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PES 2012: PSM3's verdict on what Konami are doing well - and not so well

First screens, seven minute video, plus 'team work' focus outlined

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What Seabass is promising in terms of team work and free pattern play could be immense - the biggest problem of all football games is that the CPU attacks you in a very predictable fashion, using his 'computer-ness' to cheese you with stats and logic, not, say, playing overwhelming, unpredictable and fluid passing like real-life Barcelona. We want the challenge in a top level difficulty game to be 'how can I stop this team?', not just 'how do I break down their iron AI defence?'.

If PES 2012's key features were being 'sold' by FIFA, they'd have clear brands and labels, so 'free form attacking play' wouldn't sound so nebulous, but be called something borderline stupid and clear like 'Attack-tics (tm)' or something less stupid than we can think of in three seconds.

PES 2011's biggest failure, above all others, was its inability to explain its changes - not just to newcomers, but to die-hards. It took us 30 hours to truly love and understand PES 2011, and that was still with caveats. How can FIFA converts and new players be expected to keep up? Konami need to introduce super clear, interactive, tutorials like FIFA, or even SFIV.

The PSM3 Verdict

In fairness, Seabass is saying the right things, but the changes are hard to translate to clear bullet points - and it's impossible to evaluate their impact without a hands-on. It's still completely possible they've cracked it, and this could be the most unpredictable, free form, football game yet. Still, years of hurt leads to understandable cyncism, and the lack of clear visual improvement kicks hard. We'd be very surpised if this video does anything to sway anyone but the converted - which seems to be Konami's strategy. Get closer to its existing community, listen hard and act. It's admirable, but won't help inevitable comparisons with FIFA anytime soon. The hope, of course, is to quietly, off radar, build something beautiful, that's not just liked, but adored by its hardcore fans. You know. Like how PES grew to prominence in the first place. We'll have hands-on impressions soon. As it stands, we're no more confident of PES rivalling FIFA, than Man U beating Barcelona in the CL final - but you never know.

What do you think? Are Konami on the right track? Let us know your first impressions and hopes below.

Thanks

Dan

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