Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series--known as Winning Eleven internationally for most of its life--has long been a fan favourite, but many players and critics felt that last year's effort failed to capitalise on the power and features offered by the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Complaints were also leveled about the reliability of the online service.
Even though the game's mere release was enough to secure it a year-long spot in the UK Top 40, Konami is out to reaffirm its position in the hearts of hardcore football fans this year. Today, it announced a host of new modes and gameplay tweaks for PES 2009, which is due out on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 2, and PSP in Q3 2008.
At the top of the list is the Become a Legend mode, which will place you in the shoes of an individual player rather than an entire team. You'll start from humble beginnings on a youth team, and it's up to you to take charge of your career and rise through the teams and leagues. This mode will be playable in both single-player and online via the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Although Become a Legend might seem quite similar to FIFA's Be a Pro mode, Konami tells us that it's a feature that originally appeared in the Winning Eleven series in Japan.
PES 2009 also offers the usual host of tweaks and additions to the control and animation systems. Tricks and turns are now performed within the context of the player's run, and are executed via rapid turns and movements of the D pad or analogue stick. The ball physics now react to air resistance, ground friction, and weather, and the TeamVision AI system will recognise strategies and accumulate the data for use in Master League and League mode. Speaking of the Master League, negotiations have been simplified, and disaffected players' moods will have an adverse affect on their performances in the new game.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 will be on show and playable at next week's Leipzig Games Convention, so stay tuned this Wednesday, August 20, for even more information on the game.