“Intelligent” and “good looking” aren’t the first two words that spring to mind when you think about soccer players. However, these adjectives are two that resonated with me while playing PES 2012.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is the first of the two big console and PC soccer titles to strut its stuff this season, following the release of the PES 2012 demo today. It remains to be seen whether FIFA 12 will win the battle in the hearts of soccer gaming fans again this year, but if this demo is anything to go by EA has to step up its game if this early PES 2012 demo is anything to go by.
The changes in PES 2012 are mainly based around tweaks to the game AI. These are designed to make an intelligent soccer experience, and for the most part it works.
It seems the tweaks favor attacking soccer rather than defending, making for more goal mouth action and higher-scoring matches. Improved attacking runs (dummy, diagonal and overlapping) by the AI give you more options when you’re going forward with the ball.
A new off-the-ball control system gives you more options attacking options too. This system lets you take control of a teammate while you already have the ball and make him run. This is great for creating space or opening up new attacking angles. It does take a bit of getting used to though.
Overall the game is much better looking too, with improved player likenesses and slicker animations, as you can see in the video. Some gamers around Softonic Towers were muttering that graphics look a bit ‘plasticky’ close up, but I actually think the new lighting effects show players in a much better light than previous versions of Pro Evo.