand out feature for me on the day and genuinely innovative.
Can you apply some ‘aftertouch’ to passes as you apparently now can with shooting?
Like the alleged shooting after-touch, I can not be certain that this is the case.
Dribbling, Control & Movement
Is it easy to dribble through everyone and score goals with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo – Speed Merchant Index still a near superhuman trait in the game that imbalances play?
Not easy to waltz through entire defences and score, but you can cause havoc with these players – which you should be able to in all honesty. However, the new defensive mechanics suggest that containing these players should be easier and if need be – like in the real sport – defenders can look to stop them in their tracks by committing a ”clever” foul. The development team have advised that the online game will also be subject to a slower pace, with the logic being that this should result in a more realistic balance to play. They are aware of users woes in this department, especially in the online arena. It is probably too early to say categorically that these issues have been completely eradicated.
Is it possible to beat a slow defender with a speedy attacker with a touch of the directional button and sprint like it was in PES 6 or is it more complicated? Do fast players feel ‘fast’?
Because there is now a button input (double tap X) to perform standing tackles, beating defenders with simple stick movements and sprint can be easier should the defender get their timing wrong. If they show some smarts and utilise contain, distant contain and double pressure things will prove trickier, like the should. This is something that a more complete build with a wider spectrum in quality of teams will clarify better. Fast players certainly feel ‘faster’ or more explosive than found in PES 2011 and PES2012 and it is because of the slower pace of the game.
Do ‘bad’ players have poorer first touch? Are attributes involved in calculating players’ first touch ability and variety? Also, has CPU’s ability to glide through you with even a player who is not a great dribbler been toned down/eradicated? Does player condition/stamina take its toll on players ability to control the ball well?
What was picked up on by Adam was that he felt he needed to be utilise the new first touch controls with lesser teams compared to when using a Barcelona or Real Madrid, thus it would seem less skilled/technical players will demand that you are considered and deliberate in controlling the ball. Attributes would seem to play their part to some degree as looking to take a first touch with Messi perhaps requires less use of the first touch mechanics – not that you won’t need to on occasion – as he has near immaculate technique. As for CPU ability/tendency to glide through your players with a lesser skilled player, it does seem toned down given the time we had to play the game. Regarding stamina/condition impacting on first touch, the players did look to generally tire, though whether this impacts on quality of their control it would not be wise for me to say for certain if this is the case.
Are there any new animations for bringing the ball out of the air? We saw some great additions in one of the E3 videos but not many bringing it down on the knee or chest?
I have to be honest here and say I personally didn’t see any such animations but the new first-touch mechanics and Player ID feature could see this kind of thing surface with more playing time. There is more variety and options to first touch in general and it would be a shame if this was not extended to how players take the ball out of the air.
Will there be a more ‘dramatic’ fake shot? The visual feedback has lacked satisfaction in recent years.
Absolutely, yes! In the most recent podcast Adam spoke of how he beat two defenders with Neymar using a scoop turn shot feint. Within the new first-touch controls there are four first touch feint varieties in place as well, so not only are they more ‘dramatic’ in execution and potential impact, but there is also a nice variety available as well now.
Is it possible to do step-overs without the right stick like in the old pes (R2/ L1)?
No. Auto step-overs for more skilled players when the stick is in a neutral position while the ball carrier is advancing are still in place and on a personal level, I am happy that this remains the case as it adds some character to certain players. Manual step-overs are still executed via right stick quarter and half rotations. Some of the drag-backs are now executed with left stick prompts.
What are the new skills in the game and any indication of the amount? We’ve seen in the trailer that the Ribery turn was added, so there must be more tricks but are there more for non Player ID treated players?
Along with the flick (R3) and first-touch controls, there are some new moves such as nutmegs, run-arounds/knock-ons, and sombrero flicks. There is also a double touch move like Iniesta’s La Croqueta, with the difference being that it is performed with less quickness of foot and grace in which the Barca star performs it. This move makes ”lane changes” far easier to execute than the were in PES’ 2011 and 2012.
Does skill and ability on the ball scale well, in that poorer players might not have the same move set as a more gifted, technical player?
Like the last two editions, it comes down to players overall ability dictating how effective they can execute the skills available. Better players do perhaps possess quicker feet and thus perform skill moves quicker and little incidental touches of flair do surface when using standard/deft-touch dribbling.
Does turning with the ball still take ages if you are not in possession with a world-class player? Are non world-class players generally more responsive when in possession? This is something we would like to know about when it comes to deft-touch dribbling as well.
There was some comment that deft-touch dribbling is too powerful for all players and initially I was in agreement. It was only after further play in the afternoon did I start to see/feel that lesser skilled players perhaps do not exit out of deft-touch dribbling quite as sharply or are not as skilled as they look. I even witnessed some lesser skilled players lose control (think previous PES’ ”glitch out” of side-step move, though not quite as awkward looking) when trying to perform quicker changes in direction while using the deft-touch dribbling mechanic. I can appreciate others observations here (defenders dragging the ball back and performing sole of the boot moves can look a little unrealistic) but my fear is that if it is tampered with too much in order to make them look less skilled, we could end up with granddad turns (PES2010) or side-step locking(PES’ 2011 and 2012) surfacing. The fact is the engine is limited and pretty much performing at its maximum, so maybe some aesthetic oddities should be tolerated if it means greater stability to the game overall.
Is there more ‘depth’ to acceleration? In PES2012 every player reaches top speed almost immediately with no real indication of effort. This is particularly a problem in online as it causes an attack/defence balance issue.
While an ”analogue” sprint mechanic does not feature, a sense of building acceleration/momentum is a wee bit better realised thanks to the reduction in speed of the game. Regards the online concern regarding this, the developers have said that the reduced pace of the game extends to online. Like all things online in any game, the truth will out in the playing.
Part two will follow shortly where we will provide answers to questions asked in relation to defence, goalkeepers and AI amongst others. WENB would like to thank the everyone again for the huge response to our Community Q & A drive, as well as Konami for allowing us access to the game at such an early stage.