Be honest…you were like “damn this is a lot of info!” Our reaction was exactly the same! To see such a beefy press release this early speaks volumes about Konami’s confidence in PES 2016 as well as their apparent change in PR strategy.
Further more, announcing the release date for the 15th/17th September, a week before FIFA, signals their intent to get a head start on EA in hopes of impressing footy gamers ahead of the FIFA 16 launch. Now with that out of the way, let’s get right into the nuts and bolts of the press release and try to make sense of what this all could mean.
WHAT THEY SAID: Advanced Collision System – The physicality of the modern game has been realised in PES 2016 with a significantly improved collision system, calculating how players interact, creating a unique outcome depending on type of impact.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Realistic and natural looking collisions and interactions but nothing over the top. Physical players have an impact and are able to shield off and brush aside weaker players when jostling side by side. In old school PES, Patrick Vieira’s “presence” in midfield was apparent. You could feel him bossing midfield much like Yaya Toure should be doing in current PES (well when he’s not whining about his lack of birthday wishes.) This “presence” needs to be felt.
WHAT THEY SAID: Aerial Strength – With the new physicality system, aerial battles are a completely unique experience this year. Use the left stick to battle the opposition to disrupt a larger more powerful player, or find the best position to make the header/volley.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Big physical players rule the air with strength and smaller players can use positioning to disrupt bigger players. However, no longer should we see Messi score a header while going up in the air side by side with Pepe. This means no more predetermined outcomes on corner kicks or crosses as every ball is contested giving the user a feeling of satisfaction that he/she EARNED it which has been sorely lacking in PES.
WHAT THEY SAID: 1v1 Control – In PES 2016 the 1v1 player control have been enhanced, offering a wide range of movements with the existing controls. Response times have been improved allowing players to manoeuvre in tight situations, which also benefits the upgraded feint moves that allow sudden directional change that can cause defenders to lose their balance. The 1 on 1 situations now offer a great leap in exciting table-turning outcomes. Just as the real pitch offers opportunities for those brave enough to perform, players can pull off precise action, flexibly manoeuvre and pull away from the defender. Technique and timing lead to the defender to lose his balance, and creates great chances just as you pictured
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Fluidity and responsiveness. Players on the ball move and look more fluid and natural. No more clunky animations or ugly stitching with players transitioning seamlessly into their next animation. Right analog stick moves are responsive and no longer have latency. The PS2 PES dribbling feeling is back but this time built for next-gen tech. Because of this defending becomes an art. Speaking of…
WHAT THEY SAID: Perfect Defence – Performing a tackle at the perfect time will powerfully shove the player out of the way to secure the ball. The ball will immediately be yours, creating direct turnarounds and counter opportunities.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Pretty self-explanatory. We see this in the trailer with De Rossi’s tackle on Hamsik. Hopefully new physicality enables players to use their body to get better positioning in defensive situations to keep the balance of the game from getting out of hand in favor of attacking players. Think in real life of a big slow defender against a small fast dribbler and how the big defender uses his body to compensate for his lack of speed and blocks off the diminutive player trying to dribble by him.
WHAT THEY SAID: Intelligent Player AI – 2-3 player combination play will be available by the improved concept of team strategy, which depends on the type of tactic you set for your team. Players no longer are reliant on manually triggering a 1-2, with teammates intelligently running off passes into space.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Smarter A.I. This will hopefully translate to the CPU A.I. which on superstar in PES2015 was generic and frankly poor in its attack variation and unpredictability.
WHAT THEY SAID: Goal Keeper ID – In a bid to improve quality and add unique individuality in performance, new goal keeper parameters have been added, that now vary in Catching, Clearance, Collapsing and Deflecting. This adds character to the players, who you can count on catching the ball rather than punching, or are better at stopping close range shots.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Every keeper has different attributes that have an impact on the game. If the user plays a high line with a possession style of attack it may benefit him/her to have a keeper who is good at collapsing or deflecting shots to deal with counter attacks that bring 1v1 situations. Conversely if the user sets up his team to be more defensive he/she may want a keeper better at catching the ball instead of punching/deflecting back into play where attacking players are waiting.
WHAT THEY SAID: Celebration Control – New for the series, players have full control over goal celebrations to maximize their excitement when scoring! Prompts appear after a goal to trigger a trademark celebration, or unique actions at the press of a button.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: FIFA
WHAT THEY SAID: New Master League – The famous and hugely popular Master League sees a total revamp, allowing users to immerse themselves in the managerial world of soccer. Every element has been redesigned or reworked, from the vibrant and involving menus to the new and exciting player transfer system, PES 2016 see one of the series most integral modes redefine the single player experience.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Very vague aside from new transfer system. The trailer shows updated menus, player bios, stories, tons of stats and impact of star players in the team. The trailer also shows De Rossi being put into the first team with a red form arrow after being named the team’s “General” by the fans and making a quote about winning. You can clearly see everyone else’s form arrows go up because he is now on the pitch. Still much more to come on ML in the near future.
WHAT THEY SAID: New Visuals – Incorporating the many advancements of Fox Engine the visuals have seen a huge upgrade. See the rain splash as players slide in to win possession, or the turf kick up as you strike the ball into the top corner. New night-time lighting and real turf textures add to some of the many improvements.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Check the trailer to see all this in motion. The one concern is the level of detail in gameplay cam. When the camera moves from up close to gameplay cam the visuals look a bit washed out and lose that vibrancy from close up. Then again this is very early to see gameplay cam action there is no question visuals are still being worked on.
WHAT THEY SAID: Dynamic Weather – For the first time in the PES series dynamic weather has been introduced, with the chance of rain starting during the game. Combined with the ever more realistic ball physics, the rain changes how the game can be played with passes speeding up, and players less skilled to struggle with trapping. The defender taken by the 1 on 1 will be covered with pitch blades by slipping and falling. This feature is applied to all offline modes including the Master League, becoming an important element to decide the outcome of the match.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Check the trailer. The rain looks beautiful. When Hamsik tries to trap the ball in the rain he doesn’t trap it cleanly allowing De Rossi to perform a “Perfect Defense” tackle with water splashing and mud stains displayed all over the kits. In terms of ball physics, it’s going to be interesting to see how the ball reacts in the rain. Long range low shots skipping off the pitch at a ferocious pace perhaps troubling keepers as well as dynamic battles in midfield as teams struggle with maintaining possession in the rain.
WHAT THEY SAID: Human Motion – Seeking to humanize player movement, 3x new animations have been added to bring the in-game superstars to life. Goalkeepers have seen an abundance of save animations added, while outfield players shoot, pass, dribble and tackle in a countless variety depending on the situation. Players complain when a foul isn’t given, or lament a teammate when a pass isn’t made when in open space. The new 1v1 control also benefits from this, with players being able to fool their opponents with shimmies and feints, that can result in causing the opposing player to lose his balance and fall in the wrong direction!
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Boatload of new animations providing fluidity to the game while adding touches of emotion. Play the trailer and watch how Varane falls and looks back at Neymar when Neymar skins him and also check out how Astori gets turned around by Callejon after Callejon does a feint when trapping a pass. All very realistic and natural looking animations.
WHAT THEY SAID: New Ball Physics – The past few years has seen the series make huge advancements in ball physics, and for PES 2016 new levels of realism have been reached. Each spin, bobble and ricochet has been calculated using real ball physic data, helping keep every moment in every game unique and unpredictable.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: First off, the past few years the ball physics were poor let’s be honest. Konami probably noticed what EA was achieving with its ball physics and knew they needed to upgrade. Clearly in the trailer they’ve improved but its tough at this point to speculate how much they’ve improved. Good thing is no “on rails” moments stood out. There are also instances in the trailer where the ball appears much more free than in previous years and there is a great moment when Llorente sends a long ball to Tevez in which Carlito has to angle his run a bit to go get the ball. Will PES fans finally get the ball physics they’ve been waiting for since the PS2 days?
WHAT THEY SAID: myClub – Since the launch of the mode in PES 2015, myClub has been updated on a weekly basis, and now have been further improved based on user feedback for PES 2016. The enhancement will introduce player level systems, and players exclusive to the mode. Use GP acquired through matches or myClub coins to experience realistic club management combined with players to strive to be stronger in your squad. Choose the manager, consider coaches, and build the strategy based on what you aim with your team. Build Your Team, Create Your legacy!
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Basically, from this it seems like myClub will stay pretty much the same, but with a player level system introduced. Perhaps the more the game time the player gets, the more he’ll level up and the better he’ll play. Kind of like the levelling up system in most RPGs. No, myClub isn’t turning into Final Fantasy. Wait, maybe it is. No, it isn’t calm down. I’m sure we’ll find out more about how myClub is evolving for PES 2016. Gamescom probably.
WHAT THEY SAID: Dynamic Wide Camera Angle – The new angle gives you a larger field of view, allowing you to better plan and adjust your players to compete in aerial battles, or see the intelligent runs being made thanks to Intelligent Player AI. Depending on where the ball is on the pitch, the camera will tilt and zoom in/out to make sure the user has the best view possible during the match.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: This is awesome! The short snippets in the trailer from gameplay cam most likely came from this camera angle considering, that aside from commentary and the PS4 image importing, everything in the press release appeared in the trailer. The camera angle looks similar to FIFA’s default camera angle except it appears more dynamic—pardon the pun!
WHAT THEY SAID: Commentary – New commentators have been introduced for both UK and Germany, with Peter Drury and Marco Hagemann joining the PES team. An abundance of new lines and specific stories have been recorded dedicated for Master League, responding to player transfers, player growth and team performance.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: Any change is better at this point. Commentary in PES has been atrocious for awhile now so it’s good to see this aspect of the game finally getting some TLC. How it all comes together remains to be seen but hopefully it adds to the immersion. It would be great to hear the crowd whistle Totti if he left for Lazio and the commentators point out Totti’s move to Roma’s rival club at the beginning of the match and then during the match say “you can hear the Roma fans whistle Totti every time he touches the ball.” (Assuming crowd noise acts accordingly of course.)
WHAT THEY SAID: PS4 Image Importing – Edit mode is synonymous with the PES series, and further updates have been made to this hugely popular mode. PS4 (and PS3) users are now able to import images into the game perfectly replicating any team kit or emblem the user wishes – including managers.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN: This will send PES fans into a frenzy. The question remains though—how is this being implemented? Did Konami reach a deal with Sony? Will PS4 users have to take pictures with the Playstation camera? Will PS4 users have to take screenshots using their web browser on the PS4? Will there be an online data base to upload and download images? So many unknowns right now, hopefully E3 provides fans with more clarification.
WHAT THEY DIDN’T SAY: There are aspects of PES that fans want to see improved that were not mentioned in the press release. Some of these include: New stamina system, set-piece long balls into the box actually working, return to PS2 style free kicks, new PK system (copy FIFA’s), improved defensive A.I. and tactical spacial understanding, improved CPU A.I. in attack and defense, PS2 style training mode, Team I.D. improvements, etc. Let’s hope over the coming weeks we hear some good news about these elements as they are crucial to making PES the penultimate footy game on the market.