E3 2011: Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 First Look Preview

Konami unveils a host of AI improvements for its football sim PES 12.

FIFA 12 wasn't the only football game on show at this year's E3 expo, with Konami unveiling a bunch of new features for Pro Evolution soccer 2012. As yearly updates go, PES 12 is looking like a big one, with improved animation, visuals, and AI updates that attempt to make it a more realistic experience. With FIFA currently taking the football crown, Konami's certainly got its work cut out to return the series to its glory days and back to the top of table.

Of all the new features, PES 12's AI improvements are the biggest, with changes being made to almost all aspects of the game. Our first look started with active AI overlap, a new feature that's designed to improve the performance of players off the ball. In PES 11, if you passed the ball forward to an open area on the pitch, more often than not supporting players wouldn't chase the ball down. Players will now run forward to receive passes, letting you make better use of open space.

This is enhanced by improvements made to dummy runs and diagonal runs, which see players drawing out defenders to give you space to play the ball and make runs across the whole length of the pitch, rather than just along one side of it. The next new feature we were shown was zonal defense. It attempts to improve defensive lines, so players now stay in formation. We were shown a clip from PES 11, which showed defensive players in a zigzag formation outside of the box. In PES 12, that line has been straightened up to more accurately mimic real-world players.

The final AI improvement we were shown was called zonal marking, which attempts to improve the defensive play of your teammates. Players will automatically pick up on runs of attacking players, chasing them down and launching tackles. As well as AI improvements, we were shown one tweak to the controls, which allows you to control players off the ball. For example, if you've got a throw in or a free kick, you can move other players around the pitch, as well as line up your throw or shot.

The AI improvements are substantial, and if they work as promised, they'll go some way toward making PES 12 a more realistic experience and a better alternative to FIFA. With the game currently only 60 percent complete, there's still a lot of new features Konami has yet to implement, including new personal update data, animation improvements, and more responsive button presses. Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is due for release in the third quarter of this year. Look out for more on GameSpot soon.

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41 comments
nyran125
nyran125

the people that dont like PES because of the licenses, can you plaease blow up or complaing to EA for us ? Because they are the ones stopping ALL other game developers from having the licenses.

progamemania
progamemania

Always have and always will love PES more, not that FIFA is not good,I mean it is a great soccer game but for me it is always PES. Cant wait for PES 12.

DAKYON
DAKYON

all the stuff PES is trying to make better FIFA have it already done !! (in terms of AI improvements and all that chit chat.....)

vinusharma16
vinusharma16

just see the 1st kick at 0.40 it feels faaar more real than in the newest Gameplay Trailer of fifa 12 at 0.10!!!

unDeny
unDeny

Nuff said! REALLY wish they had the licenses tho. Basically ALL that's keeping FIFA alfoat imo.. And yes it is a big deal actually. To me anyways. It feels just right when I sit down with my 8yr nephew (surprisingly good at th game for his age if u ask me :D) and every now n then he goes "That's Kaka!".. "Messiiii!!". And I'm the proud shmuck of an uncle taking in all the glory, cuz to his eyes, its almost as if he's playing & controlling the real deal. THAT's who we were.. And to a large extent, as aging gamers, still are. Let's not try to ignore this simple fact. Licences = Big Deal. By now, if FIFA actually cared about the true representation of "For the love of the game." or whatever, they should've just HANDED over the licenses to the PES franchises!

voidhawk2000
voidhawk2000

Besides you can only improve grafix by so much and then you better have excellent gameplay to make it like the real thing. My point is PES' grafix are great as they are - the way the game plays out feels more realistic than FIFA. I dont know where people get off saying PES is arcade-like. Thats BS as FIFA looks way more arcadey (saw my brothers kids playing it some months ago). PES feels just right with field layout and player movement and ball physics. But then again maybe Im just very used to PES and don't want to see any good in the FIFA franchise - and believe it or not, I was a huge FIFA fan at one stage! Until I played Pro Evolution 3...

voidhawk2000
voidhawk2000

The one thing I love about PES - and I've always said this but never quite knew how to explain myself - is the randomness in the game. Sure Fifa may or may not have better graphics - I actually prefer PES's as I play it on the PC - and FIFA have the licences (big deal!)... but PES just seems more to real life! You can miss an absolute sitter in front of goal because the player wasnt balanced when he took the shot! The ball can rebound off the post from an absolute screamer from 30 yards out, hit the keeper in the back of the head and rebound in. I have saved some really well worked goals, some lucky goals and some really bizarre goals in my PES master league campaigns. Having not played FIFA for many years now, I would like to know - do they have the same randomness as PES going?

jookiyaya
jookiyaya

Yes FIFA will go DOWN! PES 12 for life!

zapata77
zapata77

All Pes 2012 needs besides AI and animations improvements, is a sharing data feature.. similar to 2k..you should be able to down load players custom kits, stadiums,teams, leagues etc.. that would be sick

Duffy63
Duffy63

pes is for football fans fifa is for retards.

nyran125
nyran125

this seriously looks amazing. Good luck Pro evo. the only thing FIFA has on PES is User friendly movement and ball control and licences that they arent allowed anyway, because FIFA has the exclusive rights.

aamir69
aamir69

Master League mode is one of the best things in the world

JamesFTM
JamesFTM

@nyran125 I've just made a very similar point on a FIFA 12 video. Regardless of whether you're a hardcore fan of either series, it's worth any idiot fanboy taking note that as the two series are competing directly, they are forced to keep making big improvements to try to keep up. As the players, we win, and anyone who's coming out at this early stage with comments like 'FIFA IZ MUCH BETTAR' is only cheating themself. Personally I think they both look excellent so far and will probably be buying both, as I did last year.

nyran125
nyran125

yeah they cant get the licences because EA owns them. Thats why EA sux ass. Same with the NFL franchise, i think there needs to be a new rule in Licences for entertainment. I dont think only 1 company should be allowed them. Its not good for competition or the consumer. 2K would still be competing with thier NFL games AND making better NFL games if EA didnt own the friggin licence. Also the only reason FIFA is any good is BECAUSE of PES leading for so long adn FIFA trying to catch up. The only reason Battlefield will be any good this year is becasue EA is trying to take the market again. Thats what good competition does. It makes your product better. Madden has gone stale because it doesnt need to do anything.

k4duty
k4duty

Fifa looks better and it has much better gameplay!

keelo88
keelo88

i alway prefer pro evo rather than fifa ... hope PES12 will kick ass , we need some legal rights seriously !! i alwyas get the kits from the internet .. i wish once for a life time pes get some rights

azrriq_1985
azrriq_1985

nice...both are improving, fifa and pes..i want both...

PHOENIX1617
PHOENIX1617

100 dollars that fifa will be much better than this game

PHOENIX1617
PHOENIX1617

I WANT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ON FIFA, STOP BUYING PES! IT SUKS!!!!!!!

jeangd
jeangd

Me gusta. le PES

MJS88
MJS88

Same problems as always. Fifa is too scripted in terms of animation. There is a lack of 'free ball' feeling and everything feels like its being done for you. Pro Evo is scripted in terms of gameplay, in that when the game wants you to loose, suddenly Sol Campbell is able to match Ronaldo for pace. Fifa has all the licensing but lacks the pure brilliant customisation of Pro Evo. I love being able to make my own player and team (with very good kit creator) and start with a load of waff players, ending up in the 'top division' with world class players. Plus champ's league! Problem is there aren't enough English team to make up two divisions so you start at the 2nd division of the 'EPL', with 10 teams, one of which will be a team like Bursaspor! The only compromise to find the perfect harmony is for me to buy PES for PC. There are mods released with tons of real balls, boots, logos and kits with sponsors and which changes the sponsor deals to real life companies and you can upload .gif files to put on your kit to make it feel more realistic. Shooting and freekicks are 10x better on PES and it just feels so much more satisfying when you score. Shame it lacks the teams of Fifa. Oh well, I guess Fifa is better to pick up and play. PES is better for the 'sim' value. I will stick to PES for PC.

johnners2981
johnners2981

I've played both fifa and pro evo for many years and they both need major improving, there are so many annoying gameplay things in both games. But pro evo wins it for me, the shooting (while it still has some flaws) is more realistic and it always feels better scoring in pro evo than fifa. I wish I could get konami to listen to me and fix all the flaws

SUPERSAMMOSSAUC
SUPERSAMMOSSAUC

Bring EPL, Seria A, Bundensliga, Pimera Divison, and uefa competitons licences and it will be a big seller.

bigruss51
bigruss51

Really, are they still trying to make a good football game. There only market is in Japan. Everyone who spent money on it in NA were sadly disappointed again and again. One of there in game commentators sounded like a 14 year old kid who hasn't grown any pubes yet. this is an arcade football game and only fun to play until you realize how far behind it is to FIFA.

psychomas
psychomas

I was a Fifa fan til 99. It was PES ever since, used to buy both FIFA and PES in the past 4 years, but FIFA was always left to dust because PES was always more fun, so there's no stopping me buying PES 2012 and also what they say it's a real man's football game.

wars45
wars45

cool i used to love fifa but after fifa ten iwent to pes fifa is soo boreing and u cant finish a online game as 9 out of ten quit if ther getin beat and manger online was just bad allways freezs master league online is just like runing a club pes is geting closer just think if pes had the money fifa did what sort of football game colud they make

ProVibes
ProVibes

the polygons look nice. but fifa is way more worthy in many ways.

playforfun90
playforfun90

nothing changes,the same like pes 2011 i hope that they do something new but it seems that they didnt

justy_west
justy_west

2 of the goals shown on that trailer are clearly offside! haha.. oh god!

Phil_Maholynn
Phil_Maholynn

FIFA does play a bit nicer than PES but there are so many bugs in FIFA that cause it to crash or freeze and EA just does not address them. I mean what's the point of having multiplayer in Manager Mode when it freezes after 9 games or so, than you are forced to play single player while your friends watch.

menotgood
menotgood

The game has great modes, Master League is way deeper than Manager Mode, fantastic graphics, they gave it a stadium editor last year, the overall presentation is better than Fifa's(non-existent really), but my god, the actual gameplay and animations are so 2001. Fifa's core gameplay is almost life like, at least compared to Pes. I hope this changes some time soon.

Hrf6
Hrf6

I hope they don't implement scripted matches and gimping of your teammates as a way of enhancing difficulty. It was extremely annoying in Become a legend 2011.

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

Well i'm one of the people who was a die hard pes fan who was forced to make the transition to fifa. Pes just didn't do anything to stay ahead of the curve. The minute differences between titles compared to fifa's big overhaul back in 08 or 09 just isn't enough to keep a football simulation enthusiast interested. Look at the gameplay modes pes has, master league hasn't seen any changes whatsoever, they brought in that become a legend mode to purely try and match the be a pro mode on fifa. Fifa are the ones with the new innovative ideas, and pes are imitating them in a shoddy fashion. There was a time when pes lacking the licenses wasn't even an issue because of how superior the game was. Now you combine that with the subpar gaming experience and it's just not a viable alternative to fifa.

GamerMania77
GamerMania77

The Konami mistakes was that they seem not too willing to learn from the past. A lot the lack of each the series, especially since the PES 2010. And please, try to get the license for the club and big teams more, like Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and big teams from Germany. Dan don't forget, player license. [sorry if my english not good, cause this language not easy to learn, hehe :)]

biffidus180
biffidus180

Pes is looking worse each year, unrealistic, just look at the players movements... Fifa is miles ahead yet again

BlackMagiK11
BlackMagiK11

i wish pes just gave the champions league license to fifa so that we can all just be happy with what we deserve, and to think, PES actually used to be good...

Ronaldo27
Ronaldo27

Cool. I am one of the very few people that started on FIFA but move to PES in this generation because of the superior tactical play.