Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 Hands-On

We go behind closed doors at Konami's E3 booth and score a little playtime with the next Pro Evo.

EA Sports' FIFA Soccer series has been running rings around Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series for far too long, and Konami knows it. That, presumably, is why large portions of Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 are currently being rebuilt from the ground up ahead of its release later this year. We had our first opportunity to play the new game for ourselves behind closed doors at Konami's E3 2010 booth this afternoon, and while it's too soon to say for sure whether or not it can beat FIFA, it's already playing a much better game of football (or soccer, if you prefer) than its current-generation predecessors.

Before our match kicked off, we were afforded a quick look at the new tactics screen, which looked significantly better than similar screens ever have in the Pro Evolution Soccer games. It was also much easier to use, because in addition to switching between preset formations, it was possible to tweak those formations or even create completely new ones simply by dragging the player icons around on the 2D pitch. Furthermore, although we didn't actually get to see this functionality, we're told that you'll have the option to set up multiple formations as well as criterion for your team to switch between them automatically. So, for example, you'll be able to tell your team to switch to a defensive formation if they go two goals up or to switch to an all-out attacking shape if they're a goal behind with only 15 minutes left. It sounds like a great feature, and if it's implemented well, we suspect other sports games might be quick to imitate it.

On the field, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is equally promising. We're told that 90 percent of the player animations are new this year, and it shows. Players are now significantly more responsive, and while it's possible to perform tricks and feints (and even to link feints together), you're unlikely to need them very often because you can beat opponents simply by turning quickly with the ball or by passing intelligently. Passing the ball around feels great in Pro Evo 2011 because while it's still quite easy to string short to-feet passes together, you're now afforded much more control to pass the ball in any direction and at any pace without the AI interfering and making assumptions about where your pass was supposed to go.

An (optional) power bar appears at the feet of your player anytime you pass the ball, and so the longer you hold the pass button down, the quicker and longer your pass is. That's not ground-breaking by any means, but it works well, and even in the short time that we spent playing, we found that it made passing the ball into space a more feasible strategy because we didn't have to rely on the through-ball button to guess where we wanted the ball to go. It also resulted in our putting the ball out for throw-ins a few times when we overhit passes, but with practice that's unlikely to be a problem.

We were only afforded a brief glimpse at Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 today, but the time we spent pitting Argentina against France at an instantly recognizable Old Trafford stadium on the Xbox 360 was more than enough to get us excited. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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Discussion

79 comments
_FORCE_96
_FORCE_96

I think this PES will be the closest one yet to FIFA in next-gen footy games. Although a fifa player, it seems that Konami have really put a lot of effort into this one which i think all should acknowledge. This shows their obvious passion for the game and the furthering of the series and their dedication towards making the best football game for the fans. RESPECT Konami

Petch1984
Petch1984

Well I loved the demo. Best PES for 8+ years, it's so smooth and the passing is immense. The new camera angle is so better at recreating real football and finally shows off 360 degree player control.

chriskit2001
chriskit2001

PES 2011 will probably have three fake bundesliga teams, bayern munich, werder bremen and Schalke. Last time Konami used fake german teams they got sued by ea sports. I hope they get through with it this time.

Doolum
Doolum

have you played fifa 10.if u did and do those two feature listed above will be familiar.but who cares i was waiting for a PES that is worth considering for purchase as i would rather get a PES than a Fifa. Definitely looking forward to get this one.

legosora73
legosora73

can't wait for the start of the soccer season and this game! btw im thinking about making a new gamespot soccer/football union, pm me if interested

BotZakafein
BotZakafein

Guys this thing is gonna be awesome!!! And don't worry about the licenses and stuff, PESEDIT team will take care of that ;). Would really like more stadiums though (Emirates Stadium any1)

Maxrodon
Maxrodon

PES better have rights fot bundasliga for once and if not Bayern munich because their a champions league team with great world class players and it really disappoints me not to see them in action

az3ar34
az3ar34

we want bundes league !!!!

az3ar34
az3ar34

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

xerxesthegreat
xerxesthegreat

seriously cant wait , so much positivity around this .

Bless3110
Bless3110

are the half time coach talks on the ps2

Bless3110
Bless3110

i love both games fifa and pes. but somthing tlls me that pes 2011 will be better than fifa 11

suberbard
suberbard

Champions League Europa League Super Cup Copa Libertadores Ligue 1 Eredivisie Serie a 30 Teams From Other Leagues All Licensed whats everyone talking about saying pes hasnt got licences its got more licenced competitions than fifa

suberbard
suberbard

got 2 words for you Become a legend

nahidofhonor
nahidofhonor

@nyranasaurus, you really made me happy by that news.... i dont have any console..... i played FIFA for last ten years... just ignored PES , cos everybody around me played FIFA and nobody ever told me PES is good.... after playing PES 2010, i realized PES is something different, its not possible for EA to make a better football simulation game than PES.. no matter how smooth their player movements and animations are.... i noticed two things... 1. FIFA ball physics is not real.. 2. FIFA gameplay is very much predictable, repetitive

nyranasaurus
nyranasaurus

oh yeah by the way, the pc version of Pro Evo IS the same as consoles. Looks better too because of high def :). NBA 2K10 on pc owns the console versions too :) . Sometimes on pc conversions of console games you have to turn the audio property onto basic instead of full acceleration, because PCs hardware is too hardcore for consoles and doesnt recognise it properly, so you have to water down hardware settings to get the game to play properly.

nyranasaurus
nyranasaurus

I cant friggin wait for an improved Pro Evolution soccer game :):) I dont care about licenses, Pro Evo allows you to change the licenses anyway , so who cares. You can make your own. I just want the most REALISTIC football experience that a game can possibly give. Pro Evo 2010 was close, definately the players looked WAY more realistic than Fifa. i really enjoyed Pro evo 2010, it was really fun and the ball physics in my opinion are still more realistic than Fifa by far. So if 2011 is better than 2010, i cant friggin wait. Its should be epic. Fingers crossed :):)

xshadowzz
xshadowzz

"We're told that 90 percent of the player animations are new this year, and it shows" Finally!!!

xshadowzz
xshadowzz

@danny_ere_08 Yes. Especially on the PC. *sarcasm*

Petch1984
Petch1984

I have owned every PES since ISS, they all take at least a month to fully master - I always dislike the latest version because it forces me to re-evaluate what I thought a football game should be but after that period I finally "get" the game and can't go back to earlier ones. Having never dismissed a single version I can honestly say they are and always have been amazing. People who understand football - the actual game and not just logos on shirts - will always appreciate PES. All my friends who play Football Manager also play PES, all my friends who play FIFA know next to nothing of football.

Moro10
Moro10

PES FOR LIFE!! This year's Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 will be the best one ever and will sink FIFA for ever! I hope to see more licensed teams though and teams that haven't been in the game like BAYERN MUNCHEN! I also want the game modes to be more professional and less glitches and unrealistic stuff with the gameplay. This way PES will undoubtedly the best football game available and will make FIFA look rubbish for ever!

hamoksh
hamoksh

@macemert since the year 2009. ive been a hardcore winning eleven fan my entireee life. but seriously next gen PES/WE ,. were fked up byond belief,. and if it wasnt for ppl like us that DITCHED the game,. they wouldnt have bothered fixing them. so lets all hope PES/WE gets back to number 1 this year.

harshadnaik
harshadnaik

To KONAMI, plz add player swapping/trade function(in transfer zone) in MASTER LEAGUE.... if u get license like FIFA series den u surely be no.1 in world...

nahidofhonor
nahidofhonor

is the PC Version is same ad Consoles? or like Fifa, PC version is inferior ?

macmert
macmert

Since when Fifa is running rings around pes???

jjness80
jjness80

The anticipation is killin me! Just wish they would release it a month or two earlier.

dxf-Kicker
dxf-Kicker

Looks great. And that's coming from a FIFA fan.

ANTHONYMVP2U
ANTHONYMVP2U

Soccer 2011 is lookin sounding great....

mrkickme
mrkickme

Early on and already a big difference? Great!

manveer27
manveer27

finally a GOOD pes game since 2006

frank_nuno
frank_nuno

"fifa will always be the king of football games" c´mon, cant you remember????? konami´s football games has always been better, since i.s.s. (snes) I admit that the 2010 was crappy, but ea´s games are crappy too, even more than PES 2010, the gameplay is lame and the players looks like they were on down syndrome or something like that, you want an example of how PES its better?? in europe everybody likes PES, and in europe its the best football in the world ¡¡¡ so they know what they are talking about...............

danny_ere_08
danny_ere_08

fifa will always be the king of football games

rajiv111
rajiv111

it will be best of all pes virsions.

flaobina10
flaobina10

Finalmente! Um jogo do PES com times brasileiros! (pelo menos nas fotos) Finally! A game of PES with Brazilian teams! (At least in the photos)

darzentas
darzentas

every year the same... :( ill not buy this game i have pro 09-010..

jfcaballero
jfcaballero

I hope they Save PES, last ones sucked, specially 2010, makes you wonder how they broke something that was so good.

omid_ghost
omid_ghost

i heard some gamers said PES series are not as good as before pes 2008 series and after that they were more interested in FIFA series but as someone who played konami football games for more than 11 years i'd say Pes series are remarkably improving since 2008 and it's been more exciting and more real....

Rob_2_K
Rob_2_K

i hope this game was built in a very nice graphic....cause great gameplay came from a great graphic...

barock19
barock19

looks interesting.... maybe I will buy this one...

barock19
barock19

looks interesting.... maybe I will buy this one...

hawsar
hawsar

i cant wait to buy this one.

marmitemonster
marmitemonster

PES needs big changes if it wants my hard earned cash. Not been a decent PES yet on next gen consoles & FIFA is way ahead at the moment.

mjajiyani
mjajiyani

if you are really a gamer you know the pes is best in any condition all the fifa have is some animation and fun for new and amateur gamers

ahpuck
ahpuck

I have yet to play soccer this gen. I wouldn't play fifa if it was free, come on Konami bring back the PES we played and loved all those years.

gazabaza
gazabaza

please do not make the players run like robots

salshaal
salshaal

i think EA don't give a ... about PC gamers but i hope it's better than previuos series