This year has been a funny one for PES and NGB. We’ve been unable to attend the events we were kindly invited to by Konami to play the game at an earlier date so our impressions are only coming at this stage with the public demo released to the world. This isn’t a full review obviously but rather some impressions of what we think.
For context, I played all my games on Superstar difficulty with both teams with an upwards green arrow and tried to keep my teams even in quality to my opponents e.g. AC Milan vs Inter Milan/France vs Argentina.
The first thing that stood out to me was that the game didn’t feel dramatically different. However the biggest change I could see was the weight of the players. They felt heavier yet not lethargic. It’s something that I personally really enjoy as it gives a sense of consideration to all your decisions but nothing felt delayed. Passing still feels very good and you need to be accurate with how you pass the ball. Having assisted passing on, as many do, did sometimes actually throw off my pass in terms of where I thought I was passing it. I found playing with low assisted passing helped rectify this though. Shooting feels slightly more varied than in 2018 but as time goes on I expect to see many more new animation in shooting and all around the pitch.
Defending doesn’t feel vastly different from PES2018, the key for me is still not to hold down the pressure button and to actually guide your player yourself to cover space across the pitch, this will continue to allow you to cover the defensive areas better than relying on the pressure buttons, then time the tackle to regain possession. Considering I haven’t had any time with the game in the build up to the demo the fact I was able to remain unbeaten through all my games (won the majority and drew a few) on superstar difficulty I was surprised I was able to adapt to the game so quickly. This is likely due to the fact that the gameplay is already very good and therefore no drastic changes ever needed to be made in the game.
I will say I didn’t notice much of the new fatigue animations/injuries but as with shooting I expect this to play a much larger factor in the game over a longer period time, especially with in modes like MyClub and Master League.
The biggest improvement is clearly on the visual side. The graphical improvements are incredible and Konami should be commended for improving on already fantastic graphics. Player models and kits look better than I’ve ever seen them and I am genuinely excited to see more new player faces so I can start my Master League transfer target list!
Overall, the game feels like a more polished version of 2018 and I am happy with that. However the demo is only giving us a glimpse into the game and in all honestly, there is no way I can make a recommendation off of a demo as PES has proven to show it’s true colours over a much longer period of time. The questions of if Master League is any deeper, if the improvements to MyClub can continue to bring new players to the mode and how will Online play will be answered over the months to come. But what I can recommend is to download the Demo and try it for yourself. It is free after all. Give it a go and make a decision for yourself if it is something you are willing to drop your hard earned money on.