Pro Evolution Soccer 2012
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (aka PES 2012) is the latest iteration of Konami’s classic contribution to the football player/football manager gaming mix. While the emphasis remains tipped in favour of action over nerdy stats, the game still offers enough organisational and management elements to keep the purist soccer fan happy.
Developed by the Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka and his team in Tokyo, Japan, PES 2012 has had a major overhaul to its artificial intelligence systems this time around. This means that in single-player and online multiplayer, not only will the gamer’s virtual team-mates behave more like real-life pro footballers, so will the opposition’s.
Basically, simply and intelligently in situations such as through-balls, one-on-ones and pressing play, virtual teammates and opposition will react more rapidly and less erratically to the player with the ball. This also offers opportunities for more intricate and effective passing as well as supported dummies when attempting to draw defenders, for example.
Also improved in PES 2012 are Zonal marking and positional defending – defending players are more fluid in their abilities to recognise gaps and possible overlap attacks for example, and will move to support colleagues against different attacking formations. In fact, a brand new cursor switching system that uses the right analogue stick to switch to any player on the field has been introduced this time around to enable gamers to select a team-mate anywhere on the pitch fast enough to be readily available in a fluidly developing situation.
This also enables gamers to create more intricate set-pieces including free kicks and throw-ins as well as letting teams break rapidly and use space rather than just the ball more efficiently.
Footy, however, is also about physical opposition as player battles with player for ball and position (in entirely legal tussles of course). The ‘Jostle’ system has, therefore, also been tweaked to provide more realistic physical interaction. A big defender can jostle a smaller striker off the ball, but only if he’s quick and intelligent enough to catch up!
As with all classic PES iterations, Master League is back and with its Online mode it enables players to form their own squads, teams and formations and fight for the best team members in the transfer market while taking on other real-world player-managers. This time around, Team styles be changed with options including balanced play, physical, speed, technique, set-pieces and teamwork now available.
Short-term contracts have also been introduced to make getting through injury-plagued periods in the season. That’s a possibility given that injuries and recovery times have also been made more realistic.
Community Mode has been widened to provide greater scope for competition with Community groups of up to 100 users now available, and with Bulletin Boards for members to pass on messages to each other.
Finally for online, match-making has been re-addressed with players now more likely to be pitched against a competitors more in their own skillset and playing mode. Players who ‘rage’ quit are also under closer scrutiny and much less likely to have their matches made.
Released to Buy:
14 October 2011
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