Die Kollegen von WENB durften bereits eine Vorabversion von Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 anspielen.
The PES 2010 playtest was a very nervous experience, and something I couldn’t begin to describe or attempt to put into words. A series that’s given so much pleasure over a decade has done the opposite in recent years, and more than ever this year is the year it can simply not fail to deliver.
The instant we arrived at the offices our eyes were fixated on the number of screens around the playtest venue, already in full use by the PESGaming and PESFan crew. At first, in all honesty, my heart sank a little. I saw similar animations and a similar look to last year, coated in a very pretty exterior. I turned back to Suff, who was still meeting and greeting, and gazed over worryingly at him. My whole persona must have alerted a few of the Konami employees, as they ushered us quickly onto a test unit to sample the game.
The moment we started playing my frown became a smile, from a mixture of realisation about the gameplay, and (to my amazement) Suff’s sheer enjoyment at how the game was unfolding. Slowly the disappointment of seeing a similar looking game started to fade away, as the gameplay of PES 2010 took over.
Before the event me and Suff sat down and spoke of realistic expectations of what we were about to see. Using his wisdom thanks to his experience with FIFA 10, he expected it to be more of a proof of concept rather than something we could judge off the bat. After playing EA’s title in April, then a month later in Vancouver, he explained how the difference in development time was so substantial that initial impressions in the first playtest counted for very little – with improvements and inclusions significantly improving ones experience. What was important then, was to assess the platform Konami had created for PES 2010, and to evaluate if the vision going forward was going to be a significant step in taking the series back to the glory days.
When talking about what we wanted to see, the pace of the game came up almost instantly. Some might say that PES 2009 itself wasn’t itself set at an arcade pace, but many aspects around it were. Dribbling and the ease of getting into goal scoring opportunities were big stumbling blocks for most, and conflicted with what many thought the series was built around. Secondly, as a lot of you might have guessed, was teamvision. A word that sends a shiver down Suff’s spine when he hears it, and something he was hoping to see very little of at the event. The AI was abysmal last year, and (something that was synonymous with PES 2009) became excruciatingly annoying after prolonged playing time.
Finally, our thoughts shifted to the general movement of the game, and how it played out a match. Was the rigidness gone? Has the passing been sorted? Are the tricks still on the d-pad/analogue stick? Animations certainly came into our thoughts, although Suff assured me that he would be shocked if they were there in their full glory at this early stage.
I’m more than happy to say then, that all the things we were intrigued about were just as we hoped; massively improved over last year with plenty of time to improve further.
Before we explain just how it has, lets get some information on the code we were playing. Let there be no doubt, this was an extremely early version of PES 2010; the earliest Konami had ever shown the game publicly. We were told the game was around 50% complete, with the option to only play with either Liverpool and Barcelona. There was no other game mode apart from exhibition, with Anfield being the stadium of choice. So as you would expect, Suff was over the moon! The menu’s were nothing more than place holders to serve a purpose, as it was a few screens before you got straight into a match. Just to emphasize how early this game was, we were sampling it through the source code! That’s actual PC’s running the game, with PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers attached to it.
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